On Saturday June 2, 2018 I joined a dynamic group of youths in the Union Hall area led by Andrew Bisnath of ALtech Energy and his young environment ambassadors to clean up the community and clear the drains and water courses. I congratulated the youths for their commitment to the environment and their district. The powerful statement from our young people suggest that there is a passion to save our planet.
Trinidad and Tobago is commemorating World Environment Day on Tuesday in the midst of pressing issues, including the grave risk of flooding.
In addition, the Rowley regime has done nothing with respect to climate change, protection of coastal and marine ecosystems, preservation of forests, recycling and other environmental concerns.
In fact, the environment has been totally ignored by the PNM Government and there has been major regression on crucial and urgent matters.
The dismantling of the Ministry of the Environment has proven to be a foreboding indicator of the Rowley regime’s lack of care and interest in the ecosystem in which we all must exist.
As I joined conscientious youths last weekend in clearing water courses in my constituency, I was again reminded of the serious flooding hazard during this rainy season.
The Government has not cleaned drains and rivers, in spite of a supplementary financial allocation to the Ministry of Works and Transport.
As a result, there is a clear and present danger of floods over the next few months that could be even worse than the disasters of last year.
I strongly urge Minister Rohan Sinanan to urgently launch a de-silting and clean-up campaign of water courses, especially those in low-lying communities that are prone to flooding.
The Rowley regime has abandoned the green initiatives of the People’s Partnership Administration, which had introduced a holistic package of environmental measures for sustainable national development.
There have been no steps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in boosting energy efficiency and in enacting legislation on climate change.
Notably, the forward-thinking Grenadian Government has just established a Ministry to specifically mitigate the impact of climate change.
Waste management, preservation of wildlife resources, rehabilitation programmes at mining sites and pollution control measures have also been sidelined by the current Government.
There have also been no measurable efforts at increasing tree cover and preserving forests and the fragile ecosystem and habitats.
Prime citrus trees at St. Augustine have been destroyed in an all-out effort to build houses, in a blatant effort art house-padding.
Important environmental legislations remain in urgent need of upgrade.
Recent dubious decisions suggest that the Environmental Management Authority has sacrificed its professional independence.
The Rowley regime has also abandoned the effective coastal erosion control measures which were introduced by the Kamla Persad-Bissessar Administration.
The massive soil attrition at Icacos and Cedros, which displaced 20 residents a few months ago, is one ill consequence. Dramatic soil erosions continue at several coastal communities, especially along the eastern seaboard.
The Peoples Partnership administration had instituted measures to make the environment integral to national economic development and to protect and safeguard our ecosystems for future generations.
There was heightened civic awareness of the environment.
The near-sighted and incompetent PNM Government has either scrapped or relegated all such measures.
While Prime Minister Rowley said he was red and ready for national leadership, he has recklessly abandoned all progressive green initiatives.