Barbados don’t need no stinkin’ Environmental Legislation because we got another loan!

Inter-American Development Bank loans another US$40 Million to our Great-Great Grandchildren

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition champagne, childrens! We fooled them again and they gave us more money for “the environment” without building in requirements to perform or to meet specific project goals and accountability indicators.

Mmmmmmmm… More champagne and pate and we don’t have to do anything for it. I wonder how long we can keep getting away with this?

Fact #1: IDB Loans Barbados US$30 million for Coastal Protection

Fact #2: Barbados has no Environmental Legislation.

Fact #3: Our new Environment Minister says imposing fines for Environmental degradation is not a good idea.

Fact #4: Barbados has a history of receiving international grants and loans for Environmental Projects and then diverting the funds and otherwise failing to accomplish the stated goals.

Fact #5: Barbados government people are experts in hiding the truth.

Fact #6: The Government is uninterested in citizen-led Environmental projects if there are no big international funding possibilities.

Fact #7: Those International bankers and agencies that keep loaning us the money with no results required? They like it so.

Okay, let’s look at each item on the above list because this whole process of government celebrating every new debt and we not getting any worthwhile results for our money while the environment heads for the suck well just sickens me. All we can do is just keep on telling it like it is and laying the facts before the people.

Fact #1:  IDB Loans Barbados US$30 million for Coastal Protection

The majority of the IDB loan – US$30 million – is supposed to be for “Coastal Protection.”

Here’s the BGIS press release where Prime Minister Stuart and everybody put on a happy face (no wonder!) and spoke in great generalities about how that money will be spent. Nobody wants to be too specific because, well, then there could be accountability. You see?

Fact #2: Barbados has no Environmental Legislation.

We’ve been promised an Environmental Protection Act every year since Tom Adams and his Environment Minister Aaron Truss first promised it in 1985. Yup, we’ve been promised Environmental Protection laws every year since then and that includes in 2009 and 2010 too when then Environment Minister Denis Lowe said we’d have that legislation by the end of 2009 and then 2010. Remind me, what year is it now?

Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association President Sue Springer said it all last May when she asked the BLP & DLP “Where is the Environmental Act you’ve both been promising for 20 years?

But Barbados cares about the environment. We really do. We just don’t like them rules and having to really do anything. But we care. Really. Honest. (Oh! Love this smoked salmon with the Cuvée Perle d’Ayala 2000. Only US$150 a bottle, you say? Delightful!)

Fact #3: Our new Environment Minister says imposing fines for Environmental degradation  is not a good idea.

Never mind the fact that we don’t have any Environmental Protection laws and that environmental terrorists can dump chemicals and oil anywhere they like in Barbados without violating the law. Never mind that Barbados has no rules about the use or disposal of deadly asbestos. Never mind that we don’t even have rules requiring fine upstanding pipeline and fuel tank companies like Shell Oil to check for leakage daily and to immediately report to government if leakage is found. Never mind that we’re still pulling buckets of almost pure jet-fuel kerosene from farmers’ water wells.

To top it all off Acting Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman, says that even if we did have Environmental Legislation, he is “not keen on the concept of increasing the imposition of fines for environmental degradation.

Friends, no press release was necessary to tell us that. We know politicians don’t want Environmental Legislation or rules, standards, accountability and fines. Believe it – Bajans already know this.

Fact #4: Barbados has a history of receiving international grants and loans for Environmental Projects and then diverting the funds or otherwise failing to accomplish the stated goals.

We borrowed US$75 million from the IDB for the West Coast Sewage Project. Now we have no money and no sewage project. We took the RAMSAR grant money to preserve the Graeme Hall Wetlands, but we’re still dumping raw sewage into the “protected” RAMSAR wetlands! What a joke.

Yup. We borrowed and took all that money and much more and blew it on something, I guess, because we sure didn’t spend it on what we said we would!

Fact #5: Barbados government people are experts in hiding the truth.

Barbados doesn’t have Freedom of Information laws, transparency or accountability, so we can hide our faults. For instance, we hide all our water quality reports. That’s one of the reasons we lost our chance for European Union Blue Flag funding: Barbados had to be transparent and accountable to receive that funding and the politicians decided they couldn’t have any of that nonsense ’bout hey!

Fact #6: The Government is uninterested in citizen-led Environmental projects if there’s no big international funding possibilities.

Look what happened about the citizen-led No Plastic Bag Day. The Future Centre Trust did something incredibly positive and made a real difference, but without some big international grant money the government couldn’t bother.

Fact #7:  Those International bankers and agencies that keep loaning us the money with no results required? They like it so.

It’s the same old, same old ’bout hey folks. Those big International bankers and agencies keep lending and giving money to Barbados for environmental projects – with no standards, no accountability and no requirement to perform. Those bankers like it so.

