Lasting conservation

| 08/06/2011

The hundreds who are following Captain Bryan Ebanks' Save Cayman campaign, waiting for government's response, can donate their monies to pay the National Trust or any non-profit organization to have purchases and expansions made to the islands' nature reserves.

Know that the goal of what we have now, the National Trust (not-for-profit organization), is to preserve the environment, marine, and cultural treasures of the Cayman Islands. I understand that the foundation's reserves are protected from government legislation. The foundation is also quarantined from governmental corruption in that their own financial activities are audited by accountants not within their organization.

From KPMG statements, which are posted on the National Trust's website, for the year ended June 30, 2009, state that the National Trust received in donations of goods and services the amount of $295,533, and government grants for the fiscal year estimated to $308,000 C.I. From fundraising events they've made $94,447 C.I. The total from their revenue and support operations, KPMG recorded $800,103 C.I.

If the National Trust can make such figures within a fiscal year, just imagine how much it can make if there is a spearheaded campaign (like this petition one) to fill the coffers of the Trust for the purchasing of lands and marine zones!

So far, the National Trust has been able to purchase valuable reserves, which are a testament of what donations can do. The financial statement ended June 30, 2009, stated the acquisition of Booby Pond Nature Reserve, which was valued in 2009 at $1,232,424; the Brac Parrot Reserve – valued at $1,177,931; the Mastic Reserve – valued at $1,133,315; the Salina Reserve – valued at $997,440; the Central Mangrove Wetland – valued at $501,400; Uncle Sammy's Pond – valued at $315,000; Governor Gore Bird Sanctuary – valued at $223,862;  Brac Splits – valued at $222,220; Dr. Roy's Ironshore – valued at $178,252, et cetera. There you go!  No one can say that the National Trust's net assets were not achievable.

If people really want to "Save Cayman", would they not donate and pursue towards this foundation's cause like they would give to their church every Sunday?  Wouldn't they want to also save Barkers in West Bay, a very very valuable nature reserve?

My view is if you can sign a paper (play defensive) to stop government from destroying Cayman's wildlife and environment, you should be able to reach down in your pockets to also play offensive by capturing and securing areas like Barkers in West Bay and parts of the North Sound.  Don't say that it is impossible at this time or we don't have the money to capture lands. Every cent makes a difference.  The National Trust is an important organization made up conservationists who at least have an understanding of what our ecosystem and environment needs. They should know what to secure best from the grasping hands of greedy politicians and developers.  And if you don't trust the Trust, then there is always the option of starting a non-for-profit group.

If anyone is interested in donating to the the National Trust, it is located at 558A South Church Street, George Town. Their website address is

So don't only sign a petition and hope in government. Do something better – put your money where your mouth is! 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (17)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Foxtrot Oscar says:

    Only the government can effectively protect and regulate the environment as a whole.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm… the government can always contribute to the National Trust, but they are not experts like you say, to "effectively protect and regulate the environment."  That is a false notion and people need to wake up.

    • anonymous says:

      I agree with you Libertarian, however:

      We still need a conservation bill to

      1) Place under protection terrestrial land that is owned by the Government (separate from the Trust) which should be under conservation (e.g. Barkers 'National Park'). Currently there is no legal means to protect such land. The government could tomorrow decide that they will lease it to an investor to build a Club Med there and bulldoze down half of it. 

      2) There is an environmental fund which the government has which a few dollars from every flight in and out goes into, generating around $6 million (approximately) each year. These funds should be used for the purchase of land for conservation however they are currently NOT. And without a conservation bill which creates proper management of this fund and all conservation initiatives, this fund will continue to be misused by the Government. Every year there could be $4 to 6 million being used to purchase land for conservation more than tripling the purchasing power for conservation of the Trust. These funds are being generating and sitting there right now!  

      CNS – could you find out more information about this fund for us?

  2. village idiot of Absurdistan says:

    Thanks Lib for writing this ViewPoint.

    The National Trust performs important work and is another under appreciated (and under funded) department of the government that fights an uphill battle- similar to the Department of Environment.

    I recently read an article that gives hope that there may other models of business evolving that include social benefits as opposed for Just for Profits. Take a read here: 

    More businesses could be supporting the Trust and their efforts by holding staff events, volunteering, or ideally donating directly. What if the island designated a day for the Trust, where efforts/donations/fundraising could all be channeled to the Trust for a day, or a half day.

    To the staff and volunteers of the Trust- thank you for the good work you do. 



  3. Frank Balderamos says:

    I'd like to thank Libertarian for their support of the Trust, and a very convincing Viewpoint.

