Cayman needs NCL now

| 28/11/2013

(CNS): With around two weeks to go before the National Conservation Law (NCL) is debated in the Legislative Assembly, environmental experts, activists, politicians and many people in the community at large agree that the legislation is not a moment too soon. Many hope that the years of delay caused by a small but powerful group of objectors won’t mean that the law will be too late to protect what is left of Cayman’s natural resources. With unsustainable development having destroyed so much of the islands’ habitat as well as undermining the survival of the incredible collection of indigenous flora and fauna, even though the law is assured of passage, it could still be touch and go for many unique species.

From the critically endangered ghost orchid to the country’s national tree, the silver thatch, many endemic species here are vulnerable at best or close to extinction at worst. Despite dire warnings from experts, the NCL has been discussed, debated and dissected for more than a decade. However,the end is in sight and while the NCL is far from a panacea or cure all for Cayman’s numerous environmental problems, it is an essential step forward.

Given the recent misinformation that has been published about the bill, Environment Minister Wayne Panton is giving the public yet another opportunity to ask questions and find out more about what the law means before the anticipated debate in the parliament sometime during the week beginning 9 December.

Panton will be hosting a series of open public meetings during the week of 2 December in West Bay, where the people will have plenty of opportunity to ask what they need to know and learn how the bill will seek to protect the environment for the next generation. He said he expects the bill will be debated in the Legislative Assembly in the second week of December and the public is encouraged to get comments to their MLA or to the minister as soon as possible.

“The absence of a Conservation Law in the Cayman Islands could have dire consequences for future generations,” Panton said this week. However, the sentiment is shared by a wide cross-section of the community as well as activists and experts. “This bill, as it is now, is the place to start. It is a sound, rational and reasonable thing to do,” Panton added, as he acknowledged that not everyone supports environmental protection. “But this is something we must put in place now.”

A major misconception that is generating some opposition is that private land could be designated as a protected area, but it cannot without the cooperation of the landowner. Under the proposed law, only crown land can be designated as a Protected Area. Suggestions can be made to designate private land as protected, but that could only occur if the landowner agrees.

“Either the landowner could sell the parcel to government at a fair market value or the landowner could agree to manage the conservation area, receiving a stipend to do so from government,” the minister explained.

But before any land, either crown or private, is deemed to be a protected area the NCL will require extensive public consultation and approval coming from Cabinet and no decisions can be made secretly or in private.

“These will not be decisions that are simply made by Cabinet. They will be based on input and recommendations from a broad range of people,” Panton said. “There’s no power to take somebody’s land but there are a number of very important issues being articulated by people who aren’t being completely honest or accurate.”

Panton recently admitted that the bill is a watered down version of the one that environmental experts had wanted, so there are no guarantees that this will be enough to protect local natural resources, given the immense strain they have been under with the rapid pace and often unchecked development over the past fifty years. Nevertheless, the law is a first step in the right direction and desperately needed.

After almost 11 years of consultation on the issues, the bill presented to the LA is starkly different from the original document. The restrictions on development will change very little for most people here but it will enable government to create environmentally protected zones on its own land, to buy land for that purpose and to protect endangered and endemic species. 

The bill, Panton said, is a compromise as it allows for conservation and development to co-exist.

“That is what sustainable development is all about. Otherwise we lose our identity. Once we’ve lost that, what are we? Once we’ve lost what we had, how do you put a price on that; how do you get it back?,” he said “Our children are the ones we have to be thinking about, but of course it is important to us today as well. It is our intention to protect and defend the environment,” headded.

The new proposed legislation does not give the Department of Environment or the proposed National Conservation Council the powers they were granted in the original draft. Instead, those two bodies will be giving advice to Cabinet.

The proposed Council will consist of 13 members, including the Director or his nominee from the Department of the Environment, the Deputy Director of Research in the Department of Environment, the Chief Officer of the Ministry, the Director of the Department of Agriculture or his nominee from the Department, the Director of Planning or his nominee from the Department, someone nominated by the National Trust and appointed by Cabinet, and seven other people appointed by Cabinet, with at least three of them having relevant scientific or technical expertise.

