Premier and minister blank Conservation Council

| 20/10/2017 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin (left) and Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour

(CNS): The chair of the National Conservation Council has revealed that both Premier Alden McLaughlin and the minister with responsibility for the environment have ignored invitations from the NCC to meet with them. Christine Rose-Smyth said that despite extending invitations to McLaughlin and Dwayne Seymour to discuss a range of matters, in particular the public revelations that government wants to overhaul the conservation law, she has had no response.

In the immediate aftermath of the elections after forming the coalition government, McLaughlin stressed his intention to revisit the law and this summer in parliament described it as “ridiculous”.

Speaking at Tuesday’s NCC meeting, Rose-Smyth said that she has made efforts to reach out to the premier and the minister to establish what their concerns are and about plans for the legislation but five months later she has received no response from the government leaders. She pointed out that until the NCC has some understanding of what the concerns are, she could not respond to the comments that have been made.

Gina Ebanks-Petrie, the director of the Department of Environment, confirmed that since his appointment to office when he was given the environment remit, Seymour has met with the DoE management team once at the government headquarters but has not yet visited their offices on North Sound, leaving Wayne Panton the only minister to hold the portfolio to ever go the DoE headquarters.

The government’s attack on the legislation is likely to be further highlighted when the budget is delivered next week, as the DoE fears that the requests it has made for money from the Environmental Protection Fund to buy land for conservation and other important projects, such as a comprehensive project to address the invasive green iguana, will not be forthcoming.

The most pressing issue for the DoE and NCC remains the need to steer through the necessary legislation to enhance marine protections. The DoE began the research work on extending the marine parks in 2010 and came up with the first proposals, based on scientific evidence, for enhanced protection in 2012.

Since then, in an effort to gain consensus and the necessary Cabinet support, the proposals have been through numerous periods of consultation and have been reviewed and amended to accommodate objections from the fishing community.

But with the departure of the former minister, who was the only politician to provide genuine support for true conservation, government appears to have far less of an appetite for steering through the protections that are needed to safeguard the islands’ marine resources.

Since the elections CNS has made requests to the ministry for comment about the minister’s position on conservation issues, as well as his interest in and plans for the environment, but we have had no response.

The current government’s policy towards the environment is being articulated mostly by the premier, who was once an advocate for the environment and even ensured that its protection was mentioned in the constitution, albeit without any specific directives. But his recent comments about the law and the indications that the DoE will not be given access to the EPF over the next two years are clear indications of the premier’s shift in policy.

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Category: Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Third world loves third world. And nothing else.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    The DOE and the NCC is having their wings clipped because of their aggressive attitude against the native caymanian while turning a blind eye to the harm caused to the environment by divers who feed themselves and friends illegally from our waters while claiming to be environmentalists.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Aggressive? You ignorant ass! lets hope you don’t have to explain to your children or grandchildren why you consumed the resources of the country in your generation and left nothing for them!




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    • Anonymous says:

      I think you better go and look at the DOE and the NCC and you will see that they are native Caymanians and they care much more about their fellow native Caymanians than your greedy backside does.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Just when you think they could be not be more backwards and avaricious….




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  4. Unison says:

    If you rush the project and processes, you may hurt the wildlife and ecosystem. When we unnecessarily destroy nature, we make the place hotter and ruin the beauty of these islands as well 😑




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  5. Anonymous says:

    It amazes me of the hypocrisy of those of you on this site; especially that have only recently joined the rest of us. It was DEVELOPMENT that made Cayman attractive to you, wasn’t it??!!! Would you have come if we were still just swamp and mosquitoes???

    Development, sensible development, is needed. And the same goes for conservation. The NCL is too bold, in that even sensible development is having a hard time getting through. What will all you people do when development stops and the economy starts to nosedive??? I know what….run!!! Don’t deny it.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 11:17 am , It was DEVELOPMENT that made Cayman attractive to you , who ? Ask yourself , have Cayman been developed smart and intelligently ? Where are the CONSERVATION and Planning in the development in Cayman Islands today ? All natural habitat being replaced with water and concrete, is that conservative and smart ? I think that there’s a real big need/purpose for the NCC and DOE to be involved in the development of the Islands, just like in the LA . If there were no opposition in the House can you imagine what kind of Laws would come out of there . Same goes when if one makes all the decisions in development. .