    The National Trust is indeed the only organization in the Cayman Islands setup to own and protect property and we are constantly striving to attract greater support form the general public.

    Anyone can be a member of the National Trust for as little as $15 a year.  We also hold a fundraising drive every year to specifically raise money for our land reserve fund, and accept any amount to this cause.

    As Lib points out, we are audited by a major accounting firm, and our financial statements are up to date as at the year ended June 30th, 2010.  We have access to the brightest minds in conservation and put a lot of thought into every purchase we make.

    We are also charged with preserving places of historic interest and not just environmental, so whatever your passion I'm sure there is a way you can help us in our mission.

    Please visit our website for more information, or call our office at 749-1121.

    Frank Balderamos

    General Manager

    National Trust for the Cayman Islands

    CNS: Could you register please, Frank, if you are using your real name.

  4. Anonymous says:

    quick add up in my head of the figures above totals $6 million in land owned by the Trust. 

    a quick peek at the CIREBA website identifies 21 pieces of land in Cayman currently available for sale at over $6million each.

    not saying that its not worth a try Mr. or Mrs. Libertarian, but sounds like the National Trust has a hell of a big mountain of fundraising to climb before it can be a serious player.


  5. Anonymous says:

    As I understand it, the National Trust has two types of funding: funding for purchase of property, and funding for operating expenses.  Both are important. 

    They cannot protect land unless they own it, so they need fudning to buy land.  But the Trust also has programs like summer camps and educational activities for children and adults, and that comes under operating expenses.  If you think about it, you can't just buy land, you have to educate people on why the land is important.

    I believe their operating expenses also cover the costs of wardens who patrol the properties they own to ensure no one is violating the land.

    All in all, money well spent!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can the National Trust buy the North Sound?  Even if they have the money, I thought that was all Crown property?  Maybe the Government can sign it over to the Trust?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree Lib.  Sometimes you hear people sitting and talking to their friends about how it would be nice if we ('we' meaning people in Cayman who care about preserving bits of nature and not having the island end up like Miami) could buy the land faster than the developers.

    Guess what?  If Lib is correct, we can do that!  I intend to support the National Trust.  I'm very impressed that they have audits done…..that's better than the Government who can't even produce accounts!

  8. Kung Fu Iguana says:

    This right wing rhetoric is fundamentally flawed in that there is no way that a small population such as Cayman can privately fund natural environment protection in open market competition with for profit investors who have access to external capital given the profits offered by exploitation of the environment in Caribbean tourist centres.

    The body best placed to protect Cayman is the body entrusted to do that by the local electorate and the national UK government – ie the Cayman Islands government through legislation and regulation.

    If larger economies have adopted the legislation and regulation model, why is Cayman so special?  What Libertarian proposes is a huge politico-economic experiment which we  could not reverse if it went wrong.

    • Libertarian says:

      In terms of anti-corruption, tell me, what makes this government better off than a non-for-profit organization that is yearly audited by a credible accounting firm? 

      Second, how is this socalled "hugh politico-economic experiment," detrimental to the Cayman Islands when governments of larger economies that you mention, have donated millions of dollars to private conservationist experts?

      And third, whether on the right wing or left side, has government "legislation and regulation," ever been effective enough to stop the destruction of wildlife and its environment in the Cayman Islands?  Take a personal visit to the park adjacent to Foster's Food Fair by the Airport, and compare that park to Dart's Park (privately owned by him) off South Church Street. You will see a hugh difference.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you generally, but must corect you: The Dart Park on S Church St is on land owned by the CI government.  Dart Foundation paid for the landscaping but governement retains ownership and responsibility for it.

        • Libertarian says:

          Thanks for the correction. I was showing the commenter an ensample of how government upkeeps the park like they would do to the environment.

  9. thompson says:


    Captain Ebanks and Opposition should have had the campaign dovetailed: –

    Defense:  Sign petitions against the government; and,

    Offense:  Spearhead donations for a worthy cause

    This government is unpredictable and may just make some hugh deals behind the people's back.

  10. Just Sayin' says:

    What money?

  11. cow itch says:

    nah nah deh too far awah, me live in breakuus, and me nah gaw nah sandals and me nah gaw deh gas money for deh mileage… but laaawd gawd hav mercy, wat es me suppose to do, lib?? 

    me need bling-bling all deh time foo me young cow and grass piece  

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you dumb it down a bit more, Your post is too sophisticated for this poor Caymanian who speaks like you write and write like he has never spoken.