Development and the environment can be balanced, experts say

Bulldozed area at Crabbs Peninsula/Photo credit: The Movement Facebook page

Three political analysts and an environmentalist have posited that physical and economic development does not have to be sacrificed in order to preserve ecologically important zones.

Speaking to OBSERVER media, prominent environmentalist, Dr Brian Cooper said development could go proceed once it observes the importance of the given area it was in.

“I wouldn’t rule out some kinds of development and some kinds of construction. It depends a great deal on the scale and the care with which it is being done and the important natural features of the area taken into consideration,” he said.

His opinion was echoed by analyst Arvel Grant who stressed that one does not have to come at the expense of the other. “It can’t be either or. It can’t be that we keep mangroves or we build hotels.

“There has to be a way found to achieve sustainable economic development while respecting the important aspects of the environment…” he charged. His being the most moderate among the trio of analysts who weighed in on the same issue during Sunday’s Big Issues programme.

The discussion took place in the context of continuing public debate over the disputed claim of wetland clearing carried out at the Crabb’s Peninsula by Yida International Investment Antigua Limited. The Environmental Division has said that a press release on the matter will be issued today.

Political Analyst Peter Wickham took a more critical view of the need to preserve the environment.


Read more in today’s Daily Observer.