Written by on December 19, 2017

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These images show the destruction of the beaches close to the town of Sauteurs.  Trees are falling into the water and businesses created nearby are in danger of doing the same.  It is not that we are unhappy that the breakwater was built to protect Sauteurs itself, the bottom of the town is now safe.  However it has left the coastline 200 metres from town extremely vulnerable to the power of the ocean which has now moved westwards.

Despite repeated requests to see the Environmental Impact Assessment which should have been carried out for a project of this kind, it has not been forthcoming.  It is questionable that if an impact assessment had been carried out that they would not have stated that this kind of outcome would be a possibility; and if the EIA did say, this then the question remains as to why measures were not taken to mitigate against this kind of damage occurring.

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Questions need to be asked both in Parliament and the Senate as to why we are creating this kind of vulnerability on our coastline when we have just declared ourselves part of a ‘ Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition’ which seeks as one of its aims – to ‘Strengthen the capacity of Caribbean countries and key regional institutions to plan for long-term resilience and climate smart growth strategies.’  This announcement came at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President, Emmanuel Macron in Paris on December 12 2017, in a meeting held to review progress made on the Paris Agreement adopted by global governments two years ago to the day.

The statement goes on to say that, “Caribbean leaders have brought together a ‘Coalition of global organizations’ such as the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank, as well as businesses and supporters from the Caribbean and the international community. The Coalition aims to reinvigorate the islands that have been impacted by recent hurricanes Irma and Maria, and help build more resilient infrastructure and communities across the region as the likelihood of future extreme weather events increases.

Coalition members will help to establish partnerships that can make investment deals happen. They will also bring their collective abilities together to break down the technological and financial barriers which represent the last obstacles to Caribbean people grasping the transformational opportunities that are in reach.

 In the light of what is happening in Sauteurs, it begs the question as to what the intentions of certain members of the coalition might be.  Maybe the temptation of ‘rapid implementation of US $8 billion climate investment plan’ is the focus, rather than the implementation of protection of our coastal areas.

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