Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association: EU funding lost for environmental action programme because Government reluctant to issue water quality reports.

“Unfortunately we have lost the (EU Blue Flag) funding now because the project stood in abeyance for too long but I still think it is important. It is an European certification and I mean the Europeans are very environmentally friendly and if we are trying to develop our European market, it goes hand in hand. Our competitors are doing it, so why is Barbados so resistant to move forward?”

BHTA VP Sue Springer in the Barbados Advocate article Lack of support for Blue Flag Programme disappointing for tourist sector

Other Caribbean islands embracing Blue Flag beach quality programme

BHTA's Sue Springer - Polite & restrained, but really tired of do-nothing politicians just like the rest of us!

According to Sue Springer, Executive VP of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Barbados lost EU funding for an important environmental programmed because “the government at the time” wouldn’t cooperate and reveal water quality testing results.

(Thinking about the scary results of the recent environmental testing at Graeme Hall wetlands, I guess the government didn’t want folks to know the truth about the beaches either!)

Gosh, I wonder which Environment Minister *cough* Liz Thompson *cough* was responsible for the failure of the Blue Flag initiative?

Why wouldn’t the BLP or the current DLP government embrace the Blue Flag programme?

Well, it’s about ACTION, Environmental STANDARDS and TRANSPARENCY – and neither the DLP nor the BLP do action, standards or transparency in Barbados. Especially about the environment.

“The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas. The programme works towards sustainable development at those sites through strict standards dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety among other areas. Barbados had been identified to be involved in a pilot phase Blue Flag Caribbean Campaign and seven beaches had been identified to receive that certification.”

Check out the Blue Flag Programme website or the Wikipedia Blue Flag entry. Lots of countries and lots of our tourism competitors are involved, but as for Barbados…

Yup, our government people love to throw around that word “sustainable”, but when it comes to really doing something they are fished. The government people are great at beggin for grant money or loans for projects based on the latest buzzwords, but when it comes to being accountable for the funding, they would rather let the project money go than be transparent with water quality test results.

This is the second time in the past week that the BHTA has pointed out the massive environmental failures of the current and past governments. (See BFP article Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association asks BLP & DLP “Where is the Environmental Act you’ve both been promising for 20 years?”)

Time for a new Political Party

We’ll say what the BHTA can’t: Time for a new political party. The tired old political parties must be shown the door. The political elites must lose their sense of entitlement and the only way to shake them up is to bring a spoiler 3rd party into the mix.

Friends, it really wouldn’t take much: just a few names on the ballot under a new party with fresh people and credible standards and policies. It wouldn’t even have to win a seat to upset the status quo.

The Barbados electorate is in a mood to punish both the DLP and BLP elites, but they need a 3rd party to do it. It’s time.

Here’s the Barbados Advocate article in full in case it disappears from the net as so many other important stories have. Please read the story at the Barbados Advocate, but if it’s gone it will still be here…

Lack of support for Blue Flag Programme disappointing for tourist sector

5/17/2010

By Janelle Riley-Thornhill

Executive vice President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Sue Springer says that she is very disappointed, as are others in the tourism sector, that the Blue Flag Programme was not embraced by this country.

Springer maintained that it has been one of the biggest disappointments for the sector, and she is suggesting that if this country is really serious about developing its European tourist market, the Blue Flag Programme could be a major thrust in that direction.

The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas. The programme works towards sustainable development at those sites through strict standards dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety among other areas. Barbados had been identified to be involved in a pilot phase Blue Flag Caribbean Campaign and seven beaches had been identified to receive that certification

“We actually had EU [European Union] funding for this. Loretta Duffy Mayers who we all know is an major environmentalist had been moving forward, she had done the position paper and so on and we were looking to actually get blue flag on several beaches, it was not all the beaches on the island,” she said in an interview with the Barbados Advocate.

However, she said there seemed to have been reluctance on the part of the Government at that time, to issue the water quality figures.

“I think there is a misunderstanding because should you have a lot of heavy rain and you have a lot of wash into the sea from fertilisers or soil or whatever, you do not put up the flag that day, so it can be on a basis of whether the water is right and when people say they are scared to send out water quality figures that also sends another message as well.

Unfortunately we have lost the funding now because the project stood in abeyance for too long but I still think it is important. It is an European certification and I mean the Europeans are very environmentally friendly and if we are trying to develop our European market, it goes hand in hand. Our competitors are doing it, so why is Barbados so resistant to move forward?” Springer said.

