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Legislation approved for improved protection of environment

  • Coastal Zone Management Policy approved in 2016
  • Policy outlines principles of integrated coastal zone management to be adopted by Grenada
  • Integrated Management Bill Section 13 provides for stiffer measures for protection of beaches

Both Houses of the Grenada Parliament recently approved legislation that provides for an enhanced and comprehensive legislative framework for integrated coastal zone management in Grenada.

Simon Stiell, Leader of Government Business in the Senate informed the House during last week Thursday’s session that in 2016, the Coastal Zone Management Policy was approved, and it outlined the principles of integrated coastal zone management to be adopted by Grenada.

“Accordingly, this bill seeks to establish a legal framework for implementation of these principles. This bill seeks to facilitate strengthened enforcement and management of the coastal zone as well as promote greater awareness of coastal issues to the general public,” said Stiell as he outlined the purpose of the integrated management approach.

“It provides for the protection of the coastal environment, including protection of species of special concern, permits and prohibitions on the use of the environment, and powers of arrest. Part III provides for the establishment of restricted areas and prohibited areas to facilitate protection of specified species, to promote scientific research and for preservation of archaeological and historical value,” he told members as he presented the legislation for debate.

Among other guidelines, the bill defines the “environment” as components of the earth, including soil, the atmosphere and water; human-made or modified structures and areas; ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities and the qualities and characteristics of places and areas that contribute to their biological diversity and ecological integrity, scientific value, and amenity.

The Integrated Management Bill which falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Resilience provides for repealing of the Beach Protection Act which prohibits the removal of sand from beaches, because section 13 provides for the stiffer measures for the protection of beaches.

According to the legislation, the minister may, in consultation with the Director of the Integrated Management Office and the Fisheries Division, by order designate any portion of the coastal zone as a prohibited area where he or she considers it necessary for any of the following purposes—

(a) the preservation or enhancement of the natural beauty of the area;

(b) the protection or rehabilitation of the flora and fauna found in the area;

(c) the protection of items of archaeological and historical interest found in the area;

(d) the promotion of the enjoyment by the public of the areas;

(e) the promotion of scientific study and research in respect of the area;

(f) any other purpose as may be necessary.

Any person who removes, or aids in or assists in removing, any vegetation, sand, stones, shingle or gravel from any part of the beach commits an offence.

Any person who commits a summary offence under the act can be fine up to a maximum of EC$5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both. On an indictable offence the fine shall not exceed $100,000 together with, where applicable, an amount equal to the value of the property seized or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

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