Tag Archives: Graeme Hall National Park

New IADB coastal environment loan: Will Barbados now repair the Graeme Hall sluice gate?

Graeme Hall wetlands being destroyed for want of a sluice gate

Congratulations, folks… we got another loan! I’ve lost track of how many hundreds of millions of dollars our grandchildren owe to the IADB and other global bodies. Does anybody know?

According to Prime Minister Stuart, this new loan makes Barbados “a champion of coastal best practices”. Wow! All you have to do is borrow the money for a study (yes, a study), make an announcement and you’re a “champion”. Once again in Barbados it is words that matter, not achieved results. (See Caribbean 360 Prime Minister touts coastal management project)

The amazing thing about these loans is that without many exceptions the money is always for “studies” and “initiatives” that never seem to have a tangible result or quantifiable success. Smart guys, these politicians (for they are 99% men) – they never set themselves up for failure by announcing projects where the results can be measured and compared against pre-established benchmarks for success.

Even when they are supposed to establish a hard infrastructure component, the record is terrible. One example: We borrowed the money for a waste treatment plant then spent the money on something else. We now have no money and no waste treatment plant. Gotta love those politicians!

Also missing from the Prime Minister’s analysis that Barbados is an environmental “champion” is his government’s abysmal record on the environment. We don’t even have an Environmental Protection Act. That’s right folks… Barbados has no environmental laws pertaining to the land, air or inland water. We have no environmental regulations about the storage, use or disposal of deadly chemicals. No environmental regulations requiring pipeline operators to monitor and report leakage. We’re still pulling up jetfuel from coastal wells around the Shell airport pipeline and there’s nothing the government will do about it because there is no law against it and zero enforcement. Not to forget the government itself dumping raw sewerage into the RAMSAR protected Graeme Hall wetlands! Unbelievable.

And, one of the first acts of the new DLP Government when elected four years ago was to remove the environmental protections to allow development on the coastal watershed surrounding the last remaining mangrove swamp. Freundel Stuart and his DLP kissed goodbye to the Graeme Hall National Park so they and their developer friends could make money. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Nature

Barbados continues blocking off the coast

New Marina progresses. High Rise flats coming. That’s progress, right?

The construction of the new marina continues (above) and by the looks of things you’ll soon have to have a boat to see any of the coast at all. Meanwhile, Minister of Housing Michael Lashley yesterday announced our first high rise housing development.

I don’t view the high rise mansion blocks as a bad thing – depending upon how it is done and where. That has to happen because Barbados has about the 15th highest population density in the world – although compared to places like Monaco, Singapore and Hong Kong, we’re almost uninhabited. If done properly, high rise housing could reduce the pressure on our agricultural and natural areas and reduce the price of housing. If done properly that is. Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment, Wildlife

Potential flooding forces Barbados Government to unblock Graeme Hall Wetlands sluice gate

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 (Graeme Hall RAMSAR wetlands) 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.

… posted as a comment by BFP regular reader Nostradamus

For background on how and why the Barbados Government has deliberately allowed the vital Graeme Hall RAMSAR Wetlands sluice gate fall to pieces and the channel be blocked with sand and garbage, read BFP’s article Major Environmental Engineering study slams Barbados Government over imminent death of last Mangrove wetland. Government destroying RAMSAR natural heritage site.

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

Dozens of contractors hired in Barbados Flood Prevention & Drainage plan – but the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate is still broken!

Sluice gate has been broken for years at Graeme Hall wetlands Barbados

Has a political decision been made to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?

A reader sends us this quote from a government press conference carried by The Barbados Advocate and some commentary and a question: Has a political decision been made to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?

“Thirty-six contractors will be awarded contracts before the end of this month for well digging and cleaning throughout the island in an effort to minimise the incidence of flooding.

