Press Release:– Prime Minister Honourable Allen Michael Chastanet championed the issue of the effect of Climate Change on the region in his Address during the Royal Visit on Sunday.
His Royal Highness, Prince of Wales spent the afternoon of March 17th 2019 in the south of the island; attending a special welcome ceremony, schools rally and a reception in his honour.
In his address at the ceremony and on behalf of the Government and People of Saint Lucia, Prime Minister Chastanet spoke of the significance of the visit which coincides with the nation’s ongoing 40th Independence anniversary celebrations.
The Prime Minister spoke to Saint Lucia’s participation in the Commonwealth, adding that Saint Lucia intends to take advantage of the Commonwealth’s diverse membership which offers valuable insights which will help the country meet its development objectives.
The Prime Minister spoke to the challenges faced by Saint Lucia among them crime, unemployment and improving social services.
“Among the greatest challenges that we face is the issue of climate change,” stated the Prime Minister. “And we’re not in this alone. Climate Change does not discriminate. Whether you are big or small, rich or poor, it affects us all. As a Small Island Developing State, we are often paralyzed, because when it comes to building resilience, we are not in control of our own destiny. We are constrained by global bureaucracies. This was most glaring with the rampage that hurricanes brought to our region just two years ago. Despite this, we continue to approach the task with determination, but for us to be successful we require intervention.”
Speaking in agreement with the Prime Minister, Prince Charles stated that “There is no greater challenge facing all of us, in my view, and indeed in that of The Prime Minister as we heard, than that of climate change, which I know poses nothing short of an existential threat to this island as it does to every part of this region.”
Prince Charles noted that he saw for himself, “the devastation that Hurricanes Maria and Irma wrought in Dominica, Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands when I visited those communities in November 2017.”
“Tackling the truly alarming threat of climate change, and finding some ways of mitigating the risk it presents, is, and must continue to be, a top priority for the Commonwealth,” said HRH. “I am particularly pleased to know, therefore, that through the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme, the mapping of Saint Lucia’s seabed will not only inform our understanding of the effects of climate change, but has the potential to help develop Saint Lucia’s vital Blue Economy in significant and sustainable ways.”
Prince Charles said, “For this, and so many other reasons, I have great hope for the future of Saint Lucia and her people.”