“The Council itself will not have broad ranging powers to make decisions,” Panton explained. “It will only give advice, for example, to the planning department. That advice must be considered or it can be ignored. Obviously, if it is ignored it is at our own peril. And clearly I am not suggesting that it should be; I say it could be ignored to highlight the fact that the Council cannot dictate the outcome on 99 percent of the decisions. The limited circumstances under which the Council’s views must be followed, i.e. it can dictate the outcome of a decision, is when the proposal involves a potential impact on a valuable protected area. For example, you would expect if somebody was going to do something next to Stingray City that the Council should be able to say no. Stingray City is too important an asset to this country.”

The bill is also needed because of other obligations. Section 18 of the Bill of Rights states: "Government shall, in all its decisions, have due regard to the need to foster and protect an environment that is not harmful to the health or well-being of present and future generations, while promoting justifiable economic and social development."

“This is a large part of why this government is taking this forward,” the minister said.

What’s more, there are international agreements concerning environmental conservation which apply to Cayman. Speaking at the JMC this week Premier Alden McLaughlin said the planned passage of the law would help Cayman meet its obligations regarding international treaties and help in the UK’s goal to preserve the bio-diversity of its territories. McLaughlin said this important legislation "has our full commitment” and pointed to the need to do all that we can to protect the environment on all three Islands to ensure that we preserve paradise for future generations of residents and tourists alike.

McLaughlin also pointed to the need to address climate change, given the sobering message of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as enhance the local marine parks

“Cayman simply cannot afford to ignore the conclusions of this worldwide committee of eminent scientists. The government therefore intends to adopt the draft climate policy, produced in 2011 by a multi-disciplinary public/private sector initiative led by the DoE, and to begin urgent work on an implementation plan,” he said. “Cayman created our now famous system of marine parks 26 years ago, 24 years ahead of the UK; we have rescued our blue iguana from near extinction,” he added and pointed to the PPM government’s commitment to protecting Cayman’s “wonderful bio-diversity”.

Panton, who is also in London with the premier this week, will be returning at the weekend in time for next week’s public meetings. Encouraging everyone to read the bill for themselves and not listen to misinformation, he urged people to attend the district meetings and ask questions.

“Read the bill, go to the district meetings. This is a bill that is important to this country. It’s not a piece of legislation that is of limited application and that people can’t understand,” he said.

Each meeting will begin at 7:30pm and refreshments will be provided. The meetings will begin with a short overview of the National Conservation Bill, but the majority of the time will be for members of the public to have their questions answered.  The Bill is posted below and it as well as other information is available on the DoE website.

Questions on the bill can be sent directly to the Department of Environment, DoE@gov.ky, for answers. Those who wish to contact the minister can write to him at PO Box 102, Grand Cayman KY1-9000, Cayman Islands or email wayne.panton@gov.ky.

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Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This whole sorry debate shows why these matters in OTs should be centralised in London.

  2. Shore Nuff says:

    There is a curious illogicality to the emotional objections to this legislation. Every aspect of your life on this island, from birth or arrival to death or departure, is subject to governmental regulation or interference, depending on how you view these things.

    The law of the land says whether you are Caymanian. If not, it says how long you can stay. It determines your ability to drive a car. It tells you that your children must attend school. It governs your lifestyle choices by setting import duties. And it already regulates what you cando with your land and buildings.

    So what is it about the words “environment” and “conservation” that sets certain people off? Do they not understand that they have little freedom to do as they please in most aspects of their daily life? Why is conservation their line in the sand?

  3. Anonymous says:

    "Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the “culture of waste.”

    Pope Francis on ecology.

  4. Anonymous says:

    All laws need to be enforced.

     

    If Cayman's history is a predictor of the future, then this law will be enforced selectively if at all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Beg an answer to this please. 

