PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2017
UPP Condemns PM Browne’s Decision to Override Environmental Laws
St. John’s, Antigua – The United Progressive Party condemns Prime Minister Gaston
Browne’s decision to override the environmental laws of Antigua & Barbuda to enable the
controversial development plans of the YIDA Group, which, despite three years’ ownership
of some of the best prime lands in the entire Caribbean, has failed to get off the ground.
“The Government has already granted YIDA virtual sovereignty within Antigua & Barbuda,”
said UPP Political Leader Harold Lovell. “Now, the Administration’s outright contempt for
the laws put in place to protect our environment and natural resources is an insult to the
people of this country.”
The Party finds it ironic that in a tourism destination renowned for its natural beauty –
including 365 beaches – the Government would put our coastline and delicate ecosystems
at risk, especially for the sake of a non-performing investor. This reckless action, which
will virtually wipe out the endangered mangroves, is akin to subjecting oneself to
dangerous cosmetic surgery when the known risks outweigh the benefits.
YIDA’s proposal to “create” a beach in that location and the Government’s foolhardy
agreement demonstrate a lack of regard for the sound, scientific policies and
recommendations of the professionals in the Department of the Environment.
This willful defiance by the Gaston Browne Administration makes a mockery of its earlier
call for greater support of efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change. It also shows a
lack of respect for local laws and an indifference to the damage and long-term risks this
man-made beach will pose to the environment, the fishing industry, and the safety of the
The exposure of plans for a gun factory has only deepened the country’s mistrust of YIDA.
The UPP now calls on the ABLP to demonstrate to the public how this project will fit into
the country’s long-term tourism development plans. It also calls on Prime Minister Gaston
Browne to explain the unwarranted trust and confidence he continues to put in YIDA, a
developer clearly lacking in experience and credibility.
Public Relations Officer
United Progressive Party