Conservation Law consultation extended

 The public has more time to learn
more about and offer their views on the much talked about National Conservation
Bill.

Environment Minister Mark Scotland
has extended the consultation deadline until the end of August.

Mr. Scotland released a written statement
explaining his decision:

In
the past few weeks, there has been a rich and varied response to the Conservation
Bill at multiple levels. Several individuals, non-governmental organisations
and community groups have indicated to me that while the public consultation
period ended on Friday, 16 July, they would still like an opportunity to make a
contribution to the development of our national environmental policy.

As
the Minister for Environment, I recognise that the relationship between human
society and the environment is complex and multidimensional, with changes in
one domain affecting the other; and I also recognise that the way policy
decisions are made has important implications for the outcome. Therefore, after
consultation with my colleagues in Government – I have decided to extend the
public consultation period for an additional six weeks, ending 27 August.

Historically,
Caymanians have responded to the challenges posed to sustainable development by
committing to and establishing policies for creating an enabling environment that
supports sustained economic growth, environmental integrity, good governance
and respect for human rights. Therefore, I see no reason why we cannot continue
to achieve this.

The
process of moving our country towards a more sustainable future not only
requires better management systems, but it also requires a dynamic inclusive
forum which brings together the demands of different social groups, values and
discourses in a deliberative fashion.  We
need a law that is inclusive, flexible and responsive to future needs of our
country. One that will codify the norms of the Caymanian people, while
simultaneously creating a structure for participation that helps to crystallise
and protect our country’s environmental goals.

This
Government is committed to developing a Conservation Law that:

  • Results
    in a fair participatory process
  • Builds
    partnerships and promotes collaboration, at multiple levels, to address and
    find solutions to the challenges of sustainable development
  • Acknowledges
    that strengthening national institutions and empowering people is key to effective
    and sustainable resource management
  • Recognises
    that the environment is integral to sustainable development
  • Strengthens
    the quality of decision making
  • Harnesses
    the opportunities the environment provides for economic growth and human
    well-being
  • Enhances
    our scientific and technological capabilities, to enable us to respond to
    environmental and development challenges more effectively

By
extending the public consultation period on this Bill, I believe that we can
develop the right legal framework to achieve these goals, so I encourage everyone
to take advantage of this extended opportunity to comment on the Bill and get
involved in shaping the future of our country.

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