Saturday, December 1, 2012

OT director says CI needs environmental protection

Cayman News Service
November 30, 2012
The UK’s new overseas territories director has pointed to the environment as a crucial Caymanian asset that needs to be protected. Speaking during a brief press conference during a short visit to the Cayman Islands on Thursday, Dr Peter Hayes said that the protection of the environment in the territories is a major part of the new Whitepaper outlining the future relationship between Britain and its former colonies. He said that there would be help available to the OTs in this regard and he wanted to see the legislature also take action to protect the islands’ natural resources. He indicated that the UK saw the natural environment as the driving force in the success of the tourism product, so it had to be protected in order to protect the countries' revenue. 

Asked what he believed Cayman should be doing to improve its financial situation, the environment was the first thing the senior FCO technocrat pointed to.  Read the whole story here.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Experts advise giving ‘Stinky’ space

Caymanian Compass
October 8, 2012

Marine mammal specialists are backing the Cayman Islands Department of Environment’s message to the public to avoid interacting in the water with the lone male dolphin that has made his 
home in local waters.

Three experts from the United States, who visited Grand Cayman last week to observe the dolphin, nicknamed Stinky, say that it’s important that people resist the temptation to get in the water and swim, touch or feed the animal.

Their advice for divers who encounter the dolphin is to avoid interacting with him if possible. Read the whole story here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sandbar stingray population in decline

Caymanian Compass

July 23, 2012

Scientists have confirmed local anecdotal reports that the number of stingrays at the Sandbar are decreasing.

Brad Wetherbee from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island, working in conjunction with the Guy Harvey Institute and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, has been carrying out censuses on the local stingray population since 2002. In his last check in 2008, he found more than 100 stingrays at the Sandbar at any given time, but on his most recent trip this year, he counted or tagged just 61.

The numbers he found during similar censuses in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008 showed consistent results, but when he returned to Grand Cayman in January this year, he was able to confirm that the reports of declining numbers 
were correct.

“In January this year, we went out ... to catch them and tag them. In previous years, we easily caught 100. This January, we caught 61,” said Mr. Wetherbee. This month, when he carried out another census, he found 57, he said. Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Earth’s advocate: Defending our environment

The Independent
June 13, 2012

In 1992 the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro designed international legal protocol for the protection of the environment. Twenty years later, British barrister Polly Higgins believes those laws have failed.

“Environmental law as it stands is clearly not fit for purpose,” she says.

But her sweet Scottish brogue has only tones of optimism. Her perpetual smile reveals faith in her proposed solution – an international crime of ‘ecocide.’

Seven years ago, working as a corporate lawyer in London, she found herself fighting for things she didn’t believe in. She was representing clients who looked at the environment as collateral damage in pursuit of profit.

So Higgins became an international environmental lawyer. She has taken on one client, pro bono, and became advocate for the earth.

“I recognised that we don’t have legal duty of care for the earth. It doesn’t exist. I realised that the earth was in need of a good lawyer,” she says.

This month she will travel to the Rio+20 summit, as an official observer, to petition for the legal rights of the planet to be acknowledged under her proposed law of ecocide.

She has tabled international legislation at the UN that would make the “extensive damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems” the fifth crime against peace, alongside genocide, under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.  Her law of ecocide would empower individuals and communities to act as legal guardians of the planet in the courtroom.  Read the whole story here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Environmentalism Has Failed: A Biocentric Viewpoint Is Needed Now

Living Green Magazine
May 7, 2012

Environmentalism has failed. Over the past 50 years, environmentalists have succeeded in raising awareness, changing logging practices, stopping mega-dams and offshore drilling, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But we were so focused on battling opponents and seeking public support that we failed to realize these battles reflect fundamentally different ways of seeing our place in the world. And it is our deep underlying worldview that determines the way we treat our surroundings.

We have not, as a species, come to grips with the explosive events that have changed our relationship with the planet. For most of human existence, we lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers whose impact on nature could be absorbed by the resilience of the biosphere. Even after the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago, farming continued to dominate our lives. We cared for nature. People who live close to the land understand that seasons, climate, weather, pollinating insects and plants are critical to our well-being.  Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Scenes from the roadside clean up

Caymanian Compass
Apr 18, 2012

The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce’s 15th annual Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up took place on Saturday, April 14.

Although the official start was 7am, hundreds of people were out beginning at sunrise as they committed to their goal of cleaning up Cayman’s roadsides and beaches. More than 1,500 people came out representing schools, businesses, church groups and community organisations. After the clean up, everyone was invited to a brunch at Tiki Beach courtesy of LIME.

Nassau Grouper Recovery Efforts Put Cayman Islands on the World Conservation Map

The Bahamas Weekly
Apr 16, 2012

George Town, Grand Cayman - Recent scientific evidence shows that a ten-year effort to protect the spawning aggregation sites for the endangered Nassau Grouper has resulted in a growing and healthy population of the species on the reefs near Little Cayman, a harbinger that the recovery of the species may spread throughout the Caribbean.

After ten years the detective work is finally done, said an exuberant Dr. Guy Harvey, a Cayman resident and an ardent conservationist and internationally known marine wildlife artist.  Read the whole story here.