Cayman’s precious natural resources are under pressure every day from development, and so the National Conservation Council’s call for nominations by the public of areas people would like to see protected has never been more important.
The NCC began its call for nominations last week and the period runs until 13 May 2022. During this time, anyone can nominate an area of land in the Cayman Islands that they think ought to be protected for future generations. Submissions will then make up part of the consultation process for this year.
The NCC is tasked with ensuring Cayman’s endangered wildlife and its habitats are protected and conserved, acting under the National Conservation Law. The law provides for protected terrestrial, wetland and marine areas and oversees that the marine environment of the wider Caribbean area is also protected and developed. The law also makes sure that conventions on climate change, wetlands of international importance, and those regarding the conservation of migratory species of wild animals are followed.
Anyone who makes a submission is asked to include as much detail as possible to explain where the area is on a map and why it is significant to them as a protected space. People should also include details about important plant and/or animal species that use the area and any other unique concerns such as being prone to erosion, flooding, and so on.
The call for input by the public for new areas to be considered is important because the National Conservation Law provides for new protected areas and expansion to existing protected areas, through voluntary purchase of land or through Conservation Agreements with landowners.
Nominations need to be in the form of a letter to the Council and must contain at a minimum, the information set out in the law as follows:
• a description of the area in sufficient detail to plot its boundaries on a map or chart;
• a statement of the reasons why the area should be selected for protection having regard to the purposes and objectives in section 8(1) and the criteria in section 8(2) of the Law;
• a description of any protected species or other species of special concern known to reside in or migrate through the area; and
• any conservation problems that are known to be associated with the area and any special protective measures which may be required.
Nominations of areas to be protected can be submitted to the National Conservation Council by any member of the public at any time.
Questions and/or nominations should be sent to the National Conservation Council, ConservationCouncil@gov.ky