Save the trees!
General Manager of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, has expressed concern about what he has termed as unscrupulous developers who are in the habit of destroying a lot of the trees across this island in the name of development.
He made the comments at a tree planting ceremony at Bath, St. John yesterday morning in recognition of Arbor Day, where students of four primary schools in the parish accompanied by the Parish Ambassadors, aided the NCC in plating 50 new fruit trees at that location.
Speaking with The Barbados Advocate after the tree planting activity, Neblett said that the NCC would hope that where developers have to remove trees to facilitate their construction, that they would replant the trees, or wherever possible work around the trees that are on the property.
“This starts with the architects that work on the designs of the buildings. I think that where there are established trees and they are designing a building, they should find a way to work around them unless it would have a negative impact in terms of significant costs in terms of the building. I always say that a good example of how that was done was the CIBC FirstCaribbean building in Warrens – those casuarinas were there and they built around them, removing as little as possible,” he noted.
He added, “Even those involved in housing construction, you find that most of the areas are normally bulldozed flat, removing a lot of the good mature trees in the area, but those trees take sometimes 10, 15, 20 years to establish and the developers should try to work around them.”
With that in mind, Neblett also expressed concern about the unkempt green spaces that exist within housing developments across the island. He noted that while Town and Country Planning Office has stipulated that developers must provide a specified number of green spaces when building such areas, he has found that the residents do little to upkeep them.
“Ninety per cent of those green spaces are still there full of bush, and nobody maintains them, but, each owner within those areas has a stake in it. If there are 50 homeowners, then one-fiftieth of that space is mine, but no one takes it upon themselves to maintain it, putting some equipment on it and putting some tress on it, and that is unacceptable,” he contended.
The NCC General Manager explained that while his organisation has assisted with beautifying some of these areas, it is not their responsibility and as such, he is calling on the homeowners in those developments to step up to the plate. (JRT)