      When a conservation request is made for my land (which can be proposed by anyone) and the Council has suggested to the Cabinet that it be purchased or an agreement entered into with me, will this information be in the public domain?  if it is then presumably it will impact potential future sales and the value.

       

       

      • Justus T. Grumbleigh says:

        Yes. Correct- depending on the degree of negative impact the intended acquisition will have on your land, it will  be acquired (assuming you do not agree to a lease or to remain involved) at Cabinet direction and under eminent domain powers. The compensation paid to you (eventually- this could take decades) will be based on its theoretical value, which would have been significantly decreased as a result of the original Cabinet-supported conservation request.

        Heads you lose, tails you also lose…

      • Anonymous says:

        Considering the public consultation to do a protected area, which is what your land would be purchased for, it looks like it would be public information, at least by implication.

        Would your land value go down? Why? Someone just offerred to buy your land. That usually confirms the land value. If you choose not to sell what would happen to your land value?

        the implied fear is that if your land is valuable enough to buy for conservation then it might be harder to build on it due to the Government trying to protect the land through the back door, thus lowering its desireablity to other purchasers. Except that there is a lot of land in Cayman, the entire Central Mangrove Wetland for example, that has been recognised as 'enivronmentally important' for years and I've never heard  of anyone having a hard time with their planning application. (Plans which are already reviewed by the DoE they've been saying all week.) In fact, they'd be better off without the Law if they had enough influence to stop a development merely by recomendation, since then they wouldn't need to go through the expense of public consultation or run the risk that you'd say "yes" to the offer to buy your land, which they'd then have to pay you for.

        The other option is that your land now ends up abuting a Protected Area. A National Park in other words. This means that (a) no chance of noisy neighbous on one side, usually desireable to prospective buyers. (b) Chance of a really nice amenity close by, depending on the type of Park that is created, usually desireable to prospective buyers. Imagine living beside the Botanic Park. How would that affect your land value?

  5. anonymous says:

    CNS…this is really an editorial..not a news story! 

  6. Anonymous says:

    There must be fifty comments a year from Caymanians and visitors alike, expressing dismay at insensitive development in Cayman, using such cliches as, 'they paved paradise and put up a parking lot' or, 'we worship the almighty dollar' or, 'why leave Miami to visit Cayman when  they look just the same?' Yet now the Government is trying to put a framework in place to provide a balance, you'd think, by reading some of these comments, that we're all going to be forced to hand over the keys to our properties as well as make sure we don't step on an andangered snail on pain of  prison or a severe lashing-by-cow-cod.

    The majority of people living here care about their island, and recognize the need for some give and take, whereas up to now it has been all take by the developers and all give by the environment, which hitherto has had about as much consideration as a used beer bottle tossed by the roadside. In fact, were it not for the National Trust and their generous donors, who want nothing more than to ensure their children can enjoy the things their parents took for granted, nothing would be protected, save for Crown Land and the Botanic Park. But then if you don't care, you don't care I suppose.

     

     

  7. Weapons Grade Bollocks says:

    The Compass' daily personal attacks on Minister Panton are truly disgusting.

    But just to put all of this in real context, I will point out that Minister Panton personally owns large tracts of land on all three islands, probably hundreds of acres in aggregate.

    Minister Panton is therefore in a rather better position to judge what is best for "large property" owners in this country than someforeign journalist who likely has no substantive material stake here and clearly no interest in its future well being.

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Odd that we should propose to protect 3 pages of slugs, yet have not heard any public objection from Mr Panton or Gina Petrie Ebanks over the proposed cruise berthing project.  626,000 cubic meters of cutter suction dredging in a national marine park, to pulverize one of Cayman's top 5 snorkelling destinations, and nary a word so long as they are handed the chequebook for the Environmental Fund.  Mr Panton will then oversee one of the largest ministries while Rome burns.  At least we'll have slugs.

