The National Trust for the Cayman Islands has endorsed the warnings recently issued by the Department of Environment, the National Conservation Council and local environmental groups about plans to clear more mangrove forests for development projects.
The National Trust says while it supports responsible and sustainable development, “all proposed development should demonstrate both clear benefits to our people and careful consideration of the very environment that is protecting our Islands.”
It says recommendations issued by groups such as DoE, NCC and other experts should be followed to ensure maximum protection of these sites and to minimise disruption of ecosystems.
“Once developed, it is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to restore the critical biodiversity nature has created,” the National Trust warns.
According to the Trust, neighbouring land-owners and those within the planning notification radius are in a position to formally object, but, in the majority of cases, concerned citizens and groups (including the National Trust) are not.
It urges residents to get involved in the campaign to protect the mangroves and other aspects of the natural environment and suggests various methods of doing so.
These include; lobbying MPs, urging Government to finalise and publish PlanCayman and ensuring it has broad community input, encouraging the DoE and the NCC to review the Mangrove Conservation Plan, and supporting climate science literacy in schools.
Hon. Premier Wayne Panton has placed ‘Sustainability and Climate Resiliency’ at the core of his new administration's agenda and has taken personal responsibility for that portfolio.
The National Trust says Grand Cayman’s west side wetlands, which includes the South Sound mangrove forests, have suffered a 72% loss between 1976 and 2018.