SLNT says it wishes to work with gov’t, has no “fundamental objection” to DSH project

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SLNT says it wishes to work with gov’t, has no “fundamental objection” to DSH project
St. Lucia National Trust members at a press conference held earlier this year.
St. Lucia National Trust members at a press conference held earlier this year.
St. Lucia National Trust members at a press conference held earlier this year.

PRESS RELEASE/STATEMENT – The Saint Lucia National Trust, therein after called The Trust, was established in 1975 under the Saint Lucia National Trust Act.

The mandate of the Saint Lucia National Trust is to protect the natural and cultural assets of Saint Lucia for the benefit of present and future generations. Since its establishment, the Trust has been active in the areas of conservation, resource management, education and advocacy, to the extent that it is seen by many as the main, and sometimes, the sole civil society watchdog.

Throughout its existence since 1975, the Saint Lucia National Trust has and will continue to operate, advise and comment on a non-political and impartial basis. In addition, the Trust has always endeavoured to obtain as much factual information as possible before commenting publicly on issues that are relevant to its mandate and mission.

It is also important to note that the Saint Lucia National Trust embraces the idea of sustainable development and is, therefore, particularly concerned about sustainably managing the natural and cultural assets that have been vested in it and for the national public good. In this context, the Trust is prepared to work, with any administration, for the socio-economic development and environmental sustainability of the country.

Recent developments, played out in the public domain have conveyed the tension between the current administration and the Saint Lucia National Trust. Three issues in particular, have been largely responsible for this. These are:

1. The proposed dolphinarium at Pigeon Island;
2. The proposed Desert Star Holdings (DSH) development; and
3. The suspension of the annual Government subvention to the Trust.

These issues have generated a significant amount of public debate and a number of statements have been made by representatives of the Government, by the Trust, and its members, Council and Staff. Many of the statements issued by either side have, unfortunately, only served to heighten the public discourse.

Furthermore, some of the public statements attributed to the Trust have been made by individual members speaking in their personal capacity and have not necessarily reflected the official position of the Trust, or been endorsed by its Council.

For its part, the Saint Lucia National Trust would like to indicate that it wishes to work with the Government of Saint Lucia. With regard to the DSH Project, the Trust has no fundamental objection to any development in the South, or in any part of Saint Lucia that will contribute to the long-term socio-economic benefit of citizens, and environmental sustainability of the nation.

Further, with respect to the particular initiative, the Trust considers the much-debated details of the related framework agreement between the developer and the Government to be outside of its sphere of competence. Nevertheless, the Trust remains concerned about the fate of the Makoté Mangrove, an important RAMSAR site; the Maria Islands and its related ecosystems and endemic species; and the ecological and environmental assets in Pointe du Sable as well as the potential impacts of the proposed development on the livelihoods of persons dependent on these assets.

In meetings with the Trust, and via the media, the Prime Minister has given assurances that due process, including planning requirements and environmental and social assessments and safeguards, will be observed in the implementation of the DSH Project and that the Saint Lucia National Trust will be afforded the opportunity to participate in the review process and to articulate its concerns, as appropriate.

At this time, the Trust is prepared to accept the Prime Minister’s assurances and to support due process as long as they remain in place and as long as the Trust remains involved in the process.

The dolphinarium proposed for Pigeon Island has been the subject of much debate. The Trust, in the coming days, will formally communicate, in writing, to the Prime Minister, its position on the proposed development as well as the basis for this position.

On the matter of the government subvention, the Prime Minister has indicated a willingness to provide financial support to the Trust contingent upon the submission of a business plan that provides a basis for the utilization of the financing requested. The Trust is prepared to accept this offer and will submit the required documentation at the earliest juncture.

While individual members of the Saint Lucia National Trust are certainly entitled to exercise their rights to free speech, all future statements on the aforementioned matters should only be considered official statements of the Trust when duly authorized by the Chairperson of the Council of the Trust.

The Saint Lucia National Trust wishes to assure the citizens of Saint Lucia that it will always endeavour to fulfill its mandate and to maintain its core values. In so doing, the Trust will continue to remain vigilant in ensuring that Saint Lucia’s natural and cultural assets will not be compromised and will not hesitate to communicate its concerns, through the appropriate channels, where such a risk may arise.

