The Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce
Please also visit Greenrock, another Bermuda organisation dedicated to the preservation of the environment.
Welcome to Awareness NOW, a virtual forum featuring content that is monitored and filtered by BEST, but published in the interest of the people of Bermuda (i.e. YOU!). In this portion of the website you will find blurbs explaining the effects of sustainability issues on our own interests, and on the well-being of our beloved Island.
Remember: with great knowledge comes great responsibility; explore, listen to others, don’t be afraid to raise your voice and get active!
*Image by Idea Go
Last Updated (Saturday, 06 August 2011 14:32) Friday, 05 August 2011 07:38
30 Years of Complaints on Cobb's Hill
When Mrs. Kay Hayward and her husband Joe moved into their home on Cobb’s Hill in the late 1970s, they never imagined that they would be complaining about their neighbours’ activities for the next 30 years. With 3 vacant lots in the vicinity -one being a storage lot for D&J Excavating and Landscaping and the 2 others being privately owned lots where construction activities like sand sifting and power washing have taken place- the Haywards have fallen victim to noise and air pollution countless time; “there were days when there was so much dust in the air that I couldn’t even open my bedroom window”, Mrs Hayward has stated.
Over the years Mr. and Mrs. Hayward have written a plethora of letters and met with a number of representatives of the Planning and Health Department, as well as of the Ministry of the Environment. Signatures were collected, several site visits took place and even sanctions were imposed, but the Haywards and their neighbours still find themselves complaining about the activities that take place on the vacant lots of Cobb’s Hill.
Recently Mrs. Hayward joined the Citizens Group that BEST supports, together with Mrs. Tanya Boyles, who is also a resident of Cobb’s Hill. Mrs. Hayward said she’s tired of “complaining, complaining, complaining” and is ready to collaborate with the other members of the group and work towards securing a real change.
Click here to learn more about the Citizens Group and find out how you can become a member. Still in the early stages of organization, the members of the Citizens group have come together to discuss and resolve development related issues.
*Image by digitalart
Last Updated (Friday, 05 August 2011 07:35) Thursday, 04 August 2011 16:13
Strength in numbers: Citizens Group Forms to Discuss Development Issues
Amid the enormity and complexity of any bureaucratic system, the individual whose rights are not being respected tends to feel intimidated and alone, oftentimes choosing to surrender before putting up a fight. As a small and frequently controversial actor, BEST understands just how scary speaking up can be and is thus infinitely grateful for the support it has received from its members, friends and volunteers, over the last couple of years.
In the knowledge that strength can come in numbers, BEST has chosen to support a Citizens Group that came together to discuss development related issues. With BEST as a friend and ally, the members of the Citizens Group will brainstorm solutions to their respective problems, building on each other’s strengths and empowering one and other.
*Image by Salvatore Vuono
Last Updated (Thursday, 04 August 2011 21:13) Thursday, 04 August 2011 12:57
The Department of Planning:
Inevitable Complications of Reviewing/Evaluating Public Documents
When an application for a new development is submitted to the Department of Planning, it is advertised in the official gazette and the public is then given 14 days to object. Submitted objections have the potential to influence whether or not the plans will be approved, when applications are eventually assessed by The Development Applications Board (DAB).
Although the Department of Planning tries to simplify the objection process by keeping relevant public documents on file, a number of regulations s complicate the review of said documents, especially when there are upcoming deadlines.
The following is a list of complications that an individual who is interested in reviewing plans is likely to encounter, particularly during the objection period. BEST understands that the Department of Planning has not set up these complications deliberately, but nonetheless feels that it necessary to point them out, for the public to keep in mind:
-Although the objection period is 14 days long, the public may only review plans during the 10 workdays within these 2 weeks.
-Plans are only available for review in the Department of Planning’s Hamilton offices.
-Plans may only be reviewed from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, a time period that overlaps with most Bermudian’s working hours.
-The average, untrained eye is likely to have trouble understanding what it is looking for/at, when reviewing plans. Sharing findings with others, including those who may have a deeper understanding of plans is further complicated by the fact that no photocopies of the files can be made, and taking pictures is not permitted.
*Image by Luigi Diamanti