Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Robert Clarke reports in the Trinidad Guardian today that Talisman's lawyers, at yesterday's hearing before the Environmental Commission, argued that Nariva is not legally protected against seismic exploration (no direct link because the Guardian has no online archive — but see note below):

"Attorney Mark Morgan yesterday argued that the Nariva swamp is not legally protected from explosive geological surveys.

"Speaking on the first day of the Environmental Commission’s maiden appeal, Morgan said the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, the Forest Act, the Conservation of Wildlife Act and the Environmentally Sensitive Area Rules all fail to provide 'absolute prohibition' against performing a 3-D seismic survey.

"He said the Ramsar Convention is not enforceable because it has not been backed by local legislation.

"Morgan said the three other pieces of legislation provide no specific protection against a survey.

"'There is no policy that prevents them (the EMA) from considering the application (to conduct a 3-D seismic survey),' he said."

The EMA's attorney will respond today.

(Note: After an email to the Guardian's webmaster went unanswered, I wrote to the paper's Internet editor about the highly inconvenient lack of an online archive, & got a prompt response. They're working hard on setting up an archive, she said, & maybe it'll be up by the end of November....)

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