Education series: The role of the National Conservation Council | Loop Cayman Islands

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

The National Conservation Council was established under the National Conservation Act (the Act) to promote biological diversity, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in the Cayman Islands. The Council also recommends and maintains protected areas and conservation areas.

Definition of “protected areas”

Under the Act, a protected area means any area of Crown Land or Cayman waters designated by the Cabinet after consultation with the Council and adjoining land owners. It also includes any area, not being Crown land, which, on the recommendation of the Council to the Cabinet, becomes a conservation area by agreement between the proprietor and the Cabinet. Other examples of protected areas include designated animal sanctuaries, marine park zones as defined by the Marine Conservation (Marine Parks) Regulations, no-diving zones designated in accordance with the Marine Conservation Regulations and restricted marine areas as designated under the Restricted Marine Areas (Designation) Regulations.

A list of existing protected areas and other places nominated for protection can found on the Council’s website at https://conservation.ky/existing-protected-areas/

Definition of “conservation areas”

Regarding conservation areas, these are defined under the Act as an area of privately owned land that is regulated by a conservation agreement. This conservation agreement specifies the management, administration, financial and enforcement responsibilities of the Cabinet and of the proprietor to ensure furtherance of the objectives for which the area was chosen as a conservation area.

Latest efforts to protect and conserve areas

Regarding the latest conservation and protection efforts of the Council, the Council advised on its website that it is currently accepting nominations for protected areas in the Cayman Islands.

Parties are being asked to submit a letter, including as much detail as possible to explain where the area is on a map and why it is significant to the relevant party as a protected space. Parties are also asked to include details about important plant and/or animal species that use the area and any other unique concerns such as being prone to erosion, flooding, etc.

For full details on the nomination process, members of the public may visit conservation.ky/protected-area-nominating-process

Parties are also encouraged to review Part 3 of the National Conservation Act, “Conservation of Land”, for a full explanation of the purpose and objectives of the Act. http://conservation.ky/the-national-conservation-law/

The deadline for submission of the letter of nomination is May 13, 2022 in order to be considered for the 2022 consultation process.