I write to express my enthusiastic support for the timely and patriotic message expressed by Pam Burnside in a recent letter, “We must protect what is ours.”
Her immediate focus was on the lamentable proposal by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, which would flood the sensitive ecosystems and habitats around western Paradise Island with thousands upon thousands of tourist – and all the noise, disruption, foot traffic, trash and human waste that inevitably come with them. The company’s assurances that it has the question of environmental impact under control seem, as usual, too good to be true.
However, Pam also points out that this Royal Caribbean project is just one symptom of a much larger disease, an entrenched system invented, implemented and overseen by our political class to sell our natural heritage, ecological resources and national patrimony to large foreign entities. This system, in operation across the length and breadth of the archipelago, sees our natural treasures traded away in return for a short-lived political boost that the politicians may gain from announcing a handful of jobs.
Under this system, resources that are supposed to be held in trust for the benefit of future generations of Bahamians, are being auctioned off at fire-sale prices to further the political careers of a handful of elites. Meanwhile, the foreign entity takes the vast majority of the profits oversees.
Despite following this system for five decades, the country’s under-employment issues and economic difficulties have not been solved. Clearly, the only parties that stand to benefit are politicians and large foreign companies.
Pam is absolutely correct – Bahamians need to open their eyes and see what is happening to the treasures that nature has bestowed upon us before it is too late. How many more Bahamian communities must watch as their marine and terrestrial resources, their patrimony, their traditional way of life, is annexed for the exclusive benefit of the few?
Chairman, Save The Bays