Draft Forestry, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Bill
We are pleased that there have been some amendments to the Draft FORESTRY, PROTECTED AREAS AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION BILL 2014.
- The bill still begs the question of, who will monitor and enforce the rules. Unless, more game wardens are hired, proper enforcement of the law will not take place.
- No mention of a hunting season was made for any of the partially protected, fauna. This is extremely important to note as you will not want the hunting season to interrupt their nesting season. The nesting periods for wild ducks are between the months of June to November.
- A suggestion for your Recovery Plan should include a limited number of hunting permits to be issued on a yearly basis. This reduces the problem of over hunting: we note that the number of issued permits for 2012/2013 was a staggering 10,800!
- With regard to all other permits listed in Part V - Wildlife Conservation (e.g. trader permits, and fauna and flora dealer permits etc.), there should be a process by which both authorized dealer/trader and authorized person(s) who wish to purchase any of the fauna or flora listed under the Fourth Schedule, should submit some form of documentation upon purchase or exchange of the given organism(s) to the Authority such that they may have records of all the wildlife that is being traded/sold throughout the country. Failure to submit such documentation should result in a substantial fine together with the revocation of the offending party’s permit, and a probationary period implemented before they are allowed to reapply for said permit.
We support the inclusion of Wildlife Rehabilitation; however there must be adequate training for any person(s) who applies for such a permit. In addition to granting this permit, wildlife that has been rehabilitated and once able to, should be released/ translocated to their natural habitat. Persons who are successful in obtaining permits should also be accountable for reporting on the status of the fauna in their possession as well as any translocations into approved areas/habitats.
- In Part XIII – Offences section 107 subsection (2) where the fine for offences under the Act is listed, the written amount for the fine is, two hundred thousand dollars but the accompanying numerical value is $100,000.00.
This error is repeated again in Part XIII – Offences sections 127 subsections (1) & (2) and Section 128 subsection (4.)
- In the Second Schedule – Species of Trees for which a Private Timber Harvesting Permit is Required; note needs to be made that the Moriche Palm (Mauritia flexuosa)is not included in the list of trees, nor is it listed in the Fourth Schedule under Part B – protected species of Flora, B3 Vulnerable species of Flora. The Moriche Palm is also a food source for the Blue & Gold macaws & the red-bellied macaws (Orthopsittaca manilata) and is “harvested” to take the young of the Blue & Gold macaws (Ara araurana) & and the Red Bellied Macaws and so should be protected ( Fourth Schedule, Part B-protected species of Flora).
- Under the section A3 Vulnerable Species the correct species is “Wild Muscovy duck” ( Cairina moschata)
We suggest and recommend that in addition to Gazetting this Bill upon passage, there should be a series of public service announcements through the relevant media fora to sensitize the public to the revised laws and may include rewards for reporting incidents where there is a proven breach of the law.
Tamara Goberdhan: Senior Education Officer: The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust
Simone Ho: Trainee Education Officer: The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust.
Molly R. Gaskin
President, The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust
Karilyn Shephard, Vice-President, Hon.Treasurer, The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust.
31st May 2014.