[Coral-List] Update on Guana Cay Reef Issue

Erik Gauger erik at notesfromtheroad.com
Fri Jul 28 12:31:09 EDT 2006

Dear Coral List Members, 


I hope this following coral reef news continues to prove relevant
to all of you.  It is rare to see a fight over the fate of a
coral reef become the main attraction in a nation's news.  In the
Bahamas, the fight between San Francisco developer Discovery Land
Company and the local population of Great Guana Cay over the fate
of the coral reef is national news.


Yesterday, the locals and the coral reef won a crucial battle
victory:  The Privy Council, which is a 'Supreme Court' for
Commonwealth nations of Great Britian, such as the Bahamas,
decided that all work must stop at Bakers Bay Club in Guana Cay
until the Supreme Court decision (which has been taking months)
has been decided.


There are dozens of other environmental battles happening in the
Bahamas as unsustainable 'anchor' developments are being issued
across the Out Islands, almost always against the will of locals.
This decision is expected to send as shockwave throughout the
Bahamas that environmental concerns and the role of communities
in protecting their resources are not just 'red tape'.


As more experts and conservation organizations have come to
oppose, and have questions about the initial EIA and EMP of the
Bakers Bay Club, the developer and its environmental management
team (supposedly a team of University of Miami scientists backed
by Earthwatch volunteers) have distanced themselves from any
transparency with the public, despite earlier declarations to the
contrary.  Many crucial suggestions in the initial EIA have
simply not been followed by the developer.  And the website used
by the developer to report to the public, ironically named
saveguanacay.com, has not been updated since November 2005.  


The residents of Guana Cay, who rely on the coral reef for their
income, were reported to have been dancing in the streets
yesterday after the Privy Council decision.


I will be putting out updates on this issue as quickly as
possible at: 



The locals website is:

 www.saveguanacayreef.com <http://www.saveguanacayreef.com/> 




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