Our politicians keep spending the money for other purposes, and keep putting future generations deeper and deeper into the hole while the environment keeps heading for the suck well. Then they retire and move to Canada or the USA with their fat pensions.

And if they really, really fail big time? Like former Environment Minister Liz Thompson, then they get a top job at the United Nations telling all the other countries they must DO SOMETHING about the environment.

Same old, same old ’bout this place.

Photo of chemical dumping courtesy of Shona’s brother. Dumped chemical drums courtesy of the fine folks at… Enhanced Chemicals Corp. P.T. Charles & Co. Ltd. and Fiberpol Manufacturing Inc.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Environment

23 responses to “Barbados don’t need no stinkin’ Environmental Legislation because we got another loan!

  1. Loreto Duffy-Mayers

    “We took the EU’s Blue Flag money”. This is incorrect – the funding was approved but never drawndown.

  2. Loreto Duffy-Mayers

    “That’s one of the reasons we lost our European Union Blue Flag rating and funding.” Again this statement is incorrect – Barbados was accepted into the Blue Flag Pilot Programme but was never Blue Flag certified so we never had a rating to begin with. Howcver it is correct to say that we coud not proceed with the process due to our inability to publish official water quality information.

  3. McGill water studies

    What happened to the water studies completed over the years by McGill students? Someone was paying for their study as I talked to some of them.

    You don’t want to see those!

    If you can’t see it, then maybe it never happened.

  4. Loreto Duffy-Mayers

    Water quality tests are irrelevant unless they are carried out over a period of time. Any beach can have a bad day, so testing done for specific projects should not be used to make judgements. In my experience managing projects with funding from several donors and these funds can not be drawn down until the deliverables specified in the Terms of Reference have been approved – I would like to know what funds specifically were diverted to other uses and what were the other uses???

  5. TOR

    Well then, what about the approved Terms of Reference relating to water quality tests for the Bank financed South Coast Sewerage Treatment Plant? Happened years ago but they didn’t do it according to specifications.

  6. BFP Robert not signed in.

    Thanks Loretto, I’ll remind Marcus to correct the article if he doesn’t see it soon. That’s the good thing about blogging vs newspapers: instant feedback of communal knowledge + responsive media = better accuracy.

    So it would be fair to say that we didn’t take the EU Blue Flag money because we would have to be more transparent and accountable. That makes sense. Bajan politicians would never take money under those circumstances.

  7. BFP

    Thanks to our reader Loretto, I’ve changed the article to remove the incorrect reference that we had the Blue Flag funding.


  8. Loreto Duffy-Mayers

    With reference to the Blue Flag again – it was the BHTA that applied for the European funding not the Government of Barbados…….

  9. Green Monkey

    Fact #7: Those International bankers and agencies that keep loaning us the money with no results required? They like it so.

    And as this Youtube video explains, there is a certain logic behind the seemingly illogical acts of the international banksters:

  10. West Side Davie

    Hi Green Monkey. That was a good little cartoon with truth mainly, but some truth left out because it was inconvenient and countered some “facts” of the cartoon.

    The major truth left out is the religious motivations of Islamic terrorists who give this motivation themselves. The Indonesian muslim murderers of Christians don’t do it for anti-USA reasons. They hate Christians because that is what Islam says.

    You want to talk about Nigerians blowing up Shell Oil trucks and pipelines that is one thing. That fits the cartoon. You want to talk about Muslims chopping the hands off a teacher in India for naming a fisherman “Muhammed” in an exam question, that is another.

    The cartoon conveniently ignores the big truth about Islam to further the film maker’s argument. That is dishonest.

  11. Green Monkey

    @West Side Davie.

    I won’t deny there are fanatical Muslim fundamentalists who hate non-Muslims with a passion and would kill them as soon as look at them if they could. However, that is only one side of the equation. What part have Western governments played in ensuring that Muslims felt that their best option was to join with the jihadists etc. I think it is a mistake just to focus on the jihadists without looking at the bigger picture and seeing what events have encouraged the rise in radical, Islamic fundamentalism over the last 50 years or so.

    One factor for sure is that the USA found it could use radical, Muslim fundamentalists for its own purposes and found it fit to fund, train, arm, and even provide fanatical, jihad preaching schoolbooks (Google: jihad schoolbook scandal) to actively assist in the warping of young Muslim minds with hatred of non-Muslims in the USA’s covert attempts to encourage the growth in Muslim, fundamentalist radicalism for the USA’s own ends (i.e. control of strategic resources, or to provide Russia with “their own Vietnam” in Afganistan – according to Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbignew Brezensky).

