Minister dodges NCL review in Earth Day message

| 22/04/2019 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service

Grand Cayman parrot

(CNS): In his message to mark Earth Day, Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour claimed achievements in conservation in the Cayman Islands, but made no mention of the planned review of the National Conservation Law (NCL) that is expected to remove some of the protections for the islands’ natural resources. ‘Protect Our Species’ is the theme of this year’s Earth Day celebrations, and among several issues, Dwayne Seymour pointed to the long-awaited enhancement of marine parks that he has finally approved.

However, while the minister bragged about the conservation work of the Department of Environment and the importance of protecting Cayman’s natural resources, he said nothing about the changes he plans for the legislation after the premier implied it was hindering development in his Strategic Policy Statement.

Even as he outlined the ongoing and increasing threats to the environment and the need to do more, he gave no details about how the NCL will be changed to allow more development while increasing protections. Despite the threats to culturally important species, such as conch and the Cayman parrot, he said nothing about the plans to undermine the existing protections.

In his SPS earlier this month Premier Alden McLaughlin took aim at environmental impact assessments, one of the few tools in the law that can help ensure developers understand the environmental risks of proposed projects and require them to mitigate those risks.

Paraphrasing the late US President Ronald Reagan, McLaughlin said that “if the Conservation Law had been around at the time the Creator was turning his hand to founding our three Islands, we would still be waiting on an environmental impact assessment”.

He said a sustainable future involved “striking a balance between development and the needs of our environment”, but the government had created approaches and legislation “that, rather than reconciling those twin drivers, appear to have unnecessarily pitched them as enemies”.

Announcing plans to review the operation of the National Conservation Law, he said some parts were necessary but other parts were “not so helpful”, as he confirmed that government planned a review of the whole law and how well it works, with proposed amendments to be brought to parliament early next year.

See Seymour’s full Earth Day message on CNS Local Life

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Category: Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (30)

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  1. No clue says:

    What does know about the environment ??

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  2. Anonymous says:

    This government’s need to dismember the Conservation Law shows the true lack of concern these politicians have toward the environment.
    The simple proof is the dump. It is the forgotten time bomb this government hides in the closet.
    If only the politicians in the LA had the same passion toward the dump as they showed toward Gay Marriage.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    The NCL gave way too much power to one person running DOE. It needs to be put back in check because no one person should have that much power. The head of DOE could make any development impossible.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you actually read the NCL rather than just repeating the fat cat developers line who don’t want anything that benefits the other Caymanians you would know that comment is total BS! I dare you to try to list these powers you refer to!

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    • Anonymous says:

      They have? Which development have they stopped?

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Who cares about any of this? Cayman is likely to be under water by the end of this century. If the Earth warms 3 or 4 degrees, which at this point seems likely, the only thing anyone will see of Grand Cayman is that ridiculous proposed Dart skyscraper.

    (Cue the Kooky climate-change deniers)

    #blessed

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I suppose we have to be grateful that he was able to say Earth Day instead of Earth Gay with another tongue slip.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The only side of the coin the CIG is interested in is unrestricted, unhindered development as long as the developers are scraping out a profit no matter the cost to the environment or the fact that many Caymanians cant afford to live in these developments

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The trouble is: disregarding the unfavorable side of the coin with preferred bidders and developments, as this Cabinet does – or worse – striving to delete the EIA requirement altogether from the process defined by Law, is not In pursuit of balance, it’s in furtherance of political interference and corruption.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Shameful that those charged with the responsibility of making and enforcing laws to protect our rapidly diminishing flora and fauna are unable to have the forethought as to how best to preserve it for future generations of Caymanians and visitors alike.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Spoken as a true statesman honorable Seymour. Our environment is well protected with you at the lead. Four more years for your leadership!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Actions speak louder than words, “True statesman Honorable Seymour”! I did not see anything about protection of our reefs from any form of construction. I would think if you are genially interested in conservation you would have at least mentioned the construction of the new cruise ship dock.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There is no active construction on a cruise ship dock. Fair to critique the opaque bidding process as much as you like, and it’s open season on the continuing deferral of SIPL law, but bid winner, construction, and reef and life suffocating particulate suspensions are thankfully still a distant potentiality.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Your kind always want to run down our wonderful elected leaders. Mr Seymour is trying his best. Bless you sir!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You must be totally stupid 5:21. The biggest environmental issue in the Cayman Islands is The Dump. Seymour says nothing as if the problem does not even exist.

      We certainly miss the leadership of Wayne Panton as Environment Minister. Seymour cannot carry Panton’s sand bucket on environmental issues. Truly sad for the Cayman Islands future.

      Fix the friggin Dump Minister.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Typical deflective tactics.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne Seymour is a utterly useless and the worst Minister of environment in the history of Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can think of one that was far worse. Wayne Panton ! His law and policies drove up the cost of construction in these islands but did little to stop the big developers and the super rich who simply apply to Cabinet for “after the fact” approvals for docks and other projects that were done without planning permission. Yes they pay more in penalties but they can afford it and they get their project completed. This is a well known tactic that the financially elite use. Foi how many “after the fact” proposals were granted during his time as minister and you will be shocked. He pretended to be for the environment and then sat in cabinet and gave approval to environmentally damaging projects.

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      • Anonymous says:

        10:29, You are obviously confused. Wayne Panton’s National Conservation Bill made developers and the super rich very unhappy. Certainly you should outline why the National Conservation Bill resulted in environmentally damaging projects.

        Please state one piece of legislation initiated by Seymour that has assisted the environment.

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      • Anonymous says:

        This is a rather comical attempt to smear Mr Panton – the only Minister that did his job for the people of the country and not special interests. If there were after the fact applications then it was likely because he was holding the developers accountable for doing work without permission and forcing them to apply for those after the fact approvals you speak of. It means that some people thought they were above the Law and tried to get away with it without any consequences. Pathetic attempt to try to harm his great reputation. You will not succeed with your nonsense.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dude got the Marine Parks through Cabinet. and considering this Premier seems intent on gutting the conservation law Dwayne getting any environmental improvement through Cabinet is impressive.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No the Dude was not the driving force for the Marine Parks legislation. Panton was the one who pushed this legislation through the CIG during the last government. Dwayne did nothing but say yes, however, you are correct that the Premier is not someone who is environmentally friendly as he is in the pocket of developers and real estate interests.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I love rewarding average results. My god the standard we hold our politicians to is pathetic.

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