National Trust responds to legal statement on the Cruise Port Berthing Facility
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands would like to respond to public and media enquiries about its letter which was issued to Government on the 12th November regarding the proposed Cruise Port Berthing Facility.
The National Trust delivered in confidence a letter, to members of the Cayman Islands Government expressing its concern with the project’s potential impacts on sites of environmental and historical significance, and again calling for updated information to be released to the general public prior to the calling of a referendum. The National Trust did not issue a copy of the letter to the media, nor did it comment publicly. This was a confidential matter between the Cayman Islands Government and the National Trust, a body mandated under the National Trust Law (2010 revision) to preserve and protect places of environmental and historical significance. The National Trust is not satisfied with the response received from the Government and has taken the decision to file papers requesting a Judicial Review on this urgent matter. The National Trust values the close working relationship it has with the Cayman Islands Government and therefore does not take this decision lightly.
The National Trust has issued three press releases over the course of four years on this major project, consistently calling for critical questions to be answered and full assessments to be completed prior to commencing any work. The National Trust has raised concerns over the potential impacts on the marine environment, notably the coral reefs and two historical shipwrecks, the Balboa and the Cali. The National Trust has not taken a stance in favour of or against the port project and believes that there is currently insufficient information to do so. The National Trust’s request is that prior to proceeding, further studies such as an updated Environmental Impact Assessment be performed, and the resulting information made available to the general public before the referendum is held.
The National Trust is duty-bound to its members and to the general public to act as the guardian of matters of the environment and places of historical significance and has been doing so for over 32 years. The Trust stands proud of all its achievements to date and remains fully committed to preserving all that makes Cayman Islands unique.
Nadia Hardie, Executive Director