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      • a skilpot says:

        Good for you 7:03! There’s development and there’s DEVELOPMENT. Cayman has long ceased to be developed for Caymanians. Now we are being developed for everyone else and for the almighty dollar.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Too bold? what are you examples of “sensible development” that are having a hard time getting through? All the new condo projects that have been approved? The several hotel projects that have been approved? The more than 98% of projects that are considered and approved by the NCC and the CPA? Please don’t keep us in suspense, lets hear what development is being halted by the NCL or the NCC to precipitate a nose dive in the economy!




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      • West bay Premier says:

        Anonymous 10:24 am , do you think that digging and making cannals ever where in the Island, is responsible Development? Removing protective borders from shoreline are responsible Development . No they are all just GREED .
        I am very sad to say that the next hurricane you will see what I am talking about smart and intelligently Development of the Islands . What you and developers are looking at is the big money , not the future .

        I am not saying that we shouldn’t have development of the Islands. What I am saying that it should have been done responsibly.




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        • Anonymous says:

          10:50am just like the removal of the natural iroshore on 7-mile beach and in the Rum Point area in North Side. Only those folks would be allowed to destroy the natural terrain.




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      • West bay Premier says:

        Anonymous 10:42pm , I think that it’s not CPA , NCC , who are approving it’s the $$$$$$ today and top men .




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    • Anonymous says:

      So I suppose the tourists come here these days to tour our beautiful concrete structures and swim in our wonderful roadways




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      • West bay Premier says:

        8:13am , do you know that Tourist came and enjoyed the Cayman Islands long before we had these beautiful hotels and roads . Beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    A leopard always shows their spots! When you have a government whose primary focus is economic development no matter the cost… then not engaging in any discussions with the NCC makes everyone realize that the environment is not priority. Its all about the money… and pleasing the big developers. This will be rough 3.5 years ahead….. no leadership, no accountability, and messed up priorities. But I hope all politicians remember they have children and they have to think about the future and what decisions they are choosing make today.




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    • Marathon. says:

      It’s “a leopard never changes its spots”. Otherwise I tend to agree.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Just to clarify what I said about the Premier and Boards . Ms Rose-Smith said that there were efforts made to reach out to the Premier and Minister, 5 months later NO RESPONSE from him or Government . So what is the use of having the Board if you are going to act and treat them like they doesn’t exist ? That’s the man that I said that just have these Boards for only extended employment and only thinks that the more People he can have in his fold the better chances he will have at the next Election . An to hell with you you $25 voters you will get your $25 come Election time .




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 8:11pm , I agree that these politicians don’t care about the future, they know that them and their children would have so much money that they can just go somewhere else.




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  7. Anonymous says:

    One meeting with senior management in how many months as minister? Is that a typo or is the minister to busy on other things?




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    • Spencer Monson says:

      Busy? Sure….. but busy doing what? Our Premier doesn’t seem to have much interest in protecting the environment. It seems he’s more interested in his own personal environment.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Good Job Mr. Premier and Minister Seymour, about time they knew what the real feelings of the people were. Wish both of u were in my district, love people with BALLS.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Caymanians , I think that the time has come that the swamp must be completely drained , if you don’t that’s where you would have to literally have go and live .




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    • Anonymous says:

      Busy with his personal stuff. Ha ha ha, that’s what you got.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Turncoats, the lot of em. This is another wholesale sellout to big developers who just see economic opportunity and will grease all the palms necessary to have their way. Absolutely disgusted by this blatant regression into the realms of environmental anarchy. You will reap what you sow. We had Big Mac at the helm and now we have AllDone. They’re all from the same barrel and it’s rotten to the core.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    It boggles the mind why they would pass a law to prevent orchid lovers, who spend thousands of dollars on collections of orchids, from owning a piece of Cayman wild orchid but they will give permission for certain parcels of land with hundreds of orchids to be bulldozed and burnt.