The fact of the matter is, she added, a number of our regional and global competitors have adopted the Blue Flag Programme, including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica and she said reports suggests that St. Lucia is also going in that direction.

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16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Politics

16 responses to “Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association: EU funding lost for environmental action programme because Government reluctant to issue water quality reports.

  1. Good reporting BFP, for those of us who don`t buy the Sunday Advocate. Saw Mr Bryan the Publisher of the Advocate at lunch yesterday. He promised to publish my articles,me don`t know if he serious or not.

    The Dutch are way ahead in environmental planning from green energy to blue energy.

  2. Observer

    I am all for a third political option. Where do we begin?

  3. Cuthbert Canecutter

    ‘This town needs an enema,’ is never more fitting than here – so what can Bajans do to fire those so-called twins? I propose the Justice Movement of Barbados? BTW, PEP has a blog, since January but as much significance as themselves. If the JMB would really come forward then it will need funding and candidates. What about Kammie Holder, Adrian Loveridge & Ian Bourne for MPs?

  4. Cuthbert Canecutter

    I propose the Justice Movement of Barbados? BTW, PEP has a blog, since January but as much significance as themselves. If the JMB would really come forward then it will need funding and candidates. What about Kammie Holder, Adrian Loveridge & Ian Bourne for MPs? ‘This town needs an enema,’ is never more fitting than here – so what can Bajans do to fire those so-called twins, BLP & DLP?

  5. Everyone obviously want me dead? Leave me out, I happy doing my website which keeps everyone on their toes… Kammie is suicidal, he will do it, as for Adrian? I have no idea, but he’d be great as Tourism Minister…

  6. Nostradamus

    @ Kammie,

    “He promised to publish my articles,me don’t know if he serious or not.”

    Just remember that if he publishes your articles you can’t criticise the party in power or their policies etc. Remember when Adrian Loveridge was axed at the behest of Blarney Lynch?

    The Advocate brown noses whichever party is in power and is their chief propogandist. That seems to be their business model and to date it seems to work. One wonders what their readership is.

  7. 8

    Barbados loses out on lots of money because we cannot take scrutiny and doing paper work.

    The ABC Highway, the prison and other BOLT projects and the Chinese funded projects are just fine with us.

    The CDB, IDB, and EU-funded projects are too hard for us to implement and provide few opportunities for leakage(stealing).

  8. Pingback: Should a Hitler govern Barbados? « Barbados BlogWatch

  9. Ian,when good men ignore evil they are just as guilty. Went to school without shoes,slept on a grass bed, went to school with out lunch and had the distinct pleasure of wearing patched pants.

    I love my country and as a person who fought to rise from poverty I will not sit by and let my country become a failed state. Due to laziness, low productivity, analysis paralysis, bribe paying and other any societal ills.

    Too many persons because of their status, where they live, social circle and what they drive have turned their back on the masses. Too many persons are entering politics for the wrong reasons, and not a genuine love to serve.

    Barbadians, need to let politicians know flowery talk punctuated with innuedos and humor aint wucking. A new political party will emerge if enough like minded persons who are interested in nation building become united.

    BFP you and social media such as Facebook have provided for the meeting of minds for dicourse on Nation Building. Never loose your role by endorsing slander. We know the BLP and DLP are not interested in amending defamation laws in an effort to kill free speech.

    Blogger Kammie Holder is corpus mentis don`t mind Ian Bourne. My interest is empowering Barbadians in the importance of nation building and not politics.

  10. John

    The existence of the SAS, Surfers against Sewage, is but one more way that people get to raise hell over the mess we (all over the world) make with our beaches and nearshore waters.

    Happened to be down Batsheba and spotted a Brit in a tee shirt with the SAS logo years ago.

    Checked on the Internet and found this.

    http://www.sas.org.uk/

    In the US, I have come across the “Beach Bum” and “Beach Buddy” awards for beaches that just don’t cut it.

    Here is an article.

    http://blogs.phillynews.com/philly/downashore/2007/08/ocean_county_beach_designated.html

    I stopped going in the sea on the west coast back in the late 1980’s when I figured out how things worked with sewage and runoff.

    Ten or fifteen years later I gave up the South Coast.

    Maybe the South Coast Sewage project improved things, maybe not.

    In the absence of published data, I just continue to avoid the sea there.

    The East Coast is too terrible for me so I just keep out of the sea altogether now.

    People often end up with ear infections. One tourist couple I met who come religiously every year came up with a concoction which they put in their ears before going in the sea to avoid ear infections. Seems to work.