    When a relatively secular, democratically elected government lead by Mohamed Mossadegh emerged in Iran which might have lead the country down a path that we are told by our Western leaders they would all like to see in the Middle East. – i.e. a democratic path, Mossadegh was overthrown in a coup organized by the CIA and MI6, because he wanted to take control of the Iranian oil industry away from the hands of the British who controlled that industry through the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, the forerunner of British Petroleum. After the coup, the Shah with his vicious secret police known as the SAVAK (trained in torture techniques by CIA and Israeli specialists) was put on his throne to rule Iran as a US dictator/puppet which in turn directly lead to the growth of the fundamentalist opposition and the eventual usurpation of power by the fundamentalists under Ayatollah Khomeini, the consequences of which we hear bemoaned daily by US politicians and the mainstream media which do little to destroy the illusion held by many Americans that Iran was probably always ruled by crazy, fundamentalist Muslims that hated America’s guts just as a matter of principle. Google the phrase: A ‘great venture’: overthrowing the government of Iran, for more details. It was Winston Churchill, by the way, that referred to that covert overthrow of democracy as “A great venture”.

    For decades beginning during the Cold War, U.S. policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.

    In these dictatorships, often the only places where people had freedom to meet and organize were mosques — and out of these mosques sometimes grew extreme Islamist movements. The Shah’s torture state in Iran was brilliant at cleansing and murdering the left – a process that helped the rise of the Khomeini movement and ultimately Iran’s Islamic Republic.

    Growing out of what M.L. King called Washington’s “irrational, obsessive anti-communism,” U.S. foreign policy also backed extreme Islamists over secular movements or government that were either Soviet-allied or feared to be.

    In Afghanistan, beginning before the Soviet invasion and evolving into the biggest CIA covert operation of the 1980s, the U.S. armed and trained native mujahedeen fighters — some of whom went on to form the Taliban. To aid the mujahedeen, the U.S. recruited and brought to Afghanistan religious fanatics from the Arab world — some of whom went on to form Al Qaeda. (Like these Washington geniuses, Israeli intelligence — in a divide-and-conquer scheme aimed at combating secular leftist Palestinians — covertly funded Islamist militants in the occupied territories who we now know as Hamas.)

    Most of this is not obscure history.

    Except in U.S. mainstream media.

    U.S. Deserves Its Share of Blame for Fate of Arab Christians

    Christmastide is the time of year when the Western media focuses some attention on the dwindling Christian population in the Middle East. There is a special place in the hearts of those of us who share that tradition with these descendents of the first Christians. Ironically, however, the plight of Arab Christians is often used by the right to demonize the Islamic faith and to rationalize the very policies which have led to their oppression and exodus in the first place.

    The U.S.-backed Egyptian dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak has increased its persecution of the country’s Coptic Christian minority, numbering nearly 6 million. Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed Saudi regime denies the right of Christians to worship openly. Palestinian Christians, like their Muslim counterparts, have suffered greatly under a U.S.-backed Israeli occupation, with the majority forced into exile.

    Perhaps the Middle Eastern country where Christians are safest is under the autocratic but secular Assad regime in Syria, where they number close to 2 million, roughly 10 percent of the population. Yet the United States has targeted that regime with punitive sanctions and threats to topple the government. A 2005 bill strengthening U.S. sanctions declared that Syria constitutes a “threat to the national security of the United States,” language identical to resolutions that targeted Iraq prior to the invasion of that country. Human rights activists fear a U.S.-backed overthrow of the Syria’s secular government could result in sectarian strife and a rise of extremism comparable to what took place in Iraq.

    Prior to 20th-century Western intervention, Christian and Jewish minorities in the Islamic world — considered “people of the Book” due to their worship of the same God as Muslims — fared relatively well, certainly better than Muslim and Jewish minorities in Europe. “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God, spoken both in mosques and in Arabic-speaking Christian churches. More than a century of Western colonialism, however, followed by more recent U.S. interventions, has severely weakened this traditional tolerance.

    So whenever you read the sanctimonious articles regarding the plight of Arab Christians, rather than simply bemoan the intolerance of Islamic extremists, let’s remember the role of Washington in supporting repressive regimes and creating the backlash that threatens them.

  12. Green Monkey

    Hello BFP, could you release my comment on this thread made earlier today (Sat 20th) from moderation please.

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  20. Penny L

    I’m sorry, but I’m doing a specific study of coral in Barbados and I know for a fact that CZMU has legislation for the coasts and that there are laws regarding fishing and diving. It just so happens that a lot of bajans are too blind or thick-headed to actually understand that the environment is being attacked by your laziness of spilling all your god damn polluted water into the ocean. If you so desire to drink more champagne, clean up after yourself first and stop wasting your money on that, and try to care for one of the most diverse and beautiful things in the world; corals.

    Just in case you were misinformed here (:

  21. BFP

    Hi Penny,

    Yes we have some environmental legislation for OFFSHORE, but nothing for on land.

    Not to forget that no charges have ever been laid, no matter how bad the pollution.

    I hope that clears up the situation just in case you were misinformed here.

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