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Dr. Cox rises to occasion

Dr. Cox rises to occasion

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Environmental issues span the entire spectrum of our society, but linking the means to make the best use of the resources was one of this country’s problems. But through the instrumentality of one of the nation’s most dynamic sons, activities on environmental matters will be better coordinated. {{more}}
Dr. Richard Cox, a Vincentian attached to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and his agency, along with the Ministry of Health and the Environment and the United Nations Development Programme, wound up a three-day workshop at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall yesterday.
It was held under the theme: ‘Building synergies – A prerequisite for the effective management of Sustainable Development.”
And as if to underscore its national appeal, another Vincentian attached to another international body was also pivotal in the environmental exercise.
For who can be more apt for any matter on the environment than Dr. Reynold Murray.
Dr. Murray represented the United Nations Development Programme and expressed delight at being able to link with his colleague Dr. Cox. Their combined experience in such fields provided the basis for genuine solutions to problems in the environment.
Dr. Cox said he was disappointed with the response from some agencies here, though he was not going to allow any shortcomings to diminish the accomplishment of a task worthwhile.
He promised a more organised approach to environmental matters following the workshop.
Dr. Cox echoed a statement popular with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves when he stressed: “We have to work harder. We have to be committed. You have to be properly organised.”
The Germany-based professional noted the “harsh realities” on the international front as he noted that the ‘Developed World’ was willing to globalise trade, but not labour, poverty or to prevent Aids.
He reminded that audience that St. Vincent and the Grenadines had signed a number of international treaties and Conventions.
Dr. Cox, a Russian trained lawyer with special interest in international affairs, noted that resources to deal with environmental matters were drying up. And he pointed out: “There is need to address organisational structures. We have to think of what we put in place.”
He observed that while some countries were on a spacecraft, we were moving on a broken down bicycle.
He thus emphasised the need for efficient use of time as he pointed to this country’s vulnerability to economic hardships. He offered the problem of drought as one such scenario.
Dr. Murray recapped Dr. Cox’s observation about limited resources here when he addressed the opening last Tuesday morning and charged the audience to grasp the seriousness of the importance of protecting and sustaining the environment.
Health and Environment Minister Dr. Douglas Slater, giving the opening remarks before the forum, noted the relationship between bad environmental practices and damage caused by hurricanes as seen in the recent passages of tropical storms this season.
He lamented the destruction of mangrove swamps, which he outlined contributed to the storm damage.
Also addressing the meeting was the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Dr. Lystra Fletcher Paul, as well as CEHI’s Patricia Aquing.

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