National Environmental Policy (NEP) | What is Behind the Curtain
Submitted by Cathal Healy-Singh (Environmental Engineer, Public Interest Advocate, Advisor to Fishermen & Friends of the Sea, FFOS) comments on the August 2017 T&T draft of the National Environmental Policy (NEP) Trinidad.
BU finds the comments by Healy-Singh contained in the 12 page document interesting and suggest similarly qualified individuals in the Barbados space similarly accept the responsibility to educate a “national environmental” illiterate public.
The following is the last paragraph of the report. Given the unstable national environmental climate in Barbados read South Coast Sewage plant, proposed Hyatt hotel build on lower Broad Street, Eugene Melnyk’s recent claim about an unsafe cliff at the Crane, an ineffective and inefficient waste management system, proposal to drill for oil off the West Coast …the absence of a comprehensive National Environment Policy is a worry to the environmental literate. The BU household recommends the attached document to assist with the demystification process of an important issue which has import locally and regionally.
Finally, the most recent national environmental literacy rates published in 2016 by the EMA alarmingly reveal that only 2% of the national population is even aware that a National Environmental Policy exists. This in my view is a public interest crisis. If the 2018 NEP does not in fact “belong to the people” and is perceived to belong to the “1%” (special interests) and their attendant politicians, then the 2% who are actually aware of not only its existence, but its inherent weaknesses (including technocrats), may become increasingly apathetic and disillusioned. The other 98%, especially the youths, already feel betrayed and even angry at how a place as rich and blessed as we once were, could have succumbed to so much crime, corruption, pollution and poverty. Any NEP will remain insignificant to them unless it is crafted to serve their very best interests.