Grenada national Parks up for Sale

 

Grenada’s national parks may be up for sale

Published on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada: The Grenadian government has passed an amendment to the Grenada National Parks and Protected Areas Act, giving the governor general the right to sell national parks land (and other protected areas) to private developers.

Grenada’s Hog Island

This move has been precipitated by the proposed Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts development at Mount Hartman — Hog Island. The amendment to the National Parks Act allows the sale of the Mount Hartman National Park — the last stronghold of the Critically Endangered Grenada Dove (Leptotila wellsi) — for a massive hotel and villa complex.

Half the global population of Grenada Dove — just 120 individual birds — are found within the Mount Hartman Estate, with the majority currently finding safe haven inside the Mount Hartman National Park.

By paving the way for the sale of the Mount Hartman National Park, the Grenada government seems to have gone back on its word that the park would remain intact. As recently as the end of February, Ann David-Antoine, Minister of Health, Social Security and the Environment stated in a letter that “the government has not abolished the sanctuary [Mount Hartman National Park] nor will it do so”.

The government also claims that the developer has been given time to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment, and that “no final decision on the development has yet been made”. However, photographic evidence suggests otherwise. Approximately half of Hog Island – a critical part of the Four Seasons development – has been cleared ready for building work to commence.

With foreign investors and developers apparently driving the development process in Grenada, the loosening of the National Parks Act is seen as potentially devastating for the protection of Grenada’s rich natural heritage – according to observers, the government have effectively advertised their crown jewels as “up for sale”.

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Caribbean Net News: Grenada

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One Response to Grenada national Parks up for Sale

  1. R. says:

    Letter: Grenada\’s National Park for sale

    Published on Monday, May 14, 2007
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    Dear Sir:
    I read with dismay the article dated May 9 that the Grenadian government have paved the way for the sale of the Island\’s national parks.
    Although Grenada is in need of investment and, yes, it will inevitably be from foreign investors, it will not be for the benefit of the Island rather than for their own gain. In a few years, what would be left for our children\’s heritage?
    Would they be able to access the beaches or would it become the private property of these investors and prohibit the local residents free access? Would our natural beauty disappear as the doves from Mount Hartman?
    While other countries are protecting their national parks and endangered species, we are intending to sell off our treasures and destroy natural habitats. Development is a good thing and will provide some needed jobs but at what cost?
    Grenada is our birthright and I am sure that we all like to see it developed so that we can compete internationally, but also would like to walk and enjoy its natural beauty.
    I urge the government of my country to reconsider before its too late. Do not sell off our heritage.

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