The final substantive sections of the Cayman Islands’ National Conservation Law 2013, including a legal requirement for potential threats to the environment to be considered and assessed in planning application decisions, have now just come into force, with effect from 15 August 2016.
The legislation includes specific provision for the National Conservation Council to require developers to carry out an environmental impact assessment at their own expense for certain major projects.
The implementation of Parts 5 and 7 (with the minor exception of sections 46 and 47 of Part 7) means that, nearly three years after its unanimous approval in the Legislative Assembly in 2013, the National Conservation Law is now substantively in effect.
The National Conservation Law makes provision for the conservation of wildlife and the environment in the Cayman Islands.
It establishes the National Conservation Council and continues the Environmental Protection Fund. The Cabinet may, after consultation with the Council, designate any area of Crown Land or Cayman waters as a protected area in accordance with this Law. An area, not being Crown land, may become a conservation area by agreement between the proprietor and the Cabinet.
The species of wildlife listed in Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 are protected species under the Law. The Council shall formulate and adopt a conservation plan for each protected species whose range includes the Islands. In order to help prevent a species from becoming endangered or threatened, the Council may adopt specified measures.
The Law also provides for enforcement and penalties.
For more information, see these stories in the Cayman Compass: