NCC chair silent over departure

| 11/12/2017 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Christine Rose-Smyth

(CNS): Cayman’s environment is facing yet another blow with confirmation from Christine Rose-Smyth that she has resigned from chair of the National Conservation Council. She told CNS that she did not want to comment on her reasons for stepping down but her departure comes at a time when government has made it clear that it will be watering down the National Conservation Law as the environment becomes the main casualty of the new administration. Rose-Smyth recently revealed that, despite several requests, she had struggled to get a meeting with either Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour or the premier following announcements that the law was going to be redrafted.

CNS contacted the ministry about the departure of Rose-Smyth, but there has been no response from Seymour or his ministry councillor, Capt Eugene Ebanks, whom he designated to oversee environmental issues.

Jennifer Ahearn, the chief officer in the ministry with responsibility for the environment, said Cabinet was in the process of finding a replacement.

“We can confirm that we have received a letter from Christine Rose-Smyth tendering her resignation as chair of the National Conservation Council (NCC). She has not given any reason for her resignation and we cannot speculate on why she has resigned,” Ahearn said. She also confirmed that “a multi-stakeholder committee to review the National Conservation Law is expected to convene in the New Year”.

During the last Legislative Assembly meeting, Seymour, who made it clear that he knows very little about, and has little interest in, environmental issues but was nevertheless quick to criticise the legislation, stated that the chair of the NCC would be invited to be part of the review but it is now not clear if that would include Rose-Smyth.

A former lawyer who has been a long-time advocate for the environment, Rose-Smyth is an orchid expert who has often stated that the main threat to biodiversity in the Cayman Islands, both long-term and immediate, is the human impact on primary habitat, as land conservation had lagged behind marine conservation until the passage of the conservation law.

However, Premier Alden McLaughlin’s recent comments about the legislation, describing it as “ridiculous”, and Seymour’s lack of enthusiasm for the law have signalled that, despite the advances made under the previous minister, Wayne Panton, who was a genuine champion for conservation, the government is likely to be taking retrograde steps.

Panton recently told CNS of his bitter disappointment over the current administration’s misleading comments about the legislation and that the new minister appeared to be “against the environment rather than for it”. Describing the attitudes in parliament now as an “about-face”, he noted just a few years ago the historic law had the unanimous backing of politicians, but that a truly “pro-Caymanian” piece of legislation was facing an unwarranted backlash based on “fake facts”.

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Category: Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne and Alden, stay on this distructive path caring only about sports and finance. The environment should not be ignored and I have said many times on this Forum. 2021 will def drain this swamp!

    You guys will leave nothing for our kids. All the wise talent and technocrats will not have the patience to deal with you and your ministries. Don’t say you weren’t warned for 2021 when election comes around. You cannot continue to turn your back on environmental issues year after year and term after term.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Before well intentioned expats came to the Island, there was no invironment , just bush swamp and sea.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      CNS can you please keep this article relevant “NCC chair silent over departure ” I think it’s a good subject to keep alive before the Islands die .




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  2. Anonymous says:

    All we know is she has simply resigned. She refused to make her resignation a matter of politics. She gave us no verbal or written reason for her resignation. Yet everyone here (reading the comments) is tying her resignation to the actions of Minister McLaughlin and Minister Seymour.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 5:43pm , what and who else would have caused her to resigned but are still willing to give her help . But everyone on here has hit the on head when they think that Mr McLaughlin and Mr Seymour is reasons .




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  3. Anonymous says:

    The Conservation Law was passed unanimously on 13 Dec 2013, just 4yrs ago, and they want to review and change it already. That seems very efficient.

    In contrast, the Development Law was passed in 1977 and Govt is legally bound to conduct a Review of that law every 5yrs. The fist review ot the Development Law was done in 1997, 20yrs after it was passed.

    It has been 20 more years since the first review, and the Development Law has not been reviewed since, so that means 1 review in 40 years, when the law mandates that a review be done every 5 yrs. Our National Development Plan has not been updated in 20 years!!

