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Mitchell-Joseph: SVG environment under threat

Mitchell-Joseph: SVG environment under threat


Chairperson of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) National Trust Louise Mitchell-Joseph says that this country’s environment is threatened because of issues which go unnoticed on a daily basis.{{more}}

One of those issues, Mitchell said, is sand mining.

Mitchell, a lawyer by profession, said that the government continues to mine sand and destroy the beaches in the process.

“We have a pressing issue where in Brighton the sand is being mined. If this continues, the actual garbage dump that is there will end up in the sea one day.”

She further noted that some of the practices that are ongoing are a result of the poverty of the nation, and not being able to afford other alternative.

“A lot of what we are doing is very destructive and because we don’t see the damage today, we continue to do it, but in thirty years time the damage will start to show and we will face the dangers then…

“We need to start thinking long term when it comes to preserving the environment. We think that it’s okay to take up another load of sand today; it’s not going to affect anything.

“The point is if they continue doing it, then this will lead to serious issues such as coastal erosion,” she said.

She also noted that there is the issue of the quantity of chemicals being used in agriculture.

“St. Vincent has a very significant agricultural sector, and now that a lot of attention is being focused on the damage that the pesticides do to the environment…

“In everything there is a cost benefit that has to be done in terms of the short term gains and long term destruction,” Mitchell added.

According to the National Trust chairperson, Tourism is the prime earner in terms of revenue for SVG.

“With tourism comes development and with development comes use of the environment preservation.

“We have a system in place whereby investors can come and put up hotels without having strict environmental regulations in place. Again, because

of our poverty, our government is very much concerned about creating jobs,” she further stated.

Mitchell, however, stated that it is the role of the National Trust to try and get the government, the teachers and the students to care about the environment.

“Don’t just care about jobs, but protecting the environment around us because at the end of the day, if you have a tourist destination and people come to visit this beautiful country, if you destroy it then it won’t be beautiful and people won’t come here anymore.”

Mitchell’s remarks were made at a symposium for primary school teachers on Tuesday, November 15.

The one-day symposium was organized by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) National Trust in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and had as its objective, to educate the teachers on conservation and restoration of the natural resources in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.(AA)