Leader of the opposition, Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, has admonished the Progressive National Party (PNP) government to act responsibly in matters where it appears economically feasible for today and tomorrow but which can prove to be detrimental to the territory’s future.
PDM and opposition leader Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson
In a press release on Monday, Cartwright Robinson said the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) is concerned with the policy decisions being considered by the PNP that can pose a threat to the environment.
“We are aware of a number of projects and unsubstantiated matters in the pipeline for consideration and we have in fact posed a question to the minister of environment asking her government’s policy on the proposed long line fishing and dredging in the Caicos Bank,” the PDM leader said.
“We became even more concerned when we heard the premier’s statement last week on PTV where he suggested that the laws may be amended to allow for dredging in the National Parks,” she added.
Cartwright Robinson pointed out that the National Parks have their purpose and former governments spent thousands of dollars establishing and educating residents on the importance of the National Parks.
“We as a people rely heavily on the environment and we have a great deal of responsibility to maintain it: be it our clean air, our beaches and/or our marine life,” she said.
The parliamentary opposition and the PDM will oppose any proposed policies that we know are detrimental to the environment of the TCI and they will stand to safeguard the environment as is provided for in the Constitution, Cartwright Robinson continued.
“I am from a fishing community and the environment is especially important to me. I learnt to be protective of the environment and hence my petitioning to Kate Sullivan in my written submission to have the clause concerning the protection of our environment placed in the highest law of the land. I remain grateful that the provision was placed there and the opposition will spare no efforts safeguarding these provisions and our environment,” she said.
Cartwright Robinson suggested that the government places greater effort in strengthening the Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs through the provision of more critical staffing needs and training and create clear policies and penalties to protect our environment.
“We need to be more proactive to protect what we have for our future generations and two of our country’s economic sectors and for the general enjoyment of our people and visitors to our shores,” she concluded.