Speaking to the media yesterday at a review of the wells in the St. Michael West Central area at Belfield, Black Rock, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Lionel Weekes, said that the island-wide review, which takes place during the dry season, is done at this time to also ensure that drainage systems are working…”

… from the Barbados Advocate article Flood Prevention Plan

The recently announced government programme to hire contractors to clean grates, wells and generally maintain the drainage systems is admirable and long overdue. The Thompson government should be congratulated for “pre-emptive” action rather than waiting for the crisis as was the effective policy under the Owen Arthur government.

Sometime ago the Thompson government changed the name of the Ministry to “Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage” and this indicates the DLP government recognizes how critical the drainage systems are to the overall health and economy of Barbados.

Nonetheless, one vital repair to the drainage infrastructure is missing: the government sluice gate controlling waterflow in and out of the Graeme Hall wetlands has been broken, rusted and blocked by silt for many years. This integral and important part of drainage management on the South Coast has been inoperative for years, apparently because the government is seeking revenge against the owner of a facility within the Graeme Hall watershed. Thus the environmental health of a large area of the South Coast has been put at risk against the public interest.

Will the sluice gate be repaired under the current operation as seems advisable… or, has a political decision been made to continue to not repair the Graeme Hall wetlands sluice gate?

Over to you Denis Lowe, Minster of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage…

Further Reading at BFP

February 16, 2010 Barbados Advocate accurately reports Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary press release!

February 11, 2010 Barbados Environment Minister caught lying again about Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Dispute

January 14, 2010 Barbados Government takes new steps to destroy foreigner’s US$35 million eco-tourism investment on South Coast – Part 1 in a series

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

Environment Minister Lowe’s speech a farce as he deliberately ignores the largest and best green space near Bridgetown

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson Promising "whatever it takes to get elected, not that you can believe a word we say"

Lies Before The Election: Denis Lowe & David Thompson promising "whatever it takes to get elected, not that you can believe a word we say"

Hey friends, just found a short little reminder to myself about something I read in the Nation a few days ago so I’ll write a few lines before it slips away and I forget again…

Environment Minister Denis Lowe was recently rambling on and on about the importance of open spaces for people. Lowe said recreational spaces were important to all Barbadians, “particularly since we are becoming a fast-paced society and we need to find places where we can cool down, so to speak, and recreate”.

Right.

That man has been making the same speech for seven or eight years and I mean the SAME SPEECH. Same words, same hand gestures, same earnest “I care” expression like a preacher man on fire to save your soul. Lowe could have been successful anywhere in the deep Southern USA pitching a tent in the middle of a farmer’s field.

Yup, Dr. Lowe is pretty damn good talking about open spaces, families and green space.

Except… when it came down to it, he voted with the rest of the DLP to change the law protecting 265 acres of parkland at Graeme Hall to allow developer friends to profit from these public lands. To make this happen, David Thompson and the DLP Members of Parliament had to set aside laws that had protected the land from development since 1988. When the government was finished, 2/3 of the parkland (175 acres) was gone.

If you can stand the smell of cow manure, you might read Dr. Lowe’s comments in The Nation News article The worst of green

If you want the truth about what Dr. Lowe, David Thompson and the rest of the DLP piggies did with your irreplaceable national treasure, read Barbados Government Steals 2/3 Of Parkland For Developer Friends – Graeme Hall Environmental Disaster Continues

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Barbados Police Allow Thieves To Take Home Stolen Fish – No Charges

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

Graeme Hall Mangrove Wetland & Watershed

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
MONDAY, August 24, 2009
Email Contact:               news@graemehall.com
Archives and Art:          www.graemehall.com/reference.htm

Poachers Caught and Released by Police

On Saturday, August 15, 2009, a group of about 15 fisherman were found in the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fishing illegally for its rare tarpon, the largest and most popular exhibit fish in the Graeme Hall wetland.  Five of the “ringleader” fishermen were caught and questioned by police and Sanctuary security personnel as the other ten fled.

Another incident like this happened in late March of this year.  In both instances police were called, but there was no immediate response, and insistent follow up requests by Sanctuary staff had to be made before they came.

As of Friday, August 21, police had not made any arrests or brought charges in either case, and in fact had allowed the fishermen to leave the Sanctuary with all of the dead tarpon.

