Species Conservation Plan Proposals
July 2018: online survey for public consultation
Public Consultation, 30th July to 3rd September 2018
Under Section 17 of the National Conservation Law, the general public is invited to submit written views on the following Species Conservation Plans to the National Conservation Council.
The period for consultation will end on Monday, 3rd September 2018 at 5pm, after which the Council will take into account all written submissions before deciding whether to recommend the proposal to Cabinet.
Please note that submissions will be published as part of the consultation report.
Submissions should be made using the online survey, or on a form which is available to download and print. This will assist the Council and cabinet in objectively assessing the level of public support or opposition for each proposal, as well as providing for comments in your own words.
Your feedback and comments will be included in the final report on consultation regarding the proposal you select below.
We suggest you read the proposal(s) below before taking the survey. You can only take each survey once, so please check your entries before submitting.
Species Conservation Plan for Mangroves
Mangroves are a familiar and widespread feature of our landscapes. Red Mangrove, Black Mangrove, White Mangrove and Buttonwood trees can be seen on many of our shorelines, out of our car windows as we commute, along MRCU dyke roads, and even in residential and commercial landscapes. Because they are so ubiquitous we tend not to think of them as being in any danger.
For our mangroves, however, all is not quite as comfortable as it seems. In western Grand Cayman for example, between 1976 and 2013 more than two-thirds of the area occupied by mangroves (69%) was removed to create land for human uses. This process is ongoing and is taking away the ecological services that mangrove ecosystems provide and which benefit us in many ways.
Mangroves in 1976 (shown in green) Mangroves lost by 2013 (shown in red)
Mangroves are also threatened by modern sea level rise. For thousands of years, the mangroves have been laying down peat that has kept pace with the rise in sea level. With climate change, sea level rise now appears to be accelerating, and the mangroves may not be able to keep up. If they submerge too deeply, they die.
For these reasons, the National Red List status of the mangroves is edging into the endangered zone. Red Mangrove is “Near Threatened”. Buttonwood and White Mangrove are “Vulnerable”. Black Mangrove is already “Endangered.”
This Conservation Plan seeks to moderate the ongoing loss of mangrove in the Cayman Islands. It proposes the use of the National Conservation Law to establish additional protected areas in key mangrove sites, and gives protection to all mangroves in their natural setting with necessary exceptions made for a wide range of economically important activities.
Existing development approval procedures such as Planning Permissions, Coastal Works Licenses and Gazettal of road corridors will continue to operate normally, and development approved through these procedures will not be affected by this plan.
Mangrove Trimming Guidelines issued under this Conservation Plan lay out the options and methods that can be used by property owners wishing to create or maintain a view through, or over naturally situated mangroves.
Use of cultivated mangroves in landscapes is encouraged by allowing collection of mangrove propagules, growing in pots and buying and selling cultivated specimens. Cultivated mangroves planted as part of landscapes are (of course) not subject to conservation measures.
The main effect this Conservation Plan will have is to raise the level of protection on mangroves which are not currently approved for development. Clearing mangroves in the absence of valid and current planning permission, for example, will constitute a violation of the National Conservation Law and could carry severe penalties.