(CMR) In continued efforts to preserve the Islands’ natural beauty and improve its image, Cabinet has approved the establishment of the Cayman Islands Beautification Task Force (CIBTF), formerly known as the Cayman Islands Beautification Committee.
The CIBTF is expected to work to preserve Cayman's global reputation for its natural beauty and well-maintained environment, which enhances the country's world-class tourism product.
The Beautification Task Force is managed by a team of volunteers under the direction of Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Heather Bodden. The CIBTF is chaired by Mrs. Teresa Lewis-Pitcairn and is made up of District Sub-Committees that empower each district to manage beautification issues on a community level.
Mrs. Lewis-Pitcairn is joined on the Task Force by ten members, who will serve as designated district leads. These are: Mr. Robert Bodden, Deputy Chairperson, Mrs. Felisiana Ebanks, Ms. Nickeah Esteban, Ms. Omeria Gordon, Mrs. Karen Hydes, Ms. Janet James, Mr. Edney McLean, Mr. Graham Rankine, Ms. Margely Reve , Ms. Romelya, Welcome, Director of Environmental Health or nominee Member (ex-officio), Director of Commerce and Investment or nominee Member (ex-officio), Royal Cayman Islands Police Service or nominee Member (ex-officio) and the Chief Officer for Ministry of Tourism or nominee Member (ex-officio).
The Beautification Task Force will report to the Ministry of Tourism and will work closely with a cross-section of government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Health, the Department of Public Lands, and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, among others.
With the CIBTF moto being ‘Clean and Green – Cayman Islands’, Ms. Heather Bodden stated, “It has been a personal passion of mine to showcase the pristine beauty of our islands. As we continue to welcome back tourists to Cayman’s stunning natural scenery, I encourage everyone to take pride in your outdoor spaces, as this not only reflects our nation to incoming visitors but adds to the quality of life for residents.”
The goal of the Beautification Task Force is to work with local communities on the removal of derelict vehicles and to educate residents on their responsibility for having proper garbage bins and receptacles in place.
The Task Force will also serve as a conduit for the public to report any issues relating to litter and illegal dumping throughout the three islands and liaise with the relevant agencies to have the situation remedied.
“The increase in abandoned vehicles, messy properties and illegally dumped household items gives the impression that this type of behavior is acceptable to residents, and the longer it is allowed to continue conveys that there is no momentum towards change or improvement. That is simply not the case,“ said Ms. Bodden.
Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism and Transport noted that “the ultimate aim of the Task Force is to change the attitudes and behavior of the public, by encouraging those who live and work in the Cayman Islands, as well as those who visit us, to act responsibly in keeping our islands clean.”
“Consequently the Beautification Task Force will operate on a strategic level to restore a sense of pride in our islands, by amplifying community consciousness to a level that will reflect the uniqueness of our culture, heritage and people,” he said.
“The CIBTF is also tasked with educating the public on the laws surrounding littering and illegal dumping, and they will be reporting violators who break the law to the relevant authorities,” he added.
Contact details for the Task Force are currently being finalized and will be circulated to the public as soon as they become available. The Task Force will also be providing more information on its upcoming projects in due course.