    Thats not efficient at all, especially with all of the highly questionable planning approvals being given out by the Chairman and Members of the CPA, or should I say the DART-run CPA?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Butting heads with backwards greedy people must be draining for someone armed with the facts.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    First thing… Dwayne Seymour should not be the minister for environment, it should have not been an option.. he’s got no clue and his Councillor is so absent.. its comical! Then there is the Premier…. he so anti-environment and willing to sell all the land to developers and continue to build these massive buildings and roads… all to satisfy the big spenders and investors. We can definitely see what his priorities are but yet won’t speak public ally on such matters. We know you read these posts Mr. Premier but do find the time in your ‘busy’ schedule to speak to the people in public forum such as TV and radio.

    The former Minister’s comments are quite interesting that he speaks again his party (or is it now his former party) but I’m glad he said what he did! But then again Wayne, Alden still running the show, so you know how things roll! God help us and this country.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Anonymous 9:12 pm , i believe that the best thing that can happy to all those Politicians that cannot see that the Islands needs to be a ever blooming
      enviorment . Then they need to get those $$ signs wiped out of their heads come next Election and let them look forward to ordinary life then they might see the importance of a good environment .




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  6. Anonymous says:

    beginning of the end….all in the name if money….sad to see the pillars fighting for our environment leaving..😯😢




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Soon the island will be made of concrete which doesn’t absorb water as well as roots.




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  8. West bay Premier says:

    I would like to thank Ms Rose-Smyth for her long dedication to serving and the protection of the Cayman Islands Environment . I understand her frustration in dealing with a Government that is hell bent on believing that the ONLY PURPOSE FOR THE ISLANDS are DEVELOPING .

    I think that the reason Mr. Seymour aren’t more concerned for the Islands Environment which is under his responsibility /Ministry . Is that he doesn’t see the importance of it , and he has been convinced that there’s a lot of money to be made from having it all developed .

    I have to believe that what is trying to be done on the Island is that everything is going to be controlled by a few people which is very very scary for the future of the Islands.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      Now that everyone agree that the Islands are heading in the wrong direction .
      Can I see the swamp drained next Election .




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      • Anonymous says:

        Why next election? We need to drain it now. Poor John John, would he know what the environment is? Wish him luck.




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      • Anonymous says:

        What does that Drain the Swamp crap actually mean?

        Who are the brightest stars that would have won in the last election that would have gotten us to the holy land you think we should be at now.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    What Government needs is a level headed person without a lobbyist agenda who is not only capable of understanding the law, but administering it in an unbiased and unfettered way.




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  10. SSM345 says:

    Alden and John-John want a “Yes Man” that is willing to sit with their head in the sand.




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    • West bay Premier says:

      SSM345 , You must mean another yes man , he Alden already have two yes men with their heads in the sand .




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  11. Anonymous says:

    She’s had enough beating her head against the wall trying to recommend responsible environmental stewardship to the regressive Neanderthal minds in charge of Cayman’s dwindling natural environment. They just don’t see any value in preserving it, just the value of permitting wholesale unhindered development.




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  12. Anonymous says:

    If we kill our environment, we kill ourselves…we need to have workable protections that allow both sides to function side by side. However more than anything, we need to start working on sea defenses or there will be no Cayman left in 30 years time.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely bunk! Sea level isn’t rising or at least around Cayman. Didn’t you know the wall of ignorance that surrounds Cayman will protect us from any fictitious rising waters. As I see that wall is getting higher proportionally with the pace of development and demise of The NCC.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Right on. These Pigeons are so ready to swallow this global warming tax fraud, it’s amazing. What happened to critical thinking? People just want emotional liberal feel good about myself koolaid.

        CNS: Here’s how those emotional liberals at ExxonMobil feel about global warming (click here). Pigeons all!




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        • Anonymous says:

          CNS is on a XXXing roll first Unison, now this generic “I know better than all the worlds scientists type”

          Keep it up CNS,




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          • Anonymous says:

            Critical thinking will do you a pile of good as the water laps over your feet….you will be thinking that you should have taken notice as Miami, parts of Virginia, the really low lying Bahamas, various Indian ocean Islands are already are suffering the effects of rising sea levels…but hey ho, you just go on shouting that we are all idiots. Somehow I think you are the type that would be pushing women and children out of the boat so you could get in.