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  10. Diogenes says:

    Makes you wonder if the PPM really cares about the environment or if that is something they say to get the vote of the conservative Caymanian who wants to preserve areas of the islands for future generations. Everyone talks about how the biggest loss of the election was Mr Archer, I personally think it was Mr Panton




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    • Anonymous says:

      There’s only one thing that any of them care about and that’s themselves.




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      • Anonymous says:

        4:51 pm, You are, they only care about themselves, thats why they are making bib, big money and adding on other titles so they can make even more money.




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  11. Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful legacy our premier will leave – among other things, a cocked-up High School development, and ruined environment. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Cayman never had a “jungle” – but it has now – made out of concrete.




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    • annonymous says:

      this comment is so true, what a bunch of novices we have running our country. they can’t see pass the end of their nose. No vision whatsoever. the good book says “for lack of wisdom my people perish”. Cayman is perishing fast.




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      • Rick says:

        They are not novices. They know exactly what they are doing, and that is to feed the Club. You know – the Club?!?




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  12. Anonymous says:

    dwayne is a joke… just another in a long list of clowns elected to cig…




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  13. Anonymous says:

    caymankind….




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  14. Anonymous says:

    While I believe that Christine rose Smyth was dictating her ideas and not necessarily what was always in the best interest of the country and its people to Wayne Panton why does anyone think that the country will get any benefit from the Premier over the next three and a half years. Also why would anyone think that john john would have anything to add to the conversation. Everything just goes over his head into outer space.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    How does the saying go: “It’s better to be thought of as a fool, than to….”




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Just more proof the fools running this place don’t give a rass about the environment.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Conserwation? What dat is??




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  18. Robert says:

    “The government’s attack on the legislation” – is this what we’re calling reviews now? Come on guys. Lighten up.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Over 10 year of review, huge concessions made to pander to the opposition, and still our Premier has the audacity to call parts of the law, that he and all the legislators passed unanimously as “ridiculous” says more about them than the law itself.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    Joke joke playing follow the leader




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  20. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Alden has now thrown Wayne, Marco and al they stood for under the bus to maintain his ultimate power. If that doesn’t make you wonder about his motives nothing will. I wonder if Marco and Wayne will ever speak up about any of this or are they blind loyalists to their party. Everyone knows Mackeeva doesn’t want the Conservation Law in place and now he has convinced Alden to drop it, wow what a difference an election can make. Can we impeach a Premier ?




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    • Diogenes says:

      Vote of no confidence, but good luck with that unless he commits a crime (gets accused of committing a crime in Mac’s case) or gets into a huge political scandal very unlikely

      Diogenes




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know about Wayne’s and the premier’s relationship but Marco and the Premier never really saw eye to eye. Instead they sat there and pretended they were ” together” for four years. What a tangle web.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Soon or later the government is going to sell out what little assests that the Cayman islands have. This why they don’t want to have any discussion of these matters.

    I’m sure if they were able to sell, where our birth place of decomarcy, they would have given that to dart a long time, only for Dart” to place a plaque to this is where decomcary started.. but 5 star hotel on the property..

    Leave this government in and we won’t have any leave to identify us as caymanians.

    Regards




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Why go to the NCC when you can pay a consultant millions to tell you the same thing…




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    • West bay Premier says:

      I think that Mr McLaughlin just have the NCC for to give those employment . I believe that he is hearing the public outcry on his decisions now .




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      • Anonymous says:

        Except that they are unpaid volunteers, except for the members of the council that have govt and statutory jobs already.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Who would then scrutinise the consulting reports if NCC did not exist? Without a regulatory board consisting of representatives from various regulatory entities the permitting process may be become more lengthy. Perhaps if the approval is down the decision of an individual it is easier to sway by political pressure. Seems to me that both the Premier and minister for environment either have fallen out of favour with a few NCC board members XXXXX.
      This sounds like the beginnings of a coup and after the dust settles a developers’ puppet wil be appointed as environmental Czar. Nice step back into the good ole times of environmental anarchy by the looks of it. Just when we’re starting to tackle corruption this happens, well it’s no surprise.




