Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul Tuesday called for the imposition of taxes on users of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) who engage in motor racing, warning that they were harming the environment.
In his contribution to the debate on a resolution on the Green Economy Scoping Study, the Government backbencher made reference to a popular spot in St Andrew where some people were behaving in such “a reckless manner” that they posed a danger to the environment.
“We have people here who bringing in all kinds of these large, high wheel vehicles and they want to say that they engage in these motor sports. We need to tax them. We need to tax them because they at the same time do not contribute in any way to maintaining the natural vegetation they destroy.
“I hear about a situation I think in Turner’s Hall where people come in and they encroach on what they perceive to be forest areas but they actually destroy the forest,” Paul told parliamentarians.
He stressed that the island could not allow such random activities, and he urged the authorities to increase the number of wardens monitoring such areas.
“Barbadians see it as bush, but they do not understand that it is more than just that,” the legislator said, contending that those activities were already having a negative impact.
“The reason why we are seeing the floods that we are seeing in some areas is because of the fact that they compromise the ability of the areas of the land to absorb water. So what happens is increase water run off. So what it does, it provides a problem for those who are downstream.
“These people who walking around the place, they want the largest vehicles and they take these all terrain vehicles up through the forest and they pay no attention to the fact that they are destroying the environment that form a very important part of the ecology of this country.”
Paul urged authorities to guard against deforestation, naming Haiti as an example of what can happen when vegetation is destroyed.
He added that Barbados had a duty to manage its environment in a sustainable manner, particularly with more tourists paying close attention to the surroundings of the destinations they visit.