    • Truthseeker says:

      That is simply a lie.

      Gina and her team have and are actively involvedin providing input into this proposed  project, 

    • Anonymous says:

      I would feel very confident to wager my annual salary that Ms. Ebanks-Petrie, on a personal basis, would gladly say no to piers. However, on a professional level, she & her team can only make sure that all environmental issues are properly considered in the upcoming EIA process.

    • Anonymous says:

      Showing once again the dichotomy between polemics and process. The Port EIA TOR is up on the DoE website. http://www.doe.ky/gt-port-eia-terms-of-reference/ So Minister Panton and the DoE are following a process, that includes public input, on reviewing (objecting to, if you prefer) the Port. But I guess you'd prefere they simply threaten to lie down in front of the bulldozers rather than doing anything in an organised, productive, fashion.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Protecting the local environment is simply the right thing to do. Stick to that, and only good things can follow. Develop around the protection laws – think about the future! Only short term rewards will come with develpoment without thinking…..

  10. Anonymous says:

    The problem with this bill is that it's a mish-mash of rules that are just begging to be mis- interpreted and abused.

    I'm not saying the Compass is right but this is yet more amateur hour legislation, which at the end of the day will be circumvented by the people with money and political influence.

    The only winners here are the legal profession, they must be counting the potential profits already. 

    • Bear Baiter says:

      Sad, but oh so true I fear!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you post up a section and say how you misinterpret it?

      • Anonymous says:

        It's now how I can mis-interpret it, it's how others can. I'd respectfully suggest that you actually read the document before posting here then you might (but I have my doubts) understand the original comment. Remember the Cayman Islands motto of 'He hath founded it on the seas' long ago changed to 'What's my percentage on this?' or more simply 'Money talks, how much will it cost for me to be heard?'.       

  11. Anonymous says:

    Follow the money and perhaps a few hints given by the editorials over the past few months – attacks on the MLA for East End, pro dock at all costs to the enviornment, need to develop hundreds of acres in East End without the need to do pesky EIA…..your guess is as good as mine.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If that is true, Kurt did the right thing.  If this is passed, crime will rise as it will slow down development big time.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have had to pop an advil a day as I read through this law.  Why should it be so confusing?  Has anyone bothered reading the outside agreements?  This cannot be rushed through.  Shame on Minister Panton for keeping the wool over everyone's eyes.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have had 10 years to read it! And 3 opportunities to give input. 

      All laws are unfortuantely written in hard to read legalese. 

      Looked at any other Cayman law recently?

      They are all unfort. hard for the average individual to digest. 

       

      • Will Ya Listen! says:

        Laws are not written to be understood by the average individual. That's what  Lawyers at $600+ per hour are for. 

         

         

    • Anonymous says:

      What 'outside agreements'? You mean the international agreements, available on websites, that Cayman has been signed up to for years? If your objection is that we shouldn't do what we said we'd do I think I see the problem.

  14. Justus T. Grumbleigh says:

    The beauty of this beast in its fine print- look no further than section 41. Look falso or the words 'entity', 'habitat' and others that appear innocuous, and then check their definition in section 1. Once you know what is meant be the words used, re-read section 41, and note how the innocent-looking paragraphs morph, like a pretty but poisonous butterfly, into something very different.

    Most of the Bill has well-meaning stuff about Protected Areas and Marine Parks, and this is to be welcomed. Just be wary about the Conservation Council and how it can influence development through the mechanisms of section 41. Remember, envronmentalists are a hardy bunch- and will not be easily swayed from their mission. The provisions of Section 41 are their oil-rig grappling irons…

    • Anon says:

      From which there is a right of appeal to Cabinet and the Grand Court.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, please read 41. All of 41. Its been poed up on CNS and everything. But apparently you Please, explain why 'influence' in favour of environment  is a bad thing. – And be specific on what you think section 1 will do. Becvause if you're like everyone else who'se posted about it on here so far it turns out it won't do what they implied it will.