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      • West bay Premier says:

        1:01pm , “SCRUTINIZING ” the man don’t allow any board or anyone to scrutinize any report that he has done . Look at the Ritch Report .

        I am sorry to say that I think this man is going to be the ruination of the Cayman Islands because he only see $$$$ not people who cares about the Islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Probably because the premier realizes that having to go to a committee dominated by radical ego cultists that requires to pander to world Global Warming carbon emission tax defrauders, followed by millions in Environment impact studies before moving a bunch of beach rocks, perhaps it’s not in the best interest of economic development and keeping jobs in the local market. And that such correctly labeled “Ridiculous” policies would come at the certain demise of the Cayman Islands economy.

      And who is *always* the first to suffer by idiotic anti-growth policies? The person that needs his job the most and is generally not wealthy.

      We are continually being pumped by this anti-development bile that somehow human development is counter nature which is absolute rubbish. What trashes the environment is trashy people, not development. Parks are good, dredging is good (Ask the lobsters and fishes), bridges are good, piers are good. Anyone that has a clue about marine life and fishing will know this.

      Please stop buying this liberal pseudo information and pseudo science and live a much happier life today.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Having a bad hair day 1.03? Somebody disagree with your Trump view? Like most of the intelligent world?




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      • Diogenes says:

        I’m sorry I could be mistaken but are you saying that we should pretend climate change and global warming aren’t a thing. Honestly you’d think people on an island at sea level at risk for hurricanes for half of the year would get how important avoiding climate change and global warming is. Talk about the Caymanian economy suffering because we care about the environment if the oceans rise and the hurricanes get more intense and more numerous these islands will basically be uninhabitable, the economy isn’t going to do us much good in that scenario.

        Feel free to not believe “Liberal psuedo information and psuedo science” but where is your alternative, where is the evidence that shows that scientists are lying in a conspiracy to make us conserve things

        Diogenes




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      • Anonymous says:

        So in your view, short term economic gain from haphazard new developments trumps the preservation of natural environment? Well should we start slashing and burning the central mangrove and all other substantial green areas in Cayman preparation for more roads & concrete brutalist town centres with architecture borrowed from the Jetsons?

        What do you really think most tourists come to Cayman for to see a Las Vegas style wonderland or natural vistas that once existed all over Cayman?

        Whilst I don’t agree with all the rulings that have come out of the NCC do you really believe that large developers won’t take their liberties with the environment if left to their own devices?
        Maybe you choose to ignore the past and present environmental mistakes that have lead to our woodlands being cleared for shipbuilding lumber, strip mining for phosphate rock and now for construction aggregates, pollution of our coastal waters from poorly treated septic waste, contaminated freshwater lenses from septic runoff and hydrocarbon spills. These are just the obvious impacts of development left unchecked. So, if you have children what will they inherit, a concrete facsimile over a polluted hole of what used to be Cayman?




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        • Spencer Monson says:

          Well thought out and well put, 2:37. Cayman needs more people like you!




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          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks, and I’m foreigner but I have many years here and do care enough to know what is going on now is not sustainable. The development of Cayman is a double edged sword but at the very least the projected economic gain from recent new commercial developments should be tracked, quantified, validated and compared to actual $ impact on infrastructure wether it be negative or positive. All talk on both sides seems like just lobbying for personal or small group agendas. Why do we never see hard figures on this?

            Are those holding the reins are too blind, ignorant or jaded by the short term $ gain to see what has happened to other island states where developers have run a muck? West Bay is beyond saving but other precious habitats around the islands may well be gone in the next 5 years if our Premier and Minister responsible have their way.




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      • Michel says:

        Lol. Really ?? What a silly comment.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Idiot.




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