The Saint Lucia National Trust sent a response to your second letter directly to your Facebook page on March 3rd. However, to our surprise the response which was placed under two separate posts on your page was removed, and the SLNT staff who attempted to respond has since been blocked from commenting on your page. We genuinely thought that as a patriot you would have welcomed the responses to the questions asked.
SLNT’s Response to 758 Patriot “MORE QUESTIONS FOR THE STLUCIA NATIONAL TRUST?” letter to the Editor:
Dear 758 Patriot,
Seems like we are acting out Johnny Nash’s There are more questions than answers.
I acknowledge the correlation between being able to understand and the desire to do so, and think you are interested in getting to the facts. So I try again.
The inconsistency you refer to is probably understandable because I did not provide a list of years and the corresponding amounts received. The actual figures are in our audit statements which, as I indicated, are made available to our members annually.
I note your observation that most Saint Lucians will be interested in our audited statements. I welcome this interest in the affairs of the Trust. Until or unless I am authorised by the Council to make those documents available to the public, I invite all who are interested to join the Trust to be able to access the reports. If the interest in the Trust is genuine, such action will also help with our current financial challenges but more importantly, it will give them the opportunity to influence how we address issues before us.
A financial feasibility of the proposed Pigeon Island Redevelopment Project was conducted by Grant Thornton, and we have phased the investments based on their recommendations. This report was presented to, and discussed by our members who approved the scheduling of the investments. Again, it is not my decision to make the document public, but it was also forwarded to the relevant authorities involved in approving the project and loan facility.
With regards to the Cabinet Conclusion of 2013, I do not know who had access to the document in 2013. However, it would have been unethical for anyone with access to a Cabinet Conclusion to make it available, just as it was unethical to have released it in March of this year.
The Trust was removed from membership to the Development Control Authority (DCA) in 2015. This was brought to the attention of our members at the time. Note, however, that we are still a Referral Agency for the DCA.
In hindsight you may be correct about whether or not we should have expected our subvention to be cut by 100%. Our Chair indicated that she was advised that the Trust’s subvention will be linked to the current Director’s continued employment by the organisation. At the time it was indicated that the Director was due to retire in October, but this was apparently not soon enough for the authorities. As to whether the subvention should be linked to anyone’s continued employment is an ethical question I shall not comment on.
The vessel was a made available to the Trust under the OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods project which was funded by the World Bank/ GEF. This project was negotiated, and started well before the current Director joined the Trust. In Saint Lucia the project site was the Point Sables Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) whose foot print is mainly marine. I can therefore understand why those who prepared the project proposal would have included a vessel to support monitoring activities. We did try to have the boat kept in Vieux Fort but could not find a safe location. I am not clear about your comment regarding using the boat to generate funds. The boat was given to us to monitor the marine space in the PSEPA. We could not use it as a dive boat, for marine tours or as a water taxi.
Are you in Saint Lucia? Perhaps we should meet to discuss any further concerns you may have. You are also welcome to attend our membership meetings which are open to the public who we see as potential members instrumental in assisting us to fulfil our conservation mandate.
Saint Lucia National Trust