Tuesday, April 24, 2007


One of the greatest challenges in sustainable development is reaching consensus among viewpoints that can vary as widely as sustainable development solutions can be perceived. Defining a ‘sustainable development path’ is no easy accomplishment. The attempt to define sustainability virtually began in 1972 during the Stockholm Summit on People and the Environment. This Summit marked the first time world leaders gathered to discuss environmental matters, and from it, the United Nations Environment Programme was founded.

Since then, numerous publications, summits, programmes, civil society groups, covenants and more have risen in an attempt to define, promote and ultimately to achieve sustainable development. Just as this debate has been raging on the world stage for decades, so it is happening in Grenada now. Civil society groups are raising a critical eye of observance on a recent amendment to the parks act, and plans to develop an area that has been reserved to protect the country’s national and critically endangered National bird, the Grenada Dove.

The Government does not believe they are abandoning their environmental responsibilities by allowing development to take place on Mount Hartman Estate; the land area that had been reserved as parkland, and is now at the centre of this controversy. The Government is attempting to balance economic needs with long term land management options. The environmental screen of the proposed development plan suggests that the steps being taken to protect the Dove may actually enhance its preservation rather than threaten it. For the Government, this is better than relying on project based funds, which bear a heavy accompanying administrative burden and no long term guarantees for financial support.

Civil society on the other hand, is attempting to point out that economic benefits and conservation can be achieved using different models of development. Ecotourism has been presented as one of those alternatives. In this model, tourism development and long term ‘value for land’ can be achieved by preserving natural assets and fostering the development of markets that generate profits through conservation, rather than through the more traditional brick and mortar approaches to development. Ecotourism has also proven to be a successful model for poverty alleviation, disaster risk mitigation (through environmental protection) as well as enjoying growth rates that have been reported as high as 30% in places like Costa Rica.

Is one side right and the other wrong? Regardless of where these stakeholders stand, any position that is focused on being in opposition of, or counter to another, is wrong: If the desired result is a sustainable solution. The only factor that we do know that must always be present is that people, from all walks of life, have to buy into an idea, concept or plan for it to be sustainable.

And thus, if a sustainable solution is to be realized from this currently polarized debate, both sides will have to take the time to listen to the other, and agree to work together so that if a win-win solution exists – it can be found.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cricket World Cup Editorial: Winning Ingredients

When a team lets its fans down, it is natural for the fans to want to identify the source of their disappointment. This usually comes in the form of pointing out a coach, a player, funding or some other factor that may have led to the poor performance of the team. However sometimes losing is a part of the process of learning how to win.

Winning in sport or any profession is the result of success at many stages of a process; and hence, winning should be seen as a process, rather than a result. Winners usually emerge after the successful application of a number of factors that release potential in individual, as well as team players.

Losing on the other hand, is usually the result faltering in one or more of the stages of winning.

Talent is a significant first step that provides competitive edge in sport or any discipline. However, it is not a determining factor in itself and can sometimes prove to be a secondary consideration when measured up against willpower and the other elements of success.

Willpower is a critically important ingredient, as talent alone will not provide the competitive edge that is needed to be a successful player. Willpower is the foundation of competitive drive, and when it is strong, willpower can even overpower some fundamental physical limitations; such as sports player who finishes a game without feeling the pain of an injury until the game is over.

For a team, the competitive edge in high performance almost always rests on the cohesiveness of the group. In a high performance team environment, the players perceive themselves as part of a collective whole. In this vein, personal responsibility and accountability is a very important characteristic.

To best understand the value of cohesiveness, picture some of the winners in Cricket World Cup, and remember the times when the teams played ‘on top of their game’ as if they were telepathically connected. At times like this it seems like each player knew what the other was going to do next, before it was done. This is cohesion, and this is the ‘win-zone’ in team sports.

Another ingredient of winning is self belief, which is equally important on an individual and team basis. Without self belief, wins are rare. This is because the thoughts and images in the mind often determine the outcomes of an effort.
For example, if a person stands at the edge of the stream and imagines that the stream is too wide and their legs too weak, they are very likely to end up with wet feet.

However, if that same person stands on the edge of a stream believing that the stream presents an enjoyable challenge, and that their legs are strong enough to leap to the other side; they are more likely to have dry shoes at the end of their effort.

In the event that wet feet are the result anyway, positive self belief will be the driving factor in sport that keeps people working towards their goals until they get it right.

Ms. Ellard-Deveney has worked as an equestrian coach in Canada for ten years.

Monday, April 2, 2007

World Cup Eco-Tips

Cricket World Cup 2007 is expected to bring thousands of visitors to the island, and there are environmental impacts that will result from this short term boom in Grenada’s population.

First, there is the amount of solid waste that will be generated: The local organizing committee (LOC) has estimated that 13,000 tonnes of garbage will be produced per (game) day in the Stadium alone. The LOC and Grenada’s Solid Waste Management Authority are prepared to remove waste at night so Grenada and the Stadium look clean and fresh every morning, but there is much more to consider than that. Once removed, where does all the garbage go?

The waste will go to the landfill, but any landfill, anywhere, can only take a finite amount of waste; and for a small island state like Grenada, any effort to reduce the ammount of waste generated is a better course than producing too much of it. You can do a lot to help:

1. If you are heading out on a day trip, you can pack reusable containers in your bag and ask persons serving you food to put it in the containers instead of in a disposable one.
2. You can carry a reusable cup or mug, which will also help prevent unnecessary litter from ending up in the landfill. You can carry shopping bags with you if you intend to do some shopping.
3. If you do make garbage, don’t throw it away in the street or into the ocean. Extra waste bins, and extra waste service pick ups will be provided, so use the bins available.

Try to do what you can at home, in your hotel or in your workplace to minimize waste that is not directly related to Cricket World Cup. You can recycle office paper by stapling them together and using them as your note pads. You can turn off lights when you leave the room. If you are using air conditioning, raise the temperature so you are not using as much energy to run the machine, or if possible, turn it off altogether and open a window instead.

Traffic congestion will impact the local air quality in some areas and you can do your part to help out by leaving using the bus, or carpooling with neighbours. Try not to use your car if you will be the only person in it.

Grenada is paradise, so let’s keep it clean while we enjoy Cricket World Cup.