Trinidad: Summit of Americas preparation means cutting every tree at the airport

Every tree at the Piarco International Airport is scheduled to be cut
down to the ground in preparation for the upcoming Summit of the
Americas, the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) has
revealed. “Apparently more than 50 trees have already been cut down as
of today (yesterday) and we are told that every single tree at the
airport is scheduled to be cut down to the ground before the summit,”
a release from DOMA stated on Saturday. The Fifth Summit of the
Americas is scheduled for three days in April and is expected to be
attended by United States President Barack Obama, and the leaders of
33 other nations.

The trees on the airport’s compound are deemed to be
a risk to the security of these delegates. “We have been informed that
the trees which are in the car-park and at various parts of the
airport compound have been deemed to pose a possible security risk for
the upcoming Summit of the Americas,” the release stated. However,
DOMA said it is “confused by this development since it had already
been publicly announced that the old airport compound was being
renovated for the upcoming summit.” On December 30, Minister in the
Ministry of Finance, Mariano Browne, revealed that the old southern
terminal building of the Piarco Airport is to be refurbished in time
for April’s summit so it can be used as the “primary entry point” for
the Heads of Government and their respective entourages. “If
dignitaries and participants will arrive at the old airport, why then
are all the trees at the new airport being cut down?” DOMA questioned
in the release. Mature poui and palm trees are included in the mass
cutting down of trees, DOMA said. And because there are mature trees
being affected DOMA questioned why pruning was not considered as a
better alternative. “This could have satisfied the security objectives
but still give the trees the opportunity to recover,” the release
stated. “We hope that those trees which have not yet been cut down
will be spared and that good sense and practical thinking will replace
what is obviously a tragedy at Piarco,” DOMA stated.
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161423884

— Posted to http://forestpolicyresearch.com via gmail to posterous and
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Comments (4)

DeidraMarch 26th, 2009 at 11:36 am

this is utter madness! that is all i have to say…just as much as oxygen is vital to lfe, trees are just as important because they CREATE OXYGEN

AnthonyMarch 29th, 2009 at 9:31 am

Hardly surprizing as the Trinidad government seems hell-bent on pursuing ostentatious, expensive developmental models, to the detriment of the natural and social environment.

Albert KongApril 14th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago are supporters of the U.S. Republican policy of total disregard for the environment. They were hell bent on building several Aluminum smelters on the tiny island despite the pleadings of their people who would be severely affected. Their leader has a similar air of self righteous arrogance that is very similar to the manner of former president Bush utilizing the same pretense of being born again Christians. Their approach to electoral politics is to attempt to divide the populace along racial lines. The lavish preparations for the summit that consumed a disproportionate amount of the countries resources were meant to impress their republican masters in the expectation of a John McCain victory.

Barack Obama who cares deeply about the environment, believes in unifying rather than dividing his people and in public service rather than self serving leadership is a very different kettle of fish than what they were expecting. Let us see if they succeed in glossing over these glaring differences now in the global public spotlight.

Liane SpicerApril 17th, 2009 at 12:55 pm

This is a disgrace. And not at all surprising.

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