Monday, January 22, 2018

Election promises left to decay

This is an open letter to Prime Minister, Mrs Persad-Bissessar.

Our nation holds you to your manifesto promises. One way of serving the people is to live up to one's manifesto which states:

1. "Areas requiring protection for environmental or ecological reasons will be clearly designated." What areas have been designated?... Your Government has granted dozens of new quarry approvals in sensitive watershed/aquifer areas on the Northern Range.

2. "An individual ministry should be set up to treat with issues related to the environment as opposed to its current status as an appendage to another ministry." Today, environment is a flaccid appendage to a super Housing Ministry.

3. "We will introduce the Planning and Development of Land Bill". Where is the Planning and Development of Land Bill?

4. "We shall effectively utilise the Green Fund for the restoration of areas that have been damaged by poor and dangerous practices of development and to strengthen community-based environmental projects." Which areas have been restored to date, by whom, and at what cost?

5. "We shall… immediately lay in Parliament the draft air pollution rules and the draft solid and hazardous waste rules which are mandatory requirements of the Environmental Management Act." Where are these rules?

6. "We will develop and implement an integrated coastal zone management strategy for protecting, restoring, enhancing and developing our coastal and marine resources, in a sustainable manner. The National Environmental Policy would be reviewed to provide for no loss of mangroves." Where is the coastal zone management strategy?

7. "We will provide incentives to develop a recycling industry, thereby creating employment and encouraging entrepreneurship, starting immediately with the Beverage Container Bill, which has already been prepared by the EMA." The Beverage Container Bill is growing fungus in some corner, and there are still no known incentives for recycling.

8. "We will establish parks and other initiatives to encourage community and family wellness. ... we will set up a National Parks and Recreation Authority, for the purpose of conserving, protecting and maintaining environmentally sensitive areas". Fix ours.

So many promises are left in decay while crime is being made into a political flag. We appeal to you to take the lead in honouring your stated promises without the unnecessary delay.

Terrence Beddoe/Gary Aboud

Fishermen and Friends of the Sea