“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
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.”
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…
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. Continue reading