Friday, May 27, 2011

Coastal Habitat getting Destroyed in Antigua

Over the past two weeks I have seen several fairly natural areas around Antigua get clear cut or otherwise destroyed. Habitat destruction is one of the best ways to diminish your biodiversity and here in Antigua is looks as if the powers that be care very little about the problems associated with it. Below is a video done by the Antigua Conservation Society which is a small environmental group which we will hear much more about over the next few months. It shows a property that was owned by some of the Dutch Jolly Harbour (CDAL) share holders. Also shareholders of La Perla which has already been in big trouble for digging up mangroves in Nonsuch Bay. Anyway, I don't think they are the problem here. The problem is the government and their lack of proper management. The point is that apart from being totally wrong to clear coastal habitat with all of the normal environmental implications, it is against the law. You need permits from the Forestry Division, and you shouldn't be able to clear land if the proposed project has been turned down by the Environmental Division and the DCA. I am not sure if they have changed their mind, but sources within the government agencies say that no approval has been granted. It's time for this kind of thing to have some form of punishment. Anyway, have a look at the video and think about what you can do. I think we need some change in environmental policy here in Antigua.

EDIT: Since writing this originally, I have been contacted by some of the LA Perla and CDAL group who say that although the transfer hasn't been finished the land in question has been sold to an "unrelated" person. As you will read in the comments on this blog, another name has been given for the owners. Anyway, the problem is the government here and their lack of supervision or enforcement of the regulations.