SLNT Members Pledge their Continued Support

SLNT Members Pledge their Continued Support

Press Release:-Members and non-members of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) turned out in large numbers for an Emergency Membership Meeting at the Pigeon Island National Landmark on Saturday, April 29th.

The meeting was convened following news that the Government has proposed the zeroing of its EC$700,000.00 subvention in the 2017/2018 budget allocation.

Members were irate at government’s decision to cut the subvention, noting that, “We must not absolve them (Government) of their responsibility to conserve our heritage.The Trust needs the tools to manage the very sites that were vested in them (the Trust) for everyone’s benefit.”

While some members were resolute that we should not compromise and insist for the reinstatement of the subvention, others were adamant that this presents an opportunity to raise the funds on our own because, “We care about our heritage so we will do whatever it takes to raise the funds.”

The two major items on the agenda were the proposed dolphin park at Pigeon Island National Landmark (PINL) and the Desert Star Holdings (DSH) Pearl of the Caribbean project in Vieux Fort.

There are numerous reasons for the Trust’s opposition to the dolphinarium, for example, a hole approximately 25m/82ft deep will have to be excavated from the hillside at PINL.

 Even if terraced, the hole would be approximately 20m deep. An estimated 56,887 cubic metres (2,008,945 cubic feet) of soil and rock would have to be removed, and as a result the structural integrity of Fort Rodney, the ridge that connects the two peaks and the Jambe de Bois restaurant could be compromised.

Therefore, the members were advised that the SLNT has communicated to the Development Control Authority (DCA) that, as per our members’ directive, we shall not support the construction of a dolphinarium on PINL. Read more here: http://slunatrust.org/assets/content/documents/SLNT_Dolphin_Stance_Brochure_FINAL.pdf.

Regarding the DSH project, members were told that the SLNT has written to the developer in an effort to discuss the proposal, however, the Prime Minister informed SLNT’s Chairperson, Dr. Vasantha Chase that he advised the developer not to meet with us.

The Trust remains concerned about the proposed causeway since it is uncertain how such a structure would function if it does not connect two land masses. Other concerns raised by the Chair were the impact a development of such magnitude would have on the coastal areas in the south, and the possibility of the mangroves being re-introduced into the plans once the garbage dump is removed.  

Government’s decision to redirect funds from The Republic of China on Taiwan for phase 2 of the Walcott Place project was also discussed. This was met with disappointment considering that the project celebrates the life of the late twin brothers, Sir Derek and Roderick Walcott, and their contribution to the arts in Saint Lucia and internationally.

Phase 2 of the project includes more interpretation space, workshops (art studios), a restaurant and gift shop and would have attracted an estimated 200 visitors per open-day. The project in its entirety was expected to be a catalyst to stimulate the rebirth of the Chaussee Road-Grass Street area through the creation of economic opportunities associated with Walcott Place.

Another important outcome of the meeting was a resolution which called for the Director, Mr. Bishnu Tulsie to postpone his decision to retire and to continue to manage the affairs of the Trust during this very important period.

This resolution received unanimous support from all present. Members were encouraged to play their part in a 5000 membership drive campaign geared at raising awareness about the conservation work of the organization and increasing its membership base.

Member after member took the opportunity to encourage each other to continue to defend the island’s heritage, to remove partisan politics from the discussions, and to keep focused on the real issues of governance, meaningfully engaging the citizenry in the decision-making process and placing sufficient value on heritage conservation.

One member said this is a policy issue that must be fixed or else we run the risk of experiencing similar problems years from now.

The meeting took a moment to acknowledge Sir John Compton, who as premiere of Saint Lucia at the time led the formation of the SLNT. Coincidentally, the meeting was convened on what would have been Sir John’s 92nd birthday. Sir John was praised for his vision and for working closely with Sir Julian Hunte who served as the Trust’s first Chairman.

Special acknowledgement was also made of Robert Devaux the first Director of the Trust who was instrumental in the creation of the Pigeon Island National Landmark and the Maria Islands Nature Reserve.

 

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8 Comments

  1. Sad but true
    May 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm Reply

    The hell raise your own funds whilst your members used the boat for pleasure it could have been used to make money.
    Does a parent have to bail their kid for ever?.
    Maria Oxley have been there for ages not one cent you guys could have made from tours now all of a sudden you have tours media vist when was that all those years? You guys at the trust are a bunch of spoiled bears just wanting free money. There are better tho he to do with this money.

    1. Anonymous
      May 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm Reply

      Are you being paid to read articles online an make these IGNORANT, comments. why don’t you read, cause it seems that u say words but do not understand the articles. As natives of this country, which the PM you are defending is not we have a right to question everything that he does and DEMAND explanations from anyone who is in government. stop saying that Kenny was doing this and that. The people were dissatisfied so they got rid of him and this does not give Chastanet the right to do as he wants. So put a sock in it if you cant say something that will enlighten the discussions.

      1. Anon1
        May 4, 2017 at 9:30 am Reply

        “Anonymous May 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm” am in total agreement with your comment.

        Except, why abbreviate a three letter word re you to “u!” It’s only three letters

  2. Anonymous
    May 3, 2017 at 4:40 pm Reply

    Lucians need to stop spreading propaganda and stop behaving ignorant and learn to get facts straight before they type or speak pappyshow. There was a legit explanation given by the Trust about the sale of the boat and I believe them because there is a lot involved in taking a boat out to sea. Tell the person that say they took the boat out for pleasure to give you a print out of the log from the boat yard to show you the proof. I bet they can’t because the story is fabricated! And if you were a Saint Lucian who showed interest in your country you would have known that the Trust always did tours to Maria in the open season. And you would have known that there is a closed season because of the bird nesting on Maria!!!! But as usual we leave everything for Tourist to enjoy because we so cheap!!Get the facts straight!!
    Talk about free money. Why don’t Lucians start asking the government why they giving NCA money and what they doing with it!

    1. Anon1
      May 4, 2017 at 9:32 am Reply

      “Lucians need to stop spreading propaganda and stop behaving ignorant and learn to get facts straight before they type or speak pappyshow.”

      Do you realise it will take generations for that (rightful) change to take effect!

  3. Vibz
    May 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm Reply

    Partisan politics raises its head in everything. Because of this ugly monster we are often irrational and grotesquely biased with our opinions, arguments and discussions. The SLNT gave solid and valid reasons against the proposed Dolphin Park. Their reasons are legitimate and apolitical. Why can’t we accept them? This institution is the authority on the environment and the preservation of heritage sites. At the present pace at which the government wants to use even fragile and pristine areas for tourism developments, there would be nothing left for our children yet unborn to cherish. A mere $700 000 is a miniscule amount of money from government for the protection, conservation and preservation of the entire environment and heritage sites of St. Lucia. The stoppage of this subvention to the SLNT by the PM should be a National Scandal! All right thinking Lucians should cry foul. Let good sense prevail although commonsense is not so common these days.

  4. Anonymous
    May 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Can someone tell me why Chastanet don’t want the trust to meet the developer. Is there anything he wishes to hide from St. Lucians? For a party that bragged so much about transparency its behaviour in this respect is particularly poor.

  5. Bambi
    May 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm Reply

    When the P.M says your patrimony is your credit rating and had Hon. Mitchell in a trance would you expect. He operate as a businessman and that can’t work.

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