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BEST urges businesses to protect island

Jet skis have been operating in environmentally sensitive areas

A green charity yesterday called on new entrepreneurs to be properly informed of environmental regulations to prevent running afoul of them.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce said that a drive to encourage new businesses could lead to corners being cut — and end up damaging the natural beauty that attracts tourists to the island.

She added the charity was aware of a jet ski business operating in the “environmentally sensitive” Coot Pond area in St George’s without all the needed permissions.

The spokeswoman said: “The fact that a single application for a new business venture could require various permissions from different government departments or ministries means that there are opportunities for steps to be missed, accidentally or even intentionally.

“BEST encourages individuals and organisations to understand and adhere to the processes designed to protect the beauty of our island, which could lead to a revival of our tourism business.

“The Department of Planning can provide guidance where an application for siting a development or operation is required.”

“What the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation and the new businesses they want to help, must remember is that the number one attraction is Bermuda’s exquisite natural environment, the sustainability of which requires that a portion of every development scheme be linked to suitable development on appropriate sites.

“That should be part of the thinking of every entrepreneur as a kind of investment or insurance policy.”