Tuesday 16th April, 2019-The Environmental Awareness Groups has stated its intention to engage key stakeholders on issues arising out of development taking place in the North East Marine Management Area for several years.
In a statement, EAG President, Arica Hill says their concerns is not against development, but rather the lack of environmental best practices that include the lack of adequate information on the proposed development, the lack of open and transparent communication on the Environmental Impact Assessment process and the anticipated impacts of the development upon communities and the environment and the disregard of nationally enshrined environmental best practices, laws and policies.
The EAG President noted they continually recognize the need for greater conversation, and have actively engaged in conversations with Minister Dean Jonas (Minister responsible for Fisheries) and Minister Molwyn Joseph (Minister responsible for the Environment), and they also intend to engage in discussion with Minister Maria Browne (Minister responsible for the Development Control Authority).They have pledged to continue to engage in critical conversations with the Fisheries Division, the Department of Environment, and the Development Control Authority (DCA) and have reached out to the developer, Mr Yida Zhang and his team who have agreed to a joint meeting on the future of the development. Arica Hill acknowledged they understand that meeting at that level is not the only action that must be taken and as such they are coordinating engagement activities within the affected communities of Parham, Seatons, Glanvilles and Willikies, and hope to have conversations with any persons affected by the development.
She stated that much conversation has been focused on “mangrove plants”, but the conversation cannot be there solely. There needs to be discussion about how wastewater will be managed, and the impact that will have on sea life that keep the oceans clean, Hill stated.
The Environmental Awareness Group noted that without a comprehensive and holistic approach Antigua and Barbuda may suffer the loss of natural services that will cost significant amounts of money in the future. The organization has declared it has no political affiliations and is just concerned about the holistic development of the country and hope to see that development accrues to benefits for ALL stakeholders.