Another round of public consultations on the proposed National Conservation Law has begun after Environment Minister the Hon. Mark Scotland announced that he wants to bring a National Conservation Bill to the Legislative Assembly before year's end.
"I believe that we need comprehensive conservation legislation to adequately protect Cayman's future. I also hold that the environment is an issue that affects everyone and therefore it is vital to gauge public opinion on the matter," Minister Scotland explained.
Following his directive, the Department of Environment (DOE) has started public consultations with key stakeholder meetings and the launch of an explanatory guide to the proposed National Conservation Law.
In addition, district meetings will start the week of 5 July. The department will announce times and venues as soon as possible.
"National conservation legislation for the Cayman Islands is a topical issue and we have been receiving a steady stream of public enquiries on the proposed draft National Conservation Law," said DOE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie.
"To help people understand the proposed legislation, we have prepared a summary guide on the proposed law to explain what it means and how it might change things," she added. This guide can be downloaded at www.doe.ky/laws/national-conservation-law/.
"We encourage people to read the proposed law and the guide in tandem and we also invite other groups to contact us to arrange a presentation on the proposed law," said Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie.
"We ask that people submit written comments detailing any issues they may have with the proposed National Conservation Law and, equally important, they can also voice their support for the legislation," Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie pointed out.
Comment forms are available online at www.doe.ky and printed copies can be picked up from the DoE's office or at any of the district public meetings.
Comments can be submitted by email to DoE; faxed to 949 4020, or mailed to NCL Comment, c/o Department of Environment, P.O. Box 486, Grand Cayman, KY1-1006.
The public consultation period will last a month, closing on Friday, 16 July. After this, Cabinet will consider the feedback and include any changes to the bill before laying it before the LA.
The bill will then be subjected to another mandated 21 days of public notice and additional comment before it can be voted on.
"These multiple opportunities for public participation are a design hallmark of the proposed draft National Conservation Law, empowering Cayman's people to be involved in safeguarding Cayman's biodiversity," Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie concluded.
For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver