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Little Bequia hosts big conference

Little Bequia hosts big conference


The little island of Bequia was host of a big conference called the “Mauritius Strategy Implementation: Small Islands Voice Planning Meeting” sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO this week. {{more}}

The five-day workshop, scheduled to run from Monday 11 to Saturday 16 July saw the participation of delegates from 13 countries, including far away nations like the Seychelles, Fiji and Zambia.

Small Islands Voice, which mainly addresses issues affecting smaller undeveloped countries organized the conference at the Bequia Rotary Skills training Centre and gave the visiting delegates the opportunity to air their plights. One of the areas of concern included the shipping of radioactive waste in the ocean which they said they had no capacity to clean up if there was a spill.

Small Islands Voice co-ordinator Dr. Gillian Cambers praised the work of the Bequia Sand Watch group for doing their part to educate people on their environment and monitoring the changes even as she stated that more work was needed.

She commented: “I can not say that Bequia is a shining example of sustainable development for the Caribbean. There has been some coastal erosion, clearing of cultivation for housing and littering of the streets with plastic bottles and cups. So I can’t say in my heart that Bequia is a model of sustainable development. But, I can say that it is a model for our way of thinking, caring and planing the future of your environment and how you hope to see it.”

Dr. Chambers also noted that she was excited by the attitude she’d seen in Bequia which she said motivates her and made her feel that her work was not in vain.