Categorized | Editorial, Local

Ignoring society and the environment gains naught for development

Editorial – March 21, 2014

The news still to be revealed by the Premier to the people of Montserrat that, the US$150 million port project has either been abandoned or at least put on hold, comes as no surprise to us, but the reason that the Premier is supposed to give goes to the heart of the diplomacy and the British way of how they protect by soft talk with our leaders, while opening wide the wound, Montserrat’s dead economy and its Strategic Growth Plan (SGP), Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) built to be operated on a Memorandum of Understanding which GoM and DfID signed on May 1, 2012.

We have spoken to this MOU on previous occasions and pointed out that the Premier never kept his promise to discuss, the problems members of the media had observed, representing as best the civil society and the rest of Montserrat.

While GoM, the MCAP government took claim as the architect of the conditions as set out, (of course they agreed and accepted, wisely or otherwise) HMG took the credit.

In the most recent House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories report published on January 16, 2014 (this year), we find some most revealing information.

No one can miss GoM’s reluctance to carry out Enviornmental and Social Impact studies required by the UK both internationally and domestically for projects they carry out. The Governor reporting on Montserrat on our environmental status, that any growth for Montserrat, “would be purely on economic grounds—not “green growth” and with little regard for environmental or social concerns.”

What we discovered is that the Environmental Audit Committee in its very informative report, said: “It is notable also that, against much local feeling to maintain sites of biological and cultural importance, the DFID-dominated government in Montserrat is allowing—and indeed promoting—destructive development at Pipers Pond (the only remaining mangrove area on the island), Carr’s Bay Battery historical site and the historic cemetery. Other approaches retaining these features would have been quite feasible.”

Can anyone now understand that the pull back on the Carrs Bay port will affect the overall Strategic Growth Plan, which by the way should have been about all Montserrat and not just Little Bay and Carrs Bay?

We learn that economy, society and the environment are the three pillars of sustainable development. If we accept this, Montserrat falls very short in its quest for sustainable development, we have obviously failed so far.

Noting, “that desperation over achieving income (money) may have outweighed proper environmental considerations,” that report reveals that HMG is well aware of the practices of secrecy, lack of consultation and lack of taking account of environmental considerations, that exist in Montserrat.

If we refuse to recognize the UK principle that: “Sustainable development in the UKOTs is contingent on their Governments implementing effective development controls, such as statutory environmental impact assessments for major developments and strategic infrastructure plans,”  and not put legislation stalled, due to lack of political will since 2008, in place, we should realise we are doomed to failure.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Editorial – March 21, 2014

The news still to be revealed by the Premier to the people of Montserrat that, the US$150 million port project has either been abandoned or at least put on hold, comes as no surprise to us, but the reason that the Premier is supposed to give goes to the heart of the diplomacy and the British way of how they protect by soft talk with our leaders, while opening wide the wound, Montserrat’s dead economy and its Strategic Growth Plan (SGP), Sustainable Development Plan (SDP) built to be operated on a Memorandum of Understanding which GoM and DfID signed on May 1, 2012.

We have spoken to this MOU on previous occasions and pointed out that the Premier never kept his promise to discuss, the problems members of the media had observed, representing as best the civil society and the rest of Montserrat.

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While GoM, the MCAP government took claim as the architect of the conditions as set out, (of course they agreed and accepted, wisely or otherwise) HMG took the credit.

In the most recent House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Sustainability in the UK Overseas Territories report published on January 16, 2014 (this year), we find some most revealing information.

No one can miss GoM’s reluctance to carry out Enviornmental and Social Impact studies required by the UK both internationally and domestically for projects they carry out. The Governor reporting on Montserrat on our environmental status, that any growth for Montserrat, “would be purely on economic grounds—not “green growth” and with little regard for environmental or social concerns.”

What we discovered is that the Environmental Audit Committee in its very informative report, said: “It is notable also that, against much local feeling to maintain sites of biological and cultural importance, the DFID-dominated government in Montserrat is allowing—and indeed promoting—destructive development at Pipers Pond (the only remaining mangrove area on the island), Carr’s Bay Battery historical site and the historic cemetery. Other approaches retaining these features would have been quite feasible.”

Can anyone now understand that the pull back on the Carrs Bay port will affect the overall Strategic Growth Plan, which by the way should have been about all Montserrat and not just Little Bay and Carrs Bay?

We learn that economy, society and the environment are the three pillars of sustainable development. If we accept this, Montserrat falls very short in its quest for sustainable development, we have obviously failed so far.

Noting, “that desperation over achieving income (money) may have outweighed proper environmental considerations,” that report reveals that HMG is well aware of the practices of secrecy, lack of consultation and lack of taking account of environmental considerations, that exist in Montserrat.

If we refuse to recognize the UK principle that: “Sustainable development in the UKOTs is contingent on their Governments implementing effective development controls, such as statutory environmental impact assessments for major developments and strategic infrastructure plans,”  and not put legislation stalled, due to lack of political will since 2008, in place, we should realise we are doomed to failure.