Environmental Protection Department’s 40th Anniversary Sham

Environmental Tour to avoid Graeme Hall sluice gate (above photo), West Coast beach disaster, Mount Stinkeroo

Don’t ask why Barbados lacks environmental protection legislation or off the bus you go!

Barbados is celebrating 40 years of no environmental protection legislation with a carefully staged bus tour this Saturday. A press release from the BGIS says,

EPD rides to visit wetlands, mangroves

A glimpse into the wetlands and mangroves of Barbados will be given when the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) hosts a bus tour as part of its 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

The free tour, which also falls during Environment Month, will be held on Saturday, June 18.  It will offer the public the opportunity to see some of the island’s greener locales and ecosystems first hand, while learning more about what and where they are and how they develop.

It all sounds so environmentally positive, doesn’t it? Just the use of the words “mangroves”, “wetlands” and “ecosystems” has me seeing green and feeling good about our island home. That is, if I ignore the abandoned refrigerators just west of Grape Hall, forget about the Shell jet fuel in the south coast water wells and don’t look at the the green/brown effluent at Bathsheba that flows into the sea.

In one sense, we can’t blame the Environmental Protection Department workers for wanting to celebrate the very existence and survival of their abused and underfunded department. It’s not their fault that for over 40 years successive governments deliberately failed to pass Environmental Protection Legislation or give the EDP proper tools to do the job.

Both the DLP and the BLP preferred to take cash political donations from the corporate polluters instead of putting Barbados first.

Polluters don’t like environmental laws, so our politicians took their money and delivered what they were supposed to: no environmental legislation, protection of corporate polluters, and profits to the auto dealers and road construction companies.

So now we have a legacy of 40 years of no environmental laws, wholesale rape and development of the last remaining wetlands, and a transportation policy that involves ever more roads and ever more vehicles. The construction, auto industries and politicians make the money, while our island is paved over bit by bit. Sounds about right if you have an offshore account in Switzerland or Miami.

“We” borrowed tens of millions for a West Coast sewer project – then spent the money on something else (probably more roads for more cars) and left the sewerage flowing into the water table, the RAMSAR wetlands and the sea.

The politicians and their developer friends are deliberately killing the last remaining mangrove forest at Graeme Hall – and God forbid that Barbados should ever have modern garbage disposal / power creation facilities as do some modern small island nations. Oh no! We’d rather just pile the stuff higher and higher and let the poisons leach into the water and sea – that is when it doesn’t touch off itself and burn for a few months or a year. It’s not called Mount Stinkeroo for nothing, ya know!

So enjoy the bus trip folks, but when you get to the wetlands, ask the tour guide why successive governments have refused to repair the RAMSAR Wetlands sluice gate for 15 years. When you drive by the West Coast, ask why the government approved the groynes that destroyed the beaches. Ask how much money the DLP and BLP received from Shell Oil and the Simpsons of auto-dealer fame. Ask why Barbados has no Environmental Protection Act.

Don’t let the “celebration” go to waste. Demand answers and make some noise.

13 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

13 responses to “Environmental Protection Department’s 40th Anniversary Sham

  1. Pingback: Barbados: Environmental Sham · Global Voices

  2. BGI

    Wow, you don’t go gently into that good night, do you? 🙂

  3. Colin L Beadon

    Long time I decided there was no hope for the Barbados Environment. So many of us wrote letter after letter about the sluice gates at the Graeme Hall, and why a swamp need to be able to breath with the sea, which helps the reefs and stocking of reef creatures and fish. The swamp detritus being an important fish food, the swamps itself being a highly important spawning and nursery ground for sea life.
    But nobody listens, just like nobody listens and gets down and takes action, good stiff fines would do wonders. Everybody these days, has digital cameras to entrap litterers. I myself have given such photos of illegal dumping to environment inspectors, I drove two of them in my car to show them one site, and pointed out certain details to point them at those responsible. It is very simple, quite often, if you will get down and poke through the trash; You will find what you are looking for, a name, an address, a phone number.
    But I wasted my time again, nothing was done, the dump remained and got overgrown with grass. And so it goes. Nobody in responsibility, has the guts to get tough. And DAT IS DAT !!!

  4. RLL

    I don’t understand why the government is bent on destroying on of the few wetland areas we have left to spite the Canadian investor/owner. They are destroying our children’s heritage for a political fight. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong the swamp is dying. Does nt anyone get that?

  5. rasta man

    I get it.MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.!!!

  6. Pingback: Barbados: Environmental Sham | Sao-Paulo news

  7. ???

    I can’t believe that Barbados does not have environmental laws. THIS ARTICLE CANNOT BE TRUE. Can someone find out?

  8. Colin L Beadon

    Reply to ???
    Barbados must have environmental laws. But having laws is one thing. You know as well as I know, what is the other thing. It starts with a big E and ends with a T !

  9. Laws? What laws?

    Laws are a collection of ink words -printed on paper.
    They are entirely toothless, until enforced.

    Who’s going to enforce them? Which Govern-mental Agency?
    Don’t make us laugh –you know how it go / don’t-go.

  10. NNV

    Many celebrations on this rock. we do parties very well. we don’t do action very well. parties are easier! bloody incredible that we don’t have environmental legislation but we’re celebrating how good we are.

  11. Father Cries

    Did the environmental tour go to the Graeme Hall swamp? I never saw it mentioned in the papers. Does anyone know?

  12. Terry Sye

    Every year, we Canadian visitors in Sunsrt Crest, are bombarded with black soot from the burning of surar cane,

    This is harmeful to our lungs, and windows and filthy floors.

    Is this not illegal ??? What can be done ???

  13. BFP

    Welcome to Bim, Terry Sye!

    Some things can’t be helped, and some can. For me, some smoke in the air ’bout the cane fields is part of our heritage and our home. It’s only for a short time. Enjoy the real Barbados, my friend.