None in authority cares about the environment
It seems as though Trinidad and Tobago has a knack for bringing shame and disgrace upon itself, whether locally, regionally or internationally, on a regular basis. This incident of the senseless slaughter of leatherback turtles has truly shown the level this country has reached. No one cares, no one is accountable and no one is going to be punished.
That which took place is nothing short of a travesty. How can a minister responsible for the environment react with such little emotion? How can the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) show so little remorse for what took place? Does placing a full-page ad in the newspaper solve the issue, or does it just ease your own minds that you did the right thing?
Does not any high-ranking official realise that an environmental crime took place that fateful day? These majestic creatures are protected under the Conservation of Wildlife Act. Both Mr Ganga Singh and Mr Joth Singh surely know this. Where are the game wardens and police officers to enforce the law? Someone has to be charged for breaking the law. Or is it that political backing is above and beyond any silly law, especially the Wildlife Act?
On whose authority was the hotel
allowed to build in such a sensitive area? In developed countries, which we always
boast we are close to becoming, there are environmentally sensitive areas. In these areas, not even a bicycle is permitted without being monitored. In Trini-
dad, not only cars are allowed but trucks,
maxis and, now, excavators. Even buil-
dings are now allowed in protected areas
here, just check the Aripo Savannahs. Who cares? Who is responsible?
People in authority will only realise the mistakes they make when it is too late. If these turtles decide never to return to our shores to nest and head on to South Africa, or Argentina or other First World countries, do you think this madness will take place there? They will ensure these turtles are well taken care of and that nothing will traumatise them because they will realise the value of saving these animals. Even if, in the odd sense, something like this happens, for sure, heads will roll.
As is customary in this two-by-four country, nothing will come of this. Very soon, something else will come up, and this will all be forgotten. It is time someone reminds the EMA they are not only responsible for shutting down fetes and noisy bars. They are the caretakers of the environment, including plants, animals, and all land and sea.
Mr Singh, don't be caught up in political dilly-dallying. You must either accept responsibility or cast it where it actually is; someone must account. This reminds me of an old Native American proverb: Only when the last tree has been cut, the last fish caught and the last river poisoned, only then we will realise that money cannot be eaten.