Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2014 Contents A11
Saturday, February 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
• From Page A10
stage in eight hours, an exercise
that would take 25 hours. By
removing these huge bands, there ll
be considerably more space for
bands wanting to compete in the
Band of the Year competition to
cross the Savannah stage and enjoy
NCBA not in favour
Lopez said his organisation is
not in support of a separate venue
for mas. He explained, "The NCBA
supported an extension of the
"However, the NCBA never sup-
ported a separate venue and we
will definitely not be supporting
a separate venue."
In a conference phone interview
Thursday, with NCBA Parade of
the Bands committee head Sam
Lewis present, Lopez added, "For
the past five years, the NCBA,
through the its subcommittee (the
Parade of the Bands committee),
has been lobbying for an extension
of the parade route and indicated
that the non-competing bands,
who don t have a desire to compete
in the competition, should have
their own route.
"This was rejected by the police
for a number reasons, the main
one being that they did not have
the necessary manpower to control
the extended route."
Lopez added that again in 2014,
there was a request for an exten-
sion of the route and a reversal of
the direction of the route to help
ease the congestion. But this again
NCBA rejects new venue
With the attentive ear of President
Anthony Carmona, Prof Rajendra
Ramlogan on Thursday threw out a
bold challenge to break the State and
the elite s control in making decisions
about the environment.
"Sometimes, the law could be per-
verted to favour the elite. They are not
in favour of environmental laws that
would hinder their own economic
"The elite try to roll back environ-
mental gains and influence how we
enforce environmental laws. Even the
Environmental Management Authority
(EMA) has been bemoaning the pressure
put on them."
He warned citizens to be wary of the
majority will, noting that while envi-
ronmental groups tell of thousands
being affected by an issue, protestors
are usually a minority.
Ramlogan sent out the challenge to
a full hall of students and environmental
activists in a radical inaugural profes-
sorial lecture at the Noor Hassanali
Auditorium at the University of the
West Indies (UWI). The lecture was
titled, "Environmental Democracy in
T&T. A Retrograde Step?"
President Carmona was an invited
guest and UWI deputy principal Dr
Rhoda Reddock said his presence reaf-
firmed his support for initiatives of the
campus and for Ramlogan s work.
Judging from how environmental law
has been perverted, Ramlogan said there
has been a failure in environmental
A professor of environmental and
commercial law, he is an author of
seven books on the issue and is known
internationally for exploring novel areas
like environmental refugees and envi-
ronmental crime. He has offered pro
bono work to environmental lobby
group Fishermen & Friends of the Sea.
Ramlogan began his address with an
excerpt from Chief Seattle s 1854 speech
and ended with calypsonian King
Austin s Progress.
"Every part of this soil is sacred in
the estimation of my people," he said,
quoting the Chief.
"Every hillside, every valley, every
plain and grove, has been hallowed by
some sad or happy event in days long
"Even the rocks, which seem to be
dumb and dead as the swelter in the
sun along the silent shore, thrill with
memories of stirring events connected
with the lives of my people, and the
very dust upon which you now stand
responds more lovingly to their foot-
steps than yours, because it is rich with
the blood of our ancestors, and our
bare feet are conscious of the sympa-
Ramlogan said environmentally con-
scious citizens have found themselves
in a similar position and a profane rela-
tionship with the land is now interfering
with its sacred heritage.
He said there has been a proliferation
of public outcry against environmental
disasters, including last December s oil
spills on the south-western coast and
the Beetham landfill fire.
He referred to former US president
Abraham Lincoln s famous 1863 quote,
"a government of the people and by
the people shall not perish," in an
attempt to define environmental
Ramlogan said it is pretty much the
same with the environment.
"People must have a say and a role
to play in protecting the environment."
This involves observing the rule of
law and rejecting elitism in that process,
He also mentioned the high crime
rate and said: "One cannot have
democracy in an environment of
crime. Blood is flowing through the
land contrary to democratic ideals.
Life is cheap."
Ramlogan said it is embedded in the
Environmental Management Act that
all government entities, including the
EMA, must comply with environmental
He said the Environmental Manage-
ment Act mandates a Certificate of
Environmental Clearance (CEC) be
granted to a developer before a project
begins and this requires consultation.
Developers, he said, have avoided mean-
He said an emerging practice is that
developers fail to apply for a CEC and
rush ahead and complete works.
The EMA then comes into the picture
and says the developer has to pay a
$60,000 fine and then gives him a con-
sent agreement to continue work.
"The duty to consult is totally oblit-
erated," Ramlogan said.
He also referred to the legislation
brought under the former administra-
tion of removing quarries under 150
acres from the CEC process, noting
none are above that acreage.
Asked by a participant how State
and elite hegemony can be eroded,
Ramlogan said that is a hard question.
He said the public should keep edu-
cating itself and the EMA should issue
proper guidelines for consultation.
VISITING THE VILLAGE
National Carnival Commission chairperson Allison Demas during her visit to one
of the booths at the Carnival Village, Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain on Thursday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DA SILVA
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