Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 23, 2012 (SKNIS):
This day provides an opportunity for participating countries to raise awareness and increase practical action. Derionne Edmeade, Education Officer at the Department of Environment in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Physical Planning and Environment informed the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that activities pertaining to Biological Diversity will take place in June. The Department of Physical Planning and Environment has reserved the entire month to celebrate World Environment Day which is recognized Tuesday, June 05, 2012.
As such, activities during that period will include visits to schools and will culminate with an exhibition. Mr. Edmeade noted that it is important for the Federation to focus on Biological Diversity because tourism is a major income earner of the Federation.
“This year, the theme for the International Day of Biological Diversity is Marine Biodiversity and so in our context includes our coast,” Mr. Edmeade emphasized. “Our mangroves prevent erosion but are also breeding grounds for our fish and other wildlife, which can impact on our fisheries industry. Also, our beautiful biodiversity is one of the reasons why tourists come to our shores. So we have to ensure that we have garbage-free beaches, garbage-free reefs and tasty fish dishes for both tourists and locals to consume. It is up to us to do our share of the conservation.”
Pertaining to humans’ impact on the marine environment, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has noted that the outcome has not been very promising.
“Despite its importance, marine biodiversity — the theme of this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity — has not fared well at human hands. Commercial over-exploitation of the world’s fish stocks is severe. Many species have been hunted to fractions of their original populations.”
Ban Ki-moon Secretary General United Nations
As a result, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Physical Planning and Environment is encouraging all residents to assist in reversing such trends.