HELP SAVE CULPEPPER ISLAND (2 Members)
HELP SAVE CULPEPPER ISLAND
Culpepper Island is the only unspoilt offshore land area left belonging to the Independent country of Barbados (a former British colony and member of the British Commonwealth), sadly - I was informed today (May 11th 2008) that the foreign owned Crane (Luxury) Resort has ALREADY acquired the land surrounding Culpepper Island as well as the island itself - and is planning to build a footbridge from the mainland to the island and develop' the tiny bit of real estate (Less than 1 acre in area!) into a 'spa' or some other nonsensical scheme for the pampered and vain.
If this is true, this is a national shame and an outrage - to know that either the former government or the current one (which would REALLY shock me) allowed the ONLY island that Barbados has left (having destroyed the great offshore Pelican Island bird colony in the 1970's to create a deep water harbour) - to be sold, when under international law Culpepper Island with its endangered wildlife and pre-Colombian archaeological remains - should remain a national heritage site for present and future generations of humanity (whether local residents or foreign visitors). Today I visited Culpepper Island again and found only 19 fist sized Barbados Giant Hermit Crabs left existing on the small island, and 4 different species of shore bird nesting sites.
I also photographed land surveyor marks on the hill overlooking the Culpepper island bay, and signs posted saying "No Tresspasing, no hunting, no fishing allowed"...well I can support the no hunting, but there is no way in hell that a foreign luxury resort should be allowed to stop Barbadians from walking to the Culpepper Island Bay, exploring the lush wooded hills around it, having a pic-nic on the Culpeper Island Bay beach or fishing from the shoreline or even from the island itself.
In Barbados there is supposed to be a law stating that NO PRIVATE BEACHES can exist in this country - and that every Barbadian must have access to any beach on this island; I await to be enlightened as to how I can be forbidden to 'tresspass' on the route to Culpepper yet not be denied my right under local laws to enjoy the Culpepper Island Bay beach?
Culpepper island was enjoyed in a sustainable way for over 3,000 years by human beings - from the time of the first indigenous settlers of the island of Barbados (of whom I have found pre-Columbian artifacts on Culpepper) - right up to the present generation; and for thousands of years before that - and up to the present - by native shore bird and crustacean species who continue to live there free of introduced predators that exist on the main island.
Prime Minister Thompson announced on Monday May 5th that the entire Eastern coastline from Skeete's Bay north to Pico Tenerife in Barbados would be granted a greater degree of protection from further 'development', and while this is indeed good news, Culpepper island sits in the very next Bay to the south of the proposed protected area; I am beseeching Prime Minister Thompson to extend the zone of protection a mere 1/2 a kilometer further south to include the pristine Culpepper island with its myriad of limestone tunnels and caverns and lush surrounding wooded bay - which is fed by a freshwater spring & is itself home to a troop of Barbados Green Monkeys - a species proven to have evolved into becoming genetically unique to Barbados over a 300 years time span.
My voice alone in this country of 270,000 persons will not save Culpepper Island, only the voices of concerned persons from around the world will save this small, but unique natural inheritance for present and as yet unborn generations of humanity.
My only concern is that Culpepper Island and it's surrounding Bay be protected as a unique natural heritage site and saved from any development whatsoever, and that every human being has the right to visit this beautiful vista to an unspoilt era.
The Rt. Hon. David Thompson
Prime Minister of Barbados
Office of the Prime Minister
Bay Street St. Michael
Barbados West Indies
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Getting the local media involved is always helpful in applying 'polite pressure' on the Government.
Thank you for helping to save Culpepper island