The Environmental Protection Fund is projected to have a closing balance of $52.2 million by the end of the 2019. That’s down from almost $60 million at the end of 2016.
Cayman 27 takes a look at the financial numbers from the National Conservation Council’s 2017 annual report.
According to the report, approved by the council at its meeting last week, the Environmental Protection Fund appears to be shrinking.
In the 2018/2019 budget, the EPF is projected to pay the nearly $1.7M it will earn in interest to general revenue. This is in addition to some $15.6M allocated for transfer out of the EPF to general revenue over the two-year budget.
Contrast that with what is expected coming into the EPF: just shy of $6M per year for 2018 and 2019. With more money going out than coming ion, it’s easy to see why the numbers are getting smaller.
In the 18-month budget ending with 2017, the Department of Environment spent close to a quarter million dollars of that fund, with the lion’s share going to green iguana controls, with other moneys going to Nassau grouper conservation, Cayman parrot conservation, coral restoration in the wake of the Tatoosh and Saga vessel reef damage incidents, and around $7,000 in legal fees incurred during the Tatoosh settlement.
Going forward in the 2018/2019 budget, $400,000 dollars per year is allocated for stingray research, a traffic calming proposal to protect Sister Islands rock iguanas, a Cayman parrot amnesty project, turtle friendly lighting incentive scheme, coral reef restoration, and legal advice for the council.
Also noted in the report: although section 3 of the National Conservation Law provides that the council manage and make recommendations on the use of the EPF. According to the report, sections 46 and 47 of the law remain un-implemented, and the fund is still being operated under pre-existing legislation from 1997.