(21)(4)

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Wowh, wowh, wowh!!! SLNT should be commended for this decision.
    This has nothing to do with politics..The wellbeing of the national economy and environment are the considerations here. Our patrimony is to be preserved and our people need to maintain a good standard of living. SLNT, you're earning your respect as the watchdog of our patrimony. Thank you

    (6)(1)

  2. The Trust "is seen by many as the main, and sometimes, the sole civil society watchdog." That's exactly the case. Fir me, this press release reaffirms and underscores that the Trust is a responsible, nonpartisan organization that will not be bought off, bullied or co-opted for political gain. It is also taking the high road here, despite the vicious attacks the current government has leveled against it. Not everybody may recognize it for that, but I think it's a sign of the maturity and independence of the organization. Well done.

    (7)(2)

  3. If I understand the trust its position has not changed. It only explained its position so that it is understood by all including the dictator chastanet.

    (3)(2)

  4. God Emperor Chastanet has won, the trust has waved the white flag... a shame really

    (1)(4)

  5. Has SLNT gone the whole hog and changed its Chief Executive yet or even it's SMT or some of them? If not it will look like the same old "puddy-cat" trying to put on new boots for the new catwalk. ...And from whence will they suddenly be enlightened with new ideas of generating money which they had failed in doing for over two decades. (Their boss? Why is he waiting so long to resign ... honourably?)

    (1)(6)

  6. Wow amazing .the members of the trust who made statements did that in their personal capacity.
    Well OK then
    The chair person of the trust on straight up was there in her personal capacity
    Toulsy on 21 questions
    The gor gor calixte George Jr on hunte show where he articulated the trust position
    I can accept all of that
    What about the trust being in protest March north and south
    Wonder what the labour party thinks of the trust now
    Wonder what the concern citizens think of the trust now
    Wonder what Richard Frederick thinks of the trust now
    The trust realizes that they have been used for political mischief by the labour party surrogate's embedded amongst them is now back peddling

    (4)(4)

  7. Wow amazing .the members of the trust who made statements did that in their personal capacity.
    Well OK then
    The chair person of the trust on straight up was there in her personal capacity
    Toulsy on 21 questions
    The gor gor calixte George Jr on hunte show where he articulated the trust position
    I can accept all of that
    What about the trust being in protest March north and south
    Wonder what the labour party thinks of the trust now
    Wonder what the concern citizens think of the trust now
    Wonder what Richard Frederick thinks of the trust now
    The trust realizes that they have been used for political mischief by the labour party surrogate's embedded amongst them

    (1)(3)

  8. O didn't think it is a shift in their position. It appears now the government want to involve them in the process of consultation so they can be better informed. That was lacking before. The Trust in a responsible organization so the government must treat them with respect. Chastanet must stop acting as a dictator.

    (6)(4)

  9. One of the leading political scientists, Martin Gilens, has done important studies of the relationship between public attitudes and public policy, based on polling data. It’s a pretty straightforward thing to study—policy you can see, and public opinion you know from extensive polling. In one study, together with another fine political scientist, Benjamin Page, Gilens took about 1,700 policy decisions, and compared them with public attitudes and business interests. What they show, I think convincingly, is that policy is uncorrelated with public attitudes, and closely correlated with corporate interests. Elsewhere he showed that about 70 percent of the population has no influence on policy—they might as well be in some other country. And as you go up the income and wealth level, the impact on public policy is greater—the rich essentially get what they want.

    (3)(0)

  10. My my my,is the Trust singing for it's subvention??? I feel the trust has been brought to it's knees and us bending it's back like a shrimp,. Chasnet heagey hand,subdue them,them you can control them.That was fast,where are your balls National Trust?????

    (3)(3)

  11. Work with Government not against. Good for the Trust for seeing that their approach was not the best. Dont allow the Labour party to hijack your role. The Trust and the Government need to work together to ensure that development is done in a careful and sustainable way for the benefit of the people of Saint Lucia. We know that Allen Chastanet is trying to do things differently and it is scary for some but we all need to realize that Saint Lucia was not on the right path. We have to use our assets, our land and people, in order to progress and we have to do it right. So good for both sides and now I hope the Labour Party will work for Saint Lucia and not against. Forget your selfish motives for once.

    (27)(10)

  12. The new song is trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy with ti pwen tout ( Baie Tout), but to trust and obey.......or fear and obey.

    Signs of the Times! Folks have a good laugh! It's Friday!
    De PM's genie-ass e-con scheme has deformed the TRUST into a business to generate income. So the new name change is Now TRUST & OBEY Inc.

    (11)(16)

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