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National Trust hosts intimate screening of “Saving the Blues”

Environment 15 May, 2024 Follow News

National Trust hosts intimate screening of “Saving the Blues”

Members of the National Trust hosted an intimate screening this week of ‘Saving the Blues’ a film produced by the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK, and which first aired during London Climate Action Week 2023. A small group of 50 invited guests, who were also able to sample Blue Iguana gin cocktails during the evening, which included Her Excellency Governor Jane Owen, Deputy Premier Andre Ebanks and Minister of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Katherine Ebanks-Wilks.

“Saving the Blues” chronicles the inspiring journey of Fred Burton, a young British Scientist, who dedicated himself to the monumental task of saving the blue iguana, a virtually prehistoric creature endemic to Grand Cayman. The documentary highlights the critical conservation efforts led by Fred Burton, the Department of Environment, and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, which resulted in the recovery of the blue iguana species from critically endangered to endangered status. Presented by Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia, Representative to the UK for the Cayman Islands and featuring interviews with Fred Burton, team members from the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility, and global thought leaders, the film underscores the importance of preserving planetary species from a biodiversity perspective.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Ian Redmond OBE, a distinguished wildlife biologist and conservationist, who is currently on island attending screenings of the film and visiting schools. With over 45 years of experience in wildlife conservation, Ian is renowned for his work with great apes and elephants, spanning research, filming, tourism, and conservation advocacy. His impactful contributions to environmental conservation have earned him international recognition and respect.

Ian Redmond spoke eloquently about the similarities between Diane Fossey saving the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas and the Cayman Islands’ rescue of the Blue Iguana. He explained that everything is connected and if we look after our indigenous species we are not only saving them, but through their very existence the iguanas propagate indigenous plants by spreading seeds and in this way help to maintain the environments in which they and many other creatures thrive. He stressed the value of our remaining areas of virgin forest and wetlands and all the plants and creatures that live in them, who together help sustain each other in balance to make our beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, corals and sea life.

Following the screening of Saving the Blues, there followed a lively and engaging Q&A panel session featuring Ian Redmond, Fred Burton and Sangeeta Laudus (co-producer of Saving the Blues and interviewer featured in the documentary). Other speakers of the evening included Melanie Carmichael, Chair of the National Trust Council and Frank Roulstone, Director of the National Trust.

Ian Redmond has been visiting schools all this week and will address a free to the public screening of ‘Saving the Blues’ event to celebrate International Blue Iguana Day at The Ritz-Carlton, Andiamo at 6:30pm this evening (Wednesday 8 May).

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