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Slowing down negative impacts of unsustainable resource exploitation


Tue May 6, 2014

by the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority

Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.{{more}}

Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channelling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and centre. This was a revolutionary time and this movement continues today.

Today, Earth Day is practicsed all over the world. From Germany to China, these are some of the countries who are investing in renewable energy and offering investors and producers of renewable energy, incentives for their individual efforts. Asia leads with the amount of incentives they have offered to investors and producers of renewable energy. As a result, India has emerged as a decisive environmental, social, economic and political power. Earth Day Network’s India Program, headquartered in Kolkata, is engaging partners to build and enhance the region’s civic mobilization and leadership in the environmental movement.

Globally, numerous steps are being taken to slow down the negative impacts of unsustainable resource exploitation and the negative impacts pollution has on our environment. Our country, through the Solid Waste Unit at CWSA, recently placed garbage receptacles and recycling bins in Kingstown to encourage citizens to take the necessary steps to sustain a quality environment, by properly discarding waste.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ main sources of revenue are generated from the tourism and the agriculture industries. With that said, it is crucial that, as a people of these beautiful islands, we accept individual responsibility to be good stewards of our islands resources and engage in good practices as regards land use practices, proper waste disposal, reduction and recycling, even to become more conscious of our footprint and negative impacts on our surroundings which can impact on the quality of our life. This primary initiative is to take action; we must do our part to protect and sustain our island bio-diversified habitats and species.

We must continue to strive to maintain international standards in the quality of our air, water, and land mass, as the world becomes more globalized.

Here are a few things we can do to illuminate pollution:

We must stop throwing garbage into the rivers in our communities. We can pay more attention to the way we discard our waste. Recently Kingstown received numerous trash cans and recycling bins. We must use them correctly. The yellow bins are for waste and the blue garbage bins are for recycling drinking bottles and metal cans. At our beaches it is important that we take responsibility for our actions and clean up our waste after we have picnics. Home and business owners can undertake initiatives to filter the outflow of water that is discarded from their sewers and drains. The outflow of waste has a serious impact on the quality of water we bathe in at the beaches and can deplete our marine life.

Farmers can reuse their animal waste as a form of manure for plants, as opposed to leaving the waste at the riverside. This can assist in sustaining the quality of rivers and marine environment. Our coastal areas are very important socially and economically, yet very environmentally sensitive and fragile. Such areas are already under pressure from the impact of climate change; thus, as a people, we must do our part to ensure our coastal areas are managed and conserve, due to the many benefits we derive and our livelihood dependence upon such areas. There is illegal sand mining, indiscriminate destruction of coastal vegetation, removal of mangroves and a host of marine pollution issues, often emanating from the land; these are some of the activities that require our attention and actions to change. We can all be positive change agents in this regard.

Remember when reefs and mangroves die, the result is likely to be loss of our coastline; with erosion of our coastline we can also have no beaches. Without beaches we lose our coastal protection services, prime recreation areas, and part of our tourism industry product.

The National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority encourages our citizens to be good stewards of our country’s resources. As a guide, follow the simple, but effective rule: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle your waste. Ensure our daily practices at work and play conserve our environment and that both present and future generations can live and enjoy a healthy geographic space that we call St Vincent and the Grenadines, our home country.