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The final Leadership Cayman 2019 Seminar took place on Wednesday, June 12, at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, with 31 participants taking an in-depth look at issues related to infrastructure and the environment in the Cayman Islands.
The three-hour long seminar sought to help participants gain a better understanding of public systems, services and facilities needed for the Cayman Islands to achieve there important development goals; namely: to maintain and promote sustainable economic development; minimize potential adverse effects on the environment; and ultimately, improve the quality of life in the Cayman Islands.
Jennifer Ahearn, Secretary and Chief Officer in the Ministry of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing, Gregg Anderson, Executive Director, Energy and Utilities at the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg), and Cathy Church, Environmental Advocate, Businesswoman and Photographer, were the three facilitators for the seminar.
The Discussions focused mainly on the following issues:
The role of infrastructure (including its current and future state) in the achievement of Cayman’s social and economic goals;
The current state of the environment, further threats to the environment, and the role government and the society at large should play, to preserve the environment and reverse or curtail actions which further threaten the environment;
The role of utility companies, particularly OfReg, in aiding the achievement of the stated goals.
Gregg Anderson highlighted the challenges faced by the Cayman’s Islands in the desire to promote green energy. He said solar farms require large land space, which the islands obviously lack, by nature of their size. Meanwhile, Jennifer Ahearn told the group that the government had a projection date of 3 to 5 years to complete the phasing out of landfills and make the switch to the more environmentally friendly pollution control waste energy plant being used by other environmentally conscious or advanced societies. Cathy Church bemoaned, among other things, plans to impose a new port on the harbour. She said this would result in both environmental and financial loss to the people. She cited possible losses to the diving and snorkeling businesses, as well as in the area of dredging.
The seminar was preceded by a guided tour of the George Town landfill. This served to heighten participants’ awareness of and interest in the issues of infrastructure and the environment and how these could aid or hinder the Islands’ social and economic goals.
The tour of the landfill and the seminar were made possible through the assistance of Island Paving who sponsored the Infrastructure and the Environment Seminar, along with Cox Lumber Limited, RBC Royal Bank (Cayman) Limited and Wheaton Precious Metals International who were, year-long sponsors of the Leadership Cayman 2019 programme.