History of BLP neglect

The BLP has up to now neglected the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

On January 7th, 2008, this was posted on BFP: Prime Minister Owen Arthur And William Duguid Say “NO WAY” To Graeme Hall National Park

Mr. Arthur, to our knowledge, has never toured the Sanctuary, despite being invited to do so on many occasions. Arthur’s Government has refused to take active leadership in protecting the watershed area.

To our knowledge, neither Mr. Arthur nor his government has seriously talked or entered into negotiations with the owner or the association, “Friends of Graeme Hall”.

Incredible change of heart on eve of elections

Now the BLP manifesto, under the heading “THE GREEN ECONOMY”, has this:

“We will purchase the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to ensure that it
remains part of the national patrimony and implement programmes for its better
care and protection.”

Incredible! The Government has not informed the owner of Graeme Hall Nature
Sanctuary of their intent to purchase the same!

An empty vote-grabbing promise?

My sources advise me that Mr. Allard offered to give 25 acres of
Sanctuary land to the Government, if they would promise to designate the entire
240 acres of environmentally sensitive land as a national park. (The 11 acre
eco-tourist site was not part of the deal.) An additional stipulation to the
offer was that “Friends of Graeme Hall” would supervise the land use.
The Government ignored this offer and refused to deal with the issue. Why would
a Government offer to BUY something which was offered to them for FREE?

There are two reasons. First, 7,000 people signed the petition to save the
Sanctuary. BLP needs these votes. Second, if the Government buys the Graeme Hall
Nature Sanctuary, they can do as they please with the entire 240 acres. They
could put luxury homes for wealthy people or, if past performance is any
indicator, they could even place a garbage dump there.

Is it usual for the Barbadian Government to acquire land without notifying the owners?

If this is going to be a Government expropriation (eminent domain), then there may be no need to inform the owner. Even so, the BLP actions appear to be in poor taste. A more amicable method would have been to have called the owner and to have commenced negotiations a long time ago. This is not the way to treat people who are trying to help Barbados.

I hope that the 7,000+ people who signed the petition to save the Graeme
Hall Nature Sanctuary recall the abysmal environmental record of the BLP, and are not swayed by this incongruous promise.