      http://www.doe.ky/laws/national-conservation-law/ – so everyone can read the Law for tehmselves. Or at least section 41.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, if the Bill is going to stop oil rigs. Or even ust  the oil refinery, I'm for it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was impressed by an artice in the  Architectural Review many years ago, that described a development in a very sensitive desert area in Arizona, where house lots were a minimum of  two acres, and 75% of each lot had to be left natural, by covenant. As a direct result, the land values  rose to the point where the developer made more money than if he had done the obvious, and sold quarter-acre lots. Development that respects the natural world around us tends to increase the values of all properties, like the ncoming tide raises all boats, it's just good business. People don't want to see their natural world shoved aside with no care or consideration of the long term consequences.We need this law, and we need it thirty years ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      …where Arizona has thousands of acres after thousandsof acres.  Plus, who wants to build on 25% of their land and leave the other 75% as mosquito swamp?  Get real.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re Arizona's size: proving that in cayman saving open space is even more important since we have less of it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mr. panton and the director of DOE likes to claim that those who oppose sections of the bill, I know of no-one who is opposed to the bill in its enterity. They claim the bill does not allow Government to take any private land, then explain the proviisions of 9 (4) b — "if the area is not crown land, whether to recommend to the Cabinet that the area be acquired by the Crown and a protected order be made or a conservation agreement be made with the proprietor of the area" Then delete the provision in clause 46 that allows the Environmental Protection Fund to be used to acquire rivate property.  This would create two types of protected areas – Protected area on crown land and conservation area on private land with management plans for both. we also need to change the make up of the Council the current structure is a disaster waiting to happen -Directon a voting member of the council that he/she reports to – deputy on council as well- maybe three member s of her staff so clear majority od the seven members needed to make a quorum.                                                                                                                

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously, the landowner has to be willing to sell.  Otherwise it would provide for compulsory acquisition like the Roads Law does. If there is a willing seller (private landowner) and a willing buyer (CI Government) then funds from the EPF can be used to purchase. 

      Also, the quorum is any seven, so it could equally not include any member of DOE staff.   

    • Anonymous says:

      So, in your system, I'd never be able to sell my land to the Government if I wanted to? Boy, that's no good. Thanks for restricting what I can do with my land.

  17. Anonymously says:

    Cayman needs developers and investors not BS laws that prevent them.  Build up Cayman like they are doing in Dubai and maybe some of the rich people that went there will consider coming back.  

    • Garfield says:

      Having spent time in Dubai, really not clear why anyone would want to turn Grand Cayman into Dubai. Though obviously real estate developers would be the major beneficiaries if Cayman went the way of Dubai and I suspect you are advocating your own personal financial / real estate interests rather than Caymanian society as a whole.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      What a load of happy horseshit!

  18. Anonymous says:

    If you did indeed read the law as you say, then surely you would have seen that Section 41 on page 52 has 5 parts – the one you quote only pertains to decisions regarding PROTECTED AREAS. In all other cases the "originating authority" must take the advice of the Council into account. Please stop the selective quotes

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally misleading, it applies to anything that INDIRECTLY effects protected land.  How far will this be interpreted?

      • Anonymous says:

        Imagine how far you can aparently stretch 'indirect' and then cut t by about 8/10ths would be my guess.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am a hardcore conservationist, I am a tree hugger and über green, I grew up in the state famous for starting the ecological movement, California during the hippy era and this bill in its present state frightens me to no end.  Protection yes but absolutely there is power being granted within the sections of this law that are absolute and we all know the old saying absolute power corrupts absolutely.  To have a politically appointed council have such broad and far reaching powers with exceedingly limited if any appeal process to their decisions is simply incomprehensible.  I have followed this bill from the very beginning, can almost quote the entire proposed one from memory, I have read it so often and all I can ask myself is who benefits, those who sit on the council who are hungry for power and the trappings of same.  Say goodbye to our airport, say goodbye to a cruise ship dock, say goodbye to any form of development including that which is done with attention to the highest international standards for environmental concerns, say goodbye toa resolution to the dump, say goodbye to alternative energy farms, say goodbye to clean beaches all of these are under direct control of a handful of people that will be politically appointed.

