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VI has “soft power” to prevent degradation of nat. environment by others- Hon. Pickering

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr the Honourable Kedrick Pickering during the interview at the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Hyderabad, India on October 16, 2012. Photo: vimeo.com
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr the Honourable Kedrick Pickering says the Virgin Islands does not have the power in the true sense of the word to stop persons outside of the Territory from damaging the natural environment which could indirectly affect the VI but believes it has “soft power” to help prevent that from occurring.

Speaking to a journalist during the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Hyderabad, India on October 16, 2012, Hon. Pickering was asked how concerned was the VI about damage to environment being done elsewhere but which could have an indirect impact on the VI.

Hon. Pickering said the VI has ‘soft power” because it can spread the word in the tourism market about the importance of conserving the natural environment and encourage visitors to the Territory to spread the word also. “It is also important to our visitors because they want to come again and they want to encourage others to come and enjoy it.”

The Deputy Premier also said the VI was very concerned about issues such as ocean acidification and the warming of waters which could see irreparable damage to the natural environment. This concern he said was underlined earlier this year when the VI Government, in collaboration with the Joint Nature Conservative Council, hosted a conference to discuss the question of the conservation of the near shore and marine environment “and the whole impetus for that is to ensure that we maintain what we have and do not destroy it”.

He said Government was very concerned about coral bleaching, mangrove destruction and quality of water surrounding the islands and “before it gets to a point where it is irreversible, we want to ensure that we put in motion all necessary factors to ensure that we do not suffer in the long term”.

The preservation of the natural environment being a very critical component for survival in the Virgin Islands was also highlighted by Hon. Pickering, who said the heavily depended upon tourism sector is based mostly on environment because 70 to 80 percent of visitors to the Territory come to enjoy the water and the natural marine environment.

 

5 Responses to “VI has “soft power” to prevent degradation of nat. environment by others- Hon. Pickering”

  • fresh water (01/11/2012, 16:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i'm glad to hear that someone is saying our natural environment is a very critical component for survival in the Virgin Islands..OOOppps and its the Minister
  • cia (01/11/2012, 18:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    what about the vexing issue where the pblic (denied by politians) is being prevented, from going to some beaches????

    That prevention is true. I have been personally been denied on at least 3 occasions from visiting a beach on Tortola and one on a cay!!!!
    • pat (01/11/2012, 22:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      May I make a suggestion? I suggest that you go and see Dr. Pickering on this
  • bigger picture (01/11/2012, 22:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    While what he is saying is refreshing, he and his have yet proven that they are sincere about protecting the environment or put sanctions in place to punish those who don't. We have more power than Pickering thinks. When a charter runs aground or drags an anchor through coral AND someone calls, there should be a response. But no, no conservation and fisheries shows up because they don't have the money or boat.
    What do they think is going to happen with the extended runway and deminished trellis bay? what are the bigger and LOUDER planes going to do to migrating birds in Hans Creek? Where is the sewage going at the cruiseship dock and park? and believe it or not, water is warming up and getting saltier at every desal plant around. That will have a lasting affect as well. These people are not serious because they don'e even have a preservationist or biologist on planning authority or Town and Country.
  • Buff-Baff (04/11/2012, 02:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Although global warming and other natural phenomena are a threat to our natural environment, the real threat comes from us here in the BVI. We feel that every clump of mangrove should be destroyed to make new land, and that we own the salt ponds so we can do whatever we want with them. It is high time that government say eneogh is enough and take charge of all coastal resources - salt ponds, mangroves, seagrasses and beaches and declare them off limits to any development. The sad thing is that none of our governments have the balls to do that.


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