DoE chief receives surprise gong for tireless work

| 09/05/2022 | 17 Comments
Gina Ebanks-Petrie on Radio Cayman’s Talk Today

(CNS): Gina Ebanks-Petrie, the director of the Department of Environment, received the Women in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Leadership Award last month at the 2022 Island Innovation Awards for her tireless work for environmental protection. Unaware she had been nominated for this award by her DoE team, Ebanks-Petrie said the honour came as a complete surprise before she immediately credited those colleagues for her winning the specialist gong.

“This award is a testament to the collective efforts of the dedicated, hardworking team I have the privilege of leading,” Ebanks-Petrie said. “We work every day to serve the people of the Cayman Islands by helping to conserve our environment and responsibly managing our natural resources.

“Sustainable Development Goals 13–Climate Action, 14–Life Below Water and 15–Life On Land are paramount to our mission. I hope this award will inspire, not just other women in the field of environmental sustainability, but everyone in our community who is working towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient future for the Cayman Islands.”

The Women SDG Leadership Award celebrates an outstanding female leader who is driving positive social, economic or environmental change in her country, island, or community. Premier and Minister of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Wayne Panton said the award was well deserved.

“Gina’s accomplishments certainly make her a worthy recipient of this award,” he said. “Her 26 years at the helm of the Department of Environment and her many years of dedicated services prior to taking up that role have culminated in expansive protections for our coastal waters and the passage of landmark legislation to conserve our terrestrial environment.

“It also speaks volumes about the caliber of Gina’s leadership that her staff would take the time to nominate her for this recognition on the global stage,” he added.

DoE Senior Environmental Assessment Officer Lauren Dombowsky said, “Gina has taught me that through perseverance, we can make tangible change for the better.”

The Island Innovation Awards are hosted in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative. The 2022 awardees were decided by a 20-person jury that included former president of the Seychelles James Michel, former United Nations High Representative Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu, Blue Planet Alliance President Henk Rogers, and 8th Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles.

See the director accept her award on YouTube below:

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Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Honestly a hero for our environment, she doesn’t get enough recognition

  2. Ban ROUNDUP now says:

    Gina- I appreciate your hard work and am pleased you are being honored. Please do the people of the Cayman Islands a favor and ban ROUNDUP weedkiller and all other similar products effective immediately. It contaminates our groundwater and is a proven deadly carcinogenic.

    The Biden Administration asked the Supreme Court to reject Bayers appeal of a California lawsuit which found that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

    Get this done and I will be a fan and supporter of yours forever.

  3. Donnie says:

    Sincere congratulations to you Gina. Thank you for the stalwart you have been and your unwavering commitment to trying to protect what nature has so graciously granted us.
    Cayman would be a better place and our future generations would have much more to look forward to if your word was final from the natural vegetation line to the drop-off.
    Oh, I forgot. We don’t recognise ‘natural vegetation line’. That would be legitamising common sense.

  4. Jm says:

    A world class civil servant in our world class civil service. Can’t we blame the DG for this?

    Congrats Gina you are a role model to many.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Miss Gina is a worthy winner for her undoubted commitment to the CI environment. The research staff who nominated her are some of the best in the Caribbean. However, her failing assistant director and
    ‘managers’ from the enforcement section are well over due for scrutiny. Because how is it that there are 3 enforcement staff on extended annual contracts after retirement age (65), and where is the local continuity training? Also, why is a member of the enforcement management team on an annual contract and responsible for supervising patrol officers in the field, currently serving a court imposed driving ban? And why, despite constant complaints, is one particular officer still allowed to continue with his private business during paid duty hours?
    Congratulations Miss Gina, but some in-house cleaning is in urgent need if the DOE’s credibility is to equal your own.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is well deserved recognition for Ms. Gina Ebanks-Petrie. Her tireless effort to attempt an important balance between growth, conversation, and habitat management is appreciated. 🙂

    Additional recognition to the DOE Team for making the effort to nominate her.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Clearly representing the issues that PACT so claimed to address… Well Done Gina!!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    IT’s amazing how she was never considered for any of the Chief Officer’s posts but far less qualified and experienced than her have.

    The fact the she has never tried to capitalize on your political pedigree says a lot about her ethics, too.

    Maybe that’s why she is not in the boys orbit and their female enables and cheer leaders! Too ethical!


    • Anonymous says:

      Gina stated clearly years ago she did not want to be a Permanent Secretary/ Chief Officer because she was so committed to the environment and because she realized that, despite the posters on CNS, it is a very difficult political position.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie. You try hard but sadly the ones you are charged to advise don’t listen to you.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A public service employee being given an award on merit for once. Congratulations

  11. Orrie Merren says:

    Congrats to Ms. Gina Ebanks-Petrie.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If Fekitamoela Utoikomanu was for it, I’m sure it was well deserved.

  13. D. Truth says:

    Gina Ebanks-Petrie will always be a great representative for the the people of the Cayman Islands.

    • Ironside says:

      Congratulations, Gina.

      “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi


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