A Letter For The New PACT Government
“Dear Honorable Premier,
The Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers would like to congratulate you for your appointment as our Premier. We would further like to congratulate all appointed MPs who have been elected to serve our country.
We understand that the last week, following the general elections, has been extremely hectic and we thank you for choosing to come together as the PACT government to serve these islands.
In your debut address last night, you stated “The loss of irreplaceable mangroves and possible extinction of marine life is a price too high to pay,” which is something that we strongly agree with and we advocate for the protection of Cayman’s mangroves, especially the Central Mangrove Wetlands, which is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the Caribbean. Therefore, we would like to bring your attention to the existential threat being posed to our Central Mangrove Wetlands and the remaining South Sound mangroves.
Next Wednesday 28th April, 2021 the Central Planning Authority (CPA) board will be hearing an application by Lookout Holdings Ltd. for a development located immediately south of the boundary of the Central Mangrove Wetlands. The Department of Environment/National Conservation Council comments brought attention to the lack of an updated development plan which can cause the “unnecessary fragmentation of pristine habitats and loss of valuable limited resources”. Given the urgency that is being presented by climate change and the recent explosion of construction in Cayman we strongly recommend that the ENTIRE Central Mangrove Wetlands is preserved for future generations.
The CPA board is primarily composed of developers, with the Chairman being the owner of the largest building supply store in the country. This poses obvious conflicts of interest in the face of sustainable development as acknowledged by the auditor general, Sue Winspear, and MLA Chris Saunders in 2019.
Therefore, the Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers strongly recommend that a freeze is immediately put on CPA until a diverse array of new members, including scientists, ecologists and DOE representatives, are appointed. The applies to all other projects affecting environmentally sensitive areas.
We would like to congratulate you and your government once again for your appointment. And we wish you all the best in serving our country.
The Cayman Islands Mangrove Rangers,
Martin Keeley - Mangrove Education Project Executive Director and Christopher Luijten - Mangrove Education Project Associate Director “