CS issues Earth Day message as people wait on new minister

| 22/04/2021 | 6 Comments
Cayman News Service
Protesters at a Climate Strike in 2019

(CNS): Civil servants in the Ministry and the Department of Environment issued the government message Thursday to mark World Earth Day, highlighting this year’s international theme of ‘Restore our Earth, Restore Cayman’. The country is still awaiting the announcement about the assignments of ministries in the new PACT Cabinet, but responsibility for the environment will be critical as it forms a central platform in Wayne Panton’s new government. With a couple of notable exceptions, genuine concern about the environment was central to the campaigns of the PACT MPs making up Panton’s administration.

The people will now be watching closely to see if Panton takes the environment portfolio himself, and if not who he gives it to, as well as who will be given the planning ministry, which is intrinsic to the change in direction that Panton has promised in order to meet the public clamour to halt the over-development of Cayman and the destruction of its natural heritage.

As pointed out by the civil servants in the message, the recent COVID-19 lockdown reminded the people of Cayman what our natural environment can be like when we remove the stresses of human impact. When the world, including Cayman, was on lockdown, the earth began to heal itself. Animals walked into cities and towns and returned to lost habitats, while lower emissions left clear skies and eased air pollution.

“World Earth Day is a chance for us to reflect on how many of today’s environmental challenges are responsible for adversely affecting the health and livelihood of individuals and communities, especially vulnerable groups,” the ministry stated, noting the importance of cleaner air. “However, as we all are witnessing the rejuvenation of environments around the globe during the ongoing pandemic, it has also prompted the world to amplify current or create new practices to protect the environment.”

The ministry urged the community to ask themselves what part they are playing in making the environment better, and what they can do to keep nature in a constant space of regrowth, how we as a country learn from the pandemic lockdown, and what can we do as a community in order to move forward positively. 
The ministry encouraged the entire community to do their part to help restore the earth, such as joining a local community clean-up crew or starting a new one.

However, while the man in the street can make an impact by reducing consumption, reusing rather than throwing things away, and recycling rather than trashing, the real change comes through government policy. Environmental experts are increasingly noting that real solutions to pollution problems and issues surrounding climate change lie in the hands of governments, internationally and locally, and not just the small things people can do.

As Panton himself said in his speech yesterday, policy needs to change in Cayman to reduce our over-consumption and dependence on imports, as well as implementing climate change resiliency measures in future policies. He said each generation owes the next generation a moral duty to minimise harm to the planet.

The Chamber of Commerce will be holding its annual Earth Day Clean-up Event on Saturday from 7am.

Email communications@caymanchamber.ky for more information.

For more ideas visit the Earth Day website.

To learn more about how you can recycle and prevent litter visit the DEH website.

See how to help protect our marine parks and fight coral disease here.

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Category: Climate Change, Land Habitat, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. One of the real changes we could have made over the last 40 years I have been here would have been to prevent the knee-jerk resort to the back hoe in developing new residential lots, especially in the rocky woodland sections. This would have been a major help in re-oxygenating the atmosphere through natural photosynthesis. But now I see many sorts of fancier ideas being advocated that are internationally fashionable but of limited applicability in our small islands. If we are really serious (and indeed “scientific” rather than blindly following the narrative) about this, it’s not only the big boys who need to change their ways.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The community has a voice but it isn’t being listened to. 833 Caymans signed a petition to object to the willful and unnecessary damage the Fin development was having on the marine park. The arrogance exhibited by Michael Ryan and Dale Crighton was shocking as they refused to even talk to the local community. The developers can not be allowed to continue to act with impunity. They must be brought to account for their willful and avoidable damage to Cayman’s environment. The new government must provide the community with a voice and force Ryan and Crighton to listen. The penalty for Michael Ryan and Dale Crighton must be sufficient to deter other developers from cutting corners at the expense of Cayman’s environment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Earth day lol.

    Cayman is a dump abused by its people left to rot in the sun

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know what the carbon footprint of a 65’ Hatteras is?

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