According to Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary, the value and integrity of the Sanctuary investment depend on enforced protections of wildlife inventory.   The long term health of the Sanctuary also depends on the enforcement of Barbados’ pollution and other environmental laws within the Graeme Hall wetland and contiguous lands.

To protect his investment, Mr. Allard is making a formal request to the Government of Barbados that immediate criminal trespass, theft, and related environmental poaching charges be brought against all future violators and the ringleaders of the last trespass be immediately notified of this proposed action.

Allard noted that it is also an issue of protecting the last remaining biological reserves of Barbados.  This wildlife is part of Barbados’ natural heritage within the OS2 Natural Heritage Conservation Area, and is part of the international Convention on Wetlands Multilateral Environmental Agreement (RAMSAR) to which Barbados is a party.

The Sanctuary is also calling upon the Ministry of Environment and all conservation groups to increase their efforts to educate the mainstream public about the seriousness of wildlife and habitat protection in Barbados.

The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary occupies 35 acres of the 81 acre RAMSAR wetland at Graeme Hall.  The RAMSAR designation is associated with the 1971 RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands Treaty for internationally significant areas of biodiversity.

More information about the Sanctuary can be found at www.graemehall.com.

BFP Editor’s Note: The above media release was printed exactly as received via email from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. Our previous articles about the lack of police response to crimes committed against the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary can be found at…

August 19, 2009: Barbados Police Again Fail To Uphold Law At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary & RAMSAR Protected Wetlands

April 1, 2009: Barbados Advocate Covers Up Police Failure To Respond To Theft, Gunshots At Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

March 30, 2009: Another Reason Why Barbados Police Commissioner Dottin Should Be Fired – Police Again Fail To Answer Call For Help

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Disaster, Environment, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Tourism, Wildlife

Is Rihanna About To Do Something Stupid? Rihanna & Chris Brown Attend Orlando NBA Game – Separately

At the MTV Awards The Night Of The Assault

At the MTV Awards The Night Of The Assault

We Hope Rihanna Isn’t Getting Stupes Again!

People Magazine reported yesterday (Thursday) morning that Rihanna and Chris Brown would be sitting together last night at Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Orlando. When game time arrived sure enough they were both there – but sitting far apart.

How unusual that both should end up at the same game, and that it should be reported in the press beforehand. Then again, Tiger Woods, Chris Tucker and Hulk Hogan also attended the game so its not as if its unknown to have multiple celebrities at an NBA Final.

But still…

What happened? Did Rihanna and Chris Brown initially intend to sit together and then change their minds after the publicity?

I hope that Rihanna hasn’t decided to “forgive and forget” after the famous incident last February when it is alleged that Brown beat her and left her by the side of the road. Rihanna has been subpoenaed to testify against Chris Brown at his June 22, 2009 preliminary hearing on assault charges.

Rihanna Fans: Before you leave Barbados Free Press, please take the time to read the following…

Save Graeme Hall

Help Rihanna’s Home Island Save The Last Mangrove Forest…

For any of Rihanna’s fans who are interested in knowing about her home island of Barbados and the kind of natural, quiet and peaceful place that Bajans need once in a while, please visit the website of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and also the Graeme Hall National Park.

We’re in a battle here to save the last natural area on the south of our island. The Government and their land developer friends want to turn the Graeme Hall wetlands into a row of highrise condos, golf course and water park. This is the last Mangrove Forest on the island!

Please help raise awareness around the world.

You can also help by joining the Facebook Group: Save The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

Thank you from the ordinary people of Barbados!

Here are a few background stories…

How The Barbados Government Is Stealing Graeme Hall National Park From Our Children – With The Help Of The News Media

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Closing – Canadian Philanthropist Gives Up On Barbados – World-Class Eco-Tourism Attraction, 85+ Jobs Gone

Barbados Government Confirms Plans To Develop Graeme Hall Wetlands. Thompson’s Million-Dollar Lie

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Government, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Environment, Human Rights, Nature, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Rihanna, Wildlife