Tourism body offers backing to conservation law

| 06/12/2013

(CNS): The Cayman Islands tourism product has benefited from the decades of protection of the ocean environment and the establishment of marine parks more than 25 years ago, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) said this week, as it offered its formal support to government on the long-awaited National Conservation Law. The private sector tourism body said that environmental issues directly affect tourism businesses’ future ability to be competitive in the marketplace. The importance of a protected and pristine environment was emphasised by Environment Minister Wayne Panton this week when he pointed out that visitors to Cayman do not come to see concrete and steel.

Although the bill is expected to be steered through the Legislative Assembly next week, it is still stirring controversy as the last round of public meetings demonstrate considerable misconceptions in the public domain about the law.

When asked about how the legislation will help a man put food on the table, Panton explained that without it the tourism product would be undermined and in time putting food on the table will be increasingly difficult for everyone.

CITA, which has consistently backed the need for a conservation law, said it had reaffirmed that commitment with its membership on Monday. Following a general meeting of the association, where the Department of the Environment was invited to present the details of the law, officials said a survey of members showed continuing support for the legislation of up to 87% of the membership in favour of the law, which, it said has been the “leading provision of CITA’s top tourism issue of the environment.”

In a short statement the association pointed to the "sustainable operating practices to support longevity as well as sustainable development to assure industry growth" in the proposed law. CITA also urged government to enforce this and the marine laws once the legislation was enacted.

“CITA advocates the government’s full enforcement of those laws currently in place,” it said in a statement released Thursday. “CITA supports the National Conservation Law’s intent to provide the same level protection for the terrestrial ecosystem and vigilant enforcement of laws affecting both the land and marine environments.”

The public meetings continue this weekend on Cayman Brac on Saturday and in East End on Monday before the debate in the LA next week.

Meanwhile, the newest local advocacy group promoting conservation Sustainable Cayman has created a petition and a statement of support for the NCL and is encouraging people to sign and add their reasons for supporting the bill to the statement.

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In other news, CITA silent on proposed destruction of 626,000 cubic yards of national marine park in face of NCL support!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Besides, who cares what anybody other than the rabid cayman compass says? : )

  3. O. Stone says:

    It should now be clear to all that the DOE and CITA are engaged in a conspiracy to steal private land from unsuspecting politicians and newspaper editors.

    If I wasn’t completely paranoid, it would all make perfect sense.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm not sure how encouraging this is. Whilst it is true CITA has always given vocal support to conservation laws the past actions of some of their leading members do raise a few questions about how committed some of them really are.

    • Anonymous says:

      87% of CITA members supported. 

      The organisation can't be responsible for what individual members do …

      As an organisation they are taking the responsible and rationale stance on this issue. 

      With strong support from its membership. 

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Very true.  One of the leading members is not concerned over Government taking land,  but rather if they can get government to give them more land.  The previous government gave away public land to developers. This bill is meant to protect our public land.