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        • Anonymous says:

          In 137 years the earth temperature has raised less than 2 degrees.




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          • Anonymous says:

            So, you’re probably ok with raising your body temperature only 2 degrees, eh?




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            • Anonymous says:

              If stating a simple fact causes you to go on the defensive, perhaps you need to at least question your beliefs.




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            • Tesla Einstein says:

              Yeah… You ain’t going to be here after the next 137 years. If you are, don’t forget that it might raise another 2 degrees in another 137 years. For all we know, the earth might not still be here. Have you noticed the daily swings in temperature we have now?




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              • Anonymous says:

                The earth temperature has risen and fallen radically many times long before humans ever burned a single drop of petroleum.




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              • Anonymous says:

                Yeah, daily temperature swings….that’s new. What color is your Koolaid mustache? Red, purple orange? You didn’t drink it, you downright guzzled it.




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          • Anonymous says:

            That is a lot.




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            • Anonymous says:

              We don’t know how much it raised in the previous 137 years, so you nor anyone else knows whether or not it’s “a lot”.




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              • Anonymous says:

                Yes we do, it is quite easy to work out to quite an accurate figure. The mean figure has varied by around 0.5 degrees for the previous 2,000 years.




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                • Anonymous says:

                  Yeah, sure. Other than proxy records, which scientists readily admit are less than accurate, what evidence do you have that this temperature shift is any different than shifts that have occurred in the past? 0.5 variant in the past 2000 years, hmm, this sounds like you may be a Colonel from the Make Shit Up Brigade.




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                  • Anonymous says:

                    Scientists, what do they know about science? NASA. I looked at some NASA data, and other data from leading universities. Are you denying global warming is caused by human activity?




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                    • Anonymous says:

                      Don’t blame skeptics for questioning the science behind global warming. The lobby for tax-payer money, unfortunately often dictates results in science. There have been plenty of scams and deceptions in the reporting on human caused global warming.
                      If (human caused) global warming is declared no threat all the government grant funding immediately dries up.
                      You’ll notice the science is scant beyond 1880. Have you even looked at or questioned the instrumental data say between 1880 and 1960 for example. If you can’t imagine how this data can be subject to human or mechanical error than you are willing to go along with most anything the government tells you so long as it suits your agenda. Just imagine how this data was collected, where it was collected and why. And prior to that you only have “proxy reports” The very term “proxy” pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the veracity of that data. It becomes very theoretical before instruments were developed to actually measure temperature.
                      The human caused global warming collective has been caught more than once lying or misleading the public about the data.
                      When people like Al Gore invest heavily in companies that are poised to receive government grants for green technology worth billions an eye brow should be raised. Skeptics don’t really question global warming, we just don’t go all in to the tune of trillions particularly when you have the NOAA actively misleading the public. According to Al Gore in 2006, the tipping point was 2016 after that there wasn’t anything anyone can do about it, but then again he also said we would probably be under water by now.
                      Didn’t Nasa manage to blow up 40% of their space shuttles. What they do is amazing, but they are fully funded by the government and also subject to human error.




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          • Anonymous says:

            As fluids warm they take up more space, every degree that the surface of the earth warms, relative to other years the water level rises, not to mention the loss in Arctic and Antarctic Ice, look at a map of the the North Pole 40 years ago and the North Pole now ( you can do the same for Antarctica) There is a stark visible contrast.

            Unless of course you are a flat-earther as well as a climate change denier




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      • Anonymous says:

        You thumbs downers, can’t you recognize sarcasm when you see it? I guess it has to be ankle deep before you realize your in the $hit too. Really feel sorry for the people that have no where else to go.




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      • But the sea level is certainly rising in Miami Beach with major consequences every time there is a high tide and high winds off the Miami coast. 11:16 don’t stay in your shell too long or you will certainly drown, and your wall of ignorance will not protect you.




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