    As an aside CNS this was an editorial and an opinion article not news reporting.  If Minister Panton is going to slam the Compass for their bias, you should be equally chastised for not being open and transparent about your biases.

  20. SKEPTICAL says:

    What, or who is driving the Editorial agenda of the Caymanian Compass.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, but this isn't a news story; it's an editorial. CNS – you're as guilty as a the Compass for stating opinion with an agenda as fact, albeit and opposite one, in a editorial dressed up as a news story.  Please stick with reporting the news rather than telling us what's good for us to think.  Having the Compass do that for us now is too much as it is.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are worse than the compass – they place their editorial as an article – at least the compass expresses their opinion as an editorial!

  22. Anonymous says:

    What is the rush? If the Cayman Islands has waited 10 years it us better to get it right respect the democratic process and allow for public consultation for at least 60 days.

    Cayman cannot afford to get it wrong and pass legislation that is not balanced which potentially can drive away investors.

    • Anonymous says:

      It just seems like a rush compared to doing absolutely nothing for the last 10 or 500 years. 

    • Anonymous says:

      More public consultation? This has been grinding on for over a decade. Minister Panton's reference to the 'National Conversation Law' is apt. Investors like a predictable business environment with even-handed laws that ensure the long-term attractiveness and  health of this Island's wildlife and unique landscapes. Look at what's happening in South Sound because of  an overt distortion of planning regulations and the defiance of common sense. Is this what you want? To see Cayman's iconic and world-famous sandy beaches filled in at the whim of a developer? Think about the long-term consequences to Cayman. You know, maybe you are right, so let's hang around dithering for another decade, and watch it all disappear like like teenager's million dollar inheritance.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Honourable Kurt Tibbetts. Is going to oppose the National Conservation law this time like he did in 2009 when Minister Clifford  attempted to have the law passed.  Is it because money talks? Shame on Kurt Tibbetts and Arden McLean for opposing the passing of this law in 2009.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you point me to the hansards where Kurt Tibbetts and Arden McLean opposed the passing of this law?

      • Anonymous says:

        For your information Kurt Tibbetts and Arden McLean opposed the proposed law at Cabinet level        Therefore it could not make it to the Legislative Assembly.  

        I suggest that you have a chat with them and ask them to explain to you their reasons for opposing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is the first article in a while that CNS has posted that is full of BS! It is clearly pushing for this legislature….this document will be bad for our economy.

    "With unsustainable development having destroyed so much of the islands’ habitat"–NONSENSE!…so far only about 20-22% of the island has any form of development- and much of that residential.

    “The absence of a Conservation Law in the Cayman Islands could have dire consequences for future generations,”–The PRESENSE of this law will have dire consequences for THIS generation!…development will halt and we will starve since most of our country's revenue comes from Development and consumption.

    " it (the big Enviro Council) can dictate the outcome of a decision, is when the proposal involves a potential impact on a valuable protected area"—and pray where are those areas?? and whose lands are those areas on??? can we see a map please??

    “Either the landowner could sell the parcel to government at a fair market value or the landowner could agree to manage the conservation area, receiving a stipend to do so from government,” the minister explained.–And if the landowner does not want to sell or indeed does not want to recieve this stipend…THEN WHAT??? let me guess….BIg Pappa comes in and takes your land by the "Emmenient Domain Law"!!! So much for your inheritance!

    If what the minister and DOE are saying is true…that this law really only covers crown land and not other lands if the private land owner does not want to partake…why have this Law??? Just do what you want with Crown land….

    Public consulatation AFTER Cabinet has passed it to the LA for approval is the wrong way…one needs to have public consultation first, then a bill drafted for Cabinet to send to the LA…this only means they plan to pass it no matter what you say next week.