    The problem is worldwide, not limited to Barbados. A friend who was on a round the world ticket on BA emailed me from Fiji … same problem.

  11. Nostradamus

    Is anyone surprised at the inaction and absolute disinterest? Look at the example the Graeme Hall Swamp sluice gate that regulates the flow of wetland water into the sea. It has not been operational for over 5 years and government is responsible for its operation and maintenance. Why?

    Is it unreasonable of citizens to expect Government and public servants to carry out their responsibility and do their jobs with regards to the sluice gate? Page 5-5 of the ARA study says that “The sluice gate has historically been operated frequently to manage water level within the system, and this frequent operation provided flushing of upland runoff as well as some inflow of clean saline ocean water during periods of high tide. This operational practice has become less and less frequent in recent years due to deterioration of the gate structure.”

    http://graemehall.com/press/papers/ARA%20Study%20Part%20I.pdf

    This report is dated October 1997! This is May 2010! The gate is about to fall down. The walls of the canal are falling in. There is all manner of garbage, plastic bottles etc in the canal for locals and visitors to see when they visit the beach. What happens if we have heavy rainfall, the gate can’t be opened and Worthing, Rendezvous and St. Lawrence homes, businesses and hotels are flooded? It has happened before and was mitigated by the quick opening of the gate. What will happen now?

    All of this, despite the fact that the Graeme Hall Swamp has been designated a Natural Heritage Conservation Area and a Ramsar site by our said same Government.

    This is Minister of Public Works John Boyce’s constituency. Does he visit or know what is going on right under his nose? What about Minister of Tourism Sealy. What is he doing? Minister of Environment Lowe is responsible for Environment, Natural Heritage and Drainage. What is he doing apart form attending overseas conferences?

    No disrespect intended to the above mentioned honorable gentlemen but the general public, beach users, environmentalists, residents, businesses, hotels, the constituents who voted for you and whose vote you will need next election, want to know why you are not taking any action.

  12. Distant Voice

    After surfing the south coast for around 30 years I have started getting fungal infections on my skin. Maybe it is my age, or maybe not.

    How about that disgusting cess pit in the middle of Accra (Rockley) beach. After a member of the public some years ago had the water checked and found fecal coliforms (shit) the government dug up the rocks (AKA Soakaway) and built a wall around it with a handrail and left it to fill up with foul water and garbage. This toxic water forms a black pool on the beach when the conditions are right and seeps constantly into the sea where people are bathing right next to the life guard.

    How about taking a walk down the lovely new boardwalk. Apart from the disgusting state of the derelict buildings, there are two abandoned swimming pools full of mosquito larvae and garbage, one at Caribbee Hotel and one at Sierra Hotel. The Health dept has inspected Sierra and has not enforced a proper remedy. Sierra is in breach of public safety on at least 4 counts and according to the law should be fined up to $20,000 Bds. Yet again we are in the rainy season and Dengue fever starts to spread.

    I have had Hemorrhagic Dengue and was lucky to survive.

    Imagine the damage to tourism when this negligence gets publicised.

    We need sidewalks and proper roads. The lack of sidewalks on both the west and south coasts is an insult to all Bajans and visitors. We need sidewalks on BOTH sides of the road and they need to be the full width too so you dont get your skull smashed in by a wing mirror (this has happened a few times already) I can only assume that those arrogant politicians have forgotten what they should be doing and who voted for them. It is time for the citizens of Bim to stand together and demand action.

  13. BFP

    Distant Voice…

    Will you stand as an independent Candidate? Just to put your name up for election?

    The next election – whether there is a 3rd party or not – will feature a “Anybody but THEM!” election campaign at the grassroots.

    If every person in Barbados who is fed up transfers their vote away from the Bees and the Dees there will be an impact.

  14. Nostradamus

    BFP,

    Is it the power of blogs or a mere coincidence that late yesterday or early this morning government sent heavy equipment to remove sand from in front of the sluice gate and in the canal to allow some of the water that has built up due to recent rains to be released into the sea?

    Of course all of the garbage, plastic bottles etc that were trapped behind the gate will now go into the sea and wash back on the beach.

    Let us wait and see how long they will allow the flow to continue. Will they wait until locals and tourists complain about the “coloured” water in the sea?

    How much easier it would be to have an operable sluice gate or mechanism that allows easy and frequent management of the flow of water as recommended by the ARA study in 1997.

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  16. harry


    could this have anything to do with it?