Not enough value placed on natural resources
By Amanda Nieves - The Barbados Advocate Newspaper
Barbados is failing to place enough value on its natural resources, which could be a detriment to the tourism industry.
This observation was conveyed by President of the Barbados Institute of Architects, Neil Hutchinson. He was speaking during a panel discussion centred on the green economy and Barbados, held yesterday at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. Hutchinson questioned whether Barbados is being overdeveloped, at a cost to some of the country’s natural resources.
“From my discipline, architecture, sometimes I sit back and think what we are doing is almost in some ways…contrary to sustainable development. Maybe we actually need to slow down a bit. But when we look at some of the development which is proposed in Barbados…there are areas where we are compromising natural resources in Barbados, or important natural aspects of Barbados.,” Hutchinson stated.
He used Dominica as an example of a country which he thinks is on its way to a sustainable green economy, as it has nature reserves and national parks that are well managed and controlled. He said that as a tourist visiting Dominica, you are very aware of the care taken in the country to manage natural resources.
Hutchinson went on to say that if the development in Barbados continues the way it has been going, a lot of the natural resources and natural sights that are potential draws for tourists will become depleted, and the tourism sector will suffer for it.
“We are at fault in Barbados for not putting enough value on our natural resources. People are always concerned about the bottom line …. and feel that you have to develop a piece of land for it to have some sort of value. I think that when you look at that literally, in terms of putting a value on that natural resource…if we continue to develop at the rate that we are developing and continue building hotels all around the island on the coast, the tourists are not going to be coming here., we need to be managing areas for the tourists to come and look at,” Hutchinson noted.