    Cayman, Everyone wants to protect the environment, I do..I reallydo, but please read this law carefully before you drink this Koolaid that Panton & DOE is forcing down your throats…and if you own land in North Side or East End…daag nyam u suppa!

    • Anonymous says:

      And once the Council has their eyes set on your land, it has no commercial or sale value because no one will want to buy it with that hanging over your head.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I beg all ministers and MLAs to take note as it highlights one of the many questions and far reaching consequences of the National Conservation Bill.  The Minister and the Director of Environment have been reported on the radio and TV as frequently saying the Council will only be offering recommendations and guidance to the CPA and other authorities, but unfortunately this is only a half truth as it fails to recognize the impact of Section 41 subsection (4) and (5).   Based upon the wide scope of this section the Council will have a veto-like power over a decision of any government entity including the CPA,NRA, DEH and everything else in between.  Whilst this is only in relation to protected land, the provision allowing the Council to exercise their power if the decision in question would indirectly effect protected land or the critical habitat of protected species extends this veto like power FARbeyond protected land.   To put this in perspective, anyone who owns land nearby any of the already identified protected areas such as the Meagre Bay pond, Colliers Bay Pond, Booby Pond and Rookery or that abuts the sea anywhere on the island will have to get the Council's approval before any decision making body can ever consider any application that they are putting forward.  This includes the properties of hundreds of Cayman Families that have held on to their property for years on end.  The impact is huge.   Regardless of the Minister of Environment's interpretation, these facts are black and white in the law and I again urge all Ministers and MLAs to find out the true impact of this legislation before it is rushed through the LA before it is truly understood.

    • Anonymous says:

      THe Minister and Director of Environment have also consistently made the distinction between Section 41(3) – the Council giving advice – and sections 41 (4&5) in relation to protected areas. Section 5 makes it clear that there is an expectation for the Council to agree to a proposed action under section 4 (i.e. in relation to protected areas) through the imposition of conditions which seek to mitigate the impacts and that it may only withold approval IF the impacts cannot be satisfactorily mitigated. Section 41 (6) goes on to state that is anyone is dissatisifed with a decision of the Council in respect of either of the 5 parts of section 41 they may appeal the decision to Cabinet. So where exactly is this "far-reaching" power of this 13 member Council, 7 of whom are lay persons appointed by the Cabinet, that you speak of? Get real! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Your comment just proved this is a poorly written law.  It is ran by political appointees that are "laymen" that have to "interpret" what the intent of the law was meant to do.  Huh seems we already have plenty of money being spent on that such as Immigration laws!  There is no sane person who does not want conservation in our islands but when the law is so poorly written that the authors and those pushing it through have to explain over and over again that one paragraph means this but then refer to this other paragraph which then cancels the interpretation of the first paragraph then refer to a third and fourth paragraph for exceptions to the second then pretty sure you have nothing but a nightmare waiting to happen.  My favorite part, the most polluting aspect of our country, CUC energy production not accounted for.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I've read the law, if you don't have time to, just flip to page 52 and therein lies the rub; "the Council may, having regard to all the material considerations in this Law and regulations made under this Law considers that the adverse impact of the proposed action cannot be satisfactorily mitigated by conditions, the Council shall so direct the originating authority and that authority shall refuse to agree to or refuse to proceed with the proposed action."

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right. That's the law. Your point sir?

    • Anon says:

      " "With unsustainable development having destroyed so much of the islands’ habitat"–NONSENSE!…so far only about 20-22% of the island has any form of development- and much of that residential."

       

      Unsustainable development is not all about building.  Cutting all the mahogany was unsustainable development.  Creating cotton plantations  was unsustainable development.   Cutting the primary forest for logwood plantations  was unsustainable development.  Fishing out all the turtles so that turtlers had to go to the Central American coast to find them  was unsustainable development.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for making the conservation point. Do you get it now that you've articulated it so well?