And while the Petrocaribe Loans, the PUP Walkout and Santa Cruz village dominated the discourse today in and around parliament, some other very important pieces of legislation were passed. First among them is the PACT Amendment Bill - which had gotten considerable pushback from the conservation community. That's why we were surprised to see the galleries full with members of the conservation community - dozens of them - all there not to bash, but to support the legislation. They even cheered when the Prime Minister presented it! It's a coup for the Minister of Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and today she took nor prisoners when she described the naysing organizations as blue koncas.:
Today APAMO sent out a release saying, quote, "The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO) would like to clarify that decisions are taken through a democratic process and a decision only becomes an organizational position when supported by majority of its members. Majority of APAMO's members support the decision to express our concerns to the Prime Minister to express the organizations' concerns regarding the National Protected Areas System Bill and amendments to the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act."
APAMO's concerns are based on the premise that the proposed Bill can further be improved"
Today in presenting the legislation, the PM said that he heard the reservations and acted on it:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I just want to make clear that we had first received in Cabinet a letter sent to me by the Audubon Society and the BTIA and again, they started out by saying that this is a good idea, a good undertaking. But there were certain concerns they had. I want to tell them that Cabinet took on board every single one of those concerns and the bill was sent back."
"The bill was sent back to the Solicitor General to be redrafted and we only got site of the finished product on Tuesday."