Wildbirds Conservation or Politics? US$30 million investment at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary ignored – Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge declared “first” such project in Barbados

“BirdLife International has created Barbados’ first shorebird refuge at an abandoned shooting swamp at Woodbourne, close to the village of Packers. Woodbourne is a four hectare swamp on the flank of the St. Philip Shooting Swamps Important Bird Area (IBA), at which hunting and maintenance ceased in October 2004. Two former hunters were instrumental in securing the lease and financing the initial restoration of Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge. Restoration work started in May and the swamp was ready for the 2009 southbound, autumn migration.”

… from the Birdlife International press release ‘No-shooting’ shorebird refuge established in Barbados

Funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service established Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge in Barbados

To be fair…

To be fair, Birdlife International does a stellar job internationally and in Barbados – and its own publication on Barbados’ important bird areas gives proper coverage to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (Birdlife International publication available in PDF download here).

BUT… to classify their Woodbourne project as the first such effort does a great disservice to the hundreds of Bajans who created the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the tens of thousands who came out to support the sanctuary prior to its closing by owner Peter Allard over the failure of the Barbados Government to adhere to our own laws and protect the natural environment at Graeme Hall. It seems that money and development win every time over the rights of Bajans to enjoy what is left our country.

Ian Bourne has the rest of the story at The Bajan Reporter…

“A complaint filed by the Canadian owner of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, an eco-tourist facility in Barbados, alleges that the Government of Barbados has violated its international obligations by refusing to enforce its environmental laws, thereby allowing increased pollution and land development to damage the Sanctuary.”

… from the Bajan Report story Canadian Alleges Treaty Violations by Barbados


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Politics, Wildlife

6 responses to “Wildbirds Conservation or Politics? US$30 million investment at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary ignored – Woodbourne Shorebird Refuge declared “first” such project in Barbados

  1. smoke and mirrors

    The Woodbourne Shorebird Project is an ideally suited environmental effort in Barbados. Congratulations to all those who made it happen and to those who will maintain it.

    With respect to Graeme Hall which has the greatest bio diversity in Barbados and is the last remaining green space between the Airport and Bridgetown, government uses the media with taxpayers dollars to pretend it doesn’t exist.

    Smoke and mirrors is the usual order of the past two decades.

    Graeme Hall is a constant reminder of government inaction, negligence and failure to protect and nourish that which is irreplaceable to future generations of Barbadians.

  2. The Place I Liked Most

    There is a place I went where troubles would melt away
    Hours I’d spend there on many a day
    Evenings found me there at the swamp in Graeme Hall
    Pleased with the birds, the foliage, the fish and all
    Little monkey would play monkey see monkey do
    A role in the dirt, a toss of a twig, and hands on the head too
    Couldn’t wait to feel the quiet at the crack of dawn
    Every rustle of every tree, every stretch, every yawn
    I would enter across philoxeras vermicularis and some other grass
    Laguncularia racemosa was further than rhizophora mangle I needed to pass
    I watched these white and red mangrove and their brackish water
    Kept search for the tilapia fish, men choose to slaughter
    Every one busy caring for shoals of their young
    Drawing them back in the pouch of the mouths if danger came along
    Males were territorial and could camouflage to hide
    Only when they fought were they black with some red on the side
    So many egrets, herons and other migratory birds came by
    This Graeme Hall Swamp, a paradise, should never be allowed to die

  3. Wishful Thinking, but..

    If I had the money, I’d buy Gr.Hall swamp and simply leave it alone to let Nature continue on, doing its own thing, in its own sweet time-frame.

  4. Sundowner

    I’ve had many tourists asking whats happening with G.Hall, people WANT to visit, one couple told me they spent 4 days there on their last visit, quote ‘so peaceful & inspirational’ I miss it it as well.
    Khaidji – your poem is beautiful.

  5. Bajan George

    It is indeed Wishful Thinking to buy the Graeme Hall swamp and “leave it alone to let Nature continue on, doing its own thing, in its own sweet time-frame.” Wishful Thinking is fondly recalling the days when Barbados had fewer than 30,000 people, and natural areas were able to survive on their own without much help.

    There are now 280,000 people on Barbados. Look at the wetland adjacent to St. Lawrence Gap. We all left that one alone, and it is polluted, trashed, horrific.

    It is more than Nature can bear. She needs help.

  6. Nostradamus

    Wonder how the meeting went between Dr. Lowe and the Graeme Hall Sanctuary? Was the meeting convened?

    CBC News November 05, 2009

    “Environment Minister, Dr Dennis Lowe says nearly a year after the closure of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, they are trying to get it operational again.

    He says a multi-sectoral committee is being set up to try and get the project running again.

    Dr Lowe expects talks between government and Canadian owner Peter Allard to be convened in another three weeks, to try and iron out all difficulties relating to the project. ”