Development in Tobago
Whichever religion you believe in, however you view God or practice your spiritual beliefs, if you enjoy or study nature, it becomes obvious that there is a superior intelligence that designed and guided it through the eons. It is dynamic and changing constantly even before your eyes.
Animals evolve to match the plants they depend on and vice versa. The change, science has shown, can take place dramatically over a period of just one year.
In the Galapagos, birds studied during a year of drought showed that those with beaks that were of a certain shape survived because they could feed on seeds that were disregarded by all other birds during the season of plenty. There are trees and ants that depend on each other for survival, the tree making food specifically for the ant and the ant preventing parasites from growing on the tree.
The bachac ant grows crops of fungus under soil on compost it makes with the leaves it harvests. By burrowing into the soil it takes oxygen to the roots of plants and the used compost feeds them. In Africa, when the hippopotamus excretes in the river, it feeds the fish that feed the crocodile and man. The fish keep the water clean. Nature is totally interdependent. When one damages any part of it, one damages the whole and ultimately oneself.
For this reason one must tread lightly and cautiously when one is tampering with our natural environment for any reason. The detrimental results can often be forecast, such as the disastrous annual floods in Trinidad caused by the destruction of the forest. Or the impoverishment of Buccoo Reef by the ill-considered abuse of this wondrous natural asset, to the extent that paying visitors now complain regularly that it is no longer worth seeing.
Tobago needs development to provide income and employment for its people. This is self-evident. We, the present generation, are caretakers of the land for the next generation. We cannot and must not allow the land to be destroyed in the name of development. A prime example is what has been allowed to happen at King's Bay. A place of beauty has been wiped off the face of the earth and all the fine soil has been exposed. When the rains come it will wash into the bay, smothering the organisms fish feed on and the hiding places for the young fry and lobsters. The effects of this destruction may continue for years into the future. How could any caring person have done this?
Sustainable development is our only hope for the future. Environmental impact analyses must be carried out for large projects. Developers must include this in their costs. An independent scientific body must do the studies and no minister must be able to circumvent the findings of such studies and their recommendations. The analyses must take into consideration the social impact and they must be made public so that citizens may be able to judge how each project will affect their lives. When these things happen as a matter of course, we will have at last started on the road to a sustainable future
King's Bay development - why clear cut?
Meanwhile the villas were being marketed.
Is This How it Works in Tobago?
1. A developer begins bulldozing acres of forested land at King’s Bay without proper planning permission.
2. The Town and Country Planning Division issues an order to the developer to stop the work. The work continues.
3. Environment TOBAGO issues a press release and writes to the THA Chief Secretary and the Minister for Tobago Affairs.
4. The THA Division of Planning issues a stop order.
5. The work stops, but the damage is done.