On Earth Day in 2015 the Cayman Island’s National Conservation Law (NCL) went into effect. The new laws broadens the scope of protection the Department of Environment (DOE) can enforce. While most of the law is now in action, there are still parts that are still to take full effect.
One area the DOE is working to finalize is the definition of critical habitat. A critical habitat is a specific area that has the biological or ecological components necessary, for the survival of the species as defined by that species’ conservation plan. In other words, if we lose that piece of land, we lose the species.
Currently nothing has changed in the NCL regarding critical habitats. Bot all species conservation plan have gone through, therefore there are no critical habitats listed under the NCL, yet. The DOE is working to review and finalize the law, before critical habitats can be fully defined. When considering what would constitute a critical habitat both the size of the species population and the size of the land area are important factors to consider. The final law is expected to be enacted this year.