Press Release:– The Government of Saint Lucia is delighted to be part of the UN Environment’s Clean Seas Campaign which was launched in 2017.
Several other Caribbean countries have also pledged their commitment and support to this worthy cause. This campaign, a call to global action, works with governments, businesses and citizens around the world, to increase awareness of the need to protect our oceans from marine plastic pollution by reducing our production and consumption of single -use plastics and microsplastics, as well as engaging in safe disposal practices.
With sixty (60) countries now members of the Clean Seas Campaign, it has become the world’s largest global alliance for combatting marine pollution, covering more than sixty (60) percent of the world’s coastlines. Member countries are demonstrating their support and commitment by initiating various actions at the national level.
Saint Lucia remains steadfast in its efforts and commitment to combatting marine plastic pollution. Every year in September, Saint Lucia and the rest of the world observe, International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) day.
This activity is organized by the Saint Lucia Chapter of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). The event provides an opportunity for citizens island-wide to participate and contribute to this global movement, as the beach cleanups take place simultaneously on several beaches around the island. This year the clean-up activity is scheduled for September 21, 2019.
On March 7, 2019, the National Conservation Authority (NCA), in collaboration with the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT), the Department of Fisheries and CaribbeanSEA, hosted students (from various conservation clubs) at a beach education day at Vigie Beach.
The aim of the activity was to expose students to the unique characteristics of the ocean and sensitize them to the many ways the ocean is being threatened by indiscriminate human activity. Part of this activity saw the students designing trash bins, taking inspiration from the beach education day. The bins will be placed on local beaches which will ultimately help in reducing litter in our marine environment.
As a further demonstration of our government’s dedication to protect our land and ocean ecosystems, the Department of Sustainable development, in partnership with several other government and civil society organisations have worked tirelessly towards the implementation of a ban on the importation of Styrofoam and selected plastic food service containers. The ban will be done through a phased – approach commencing June 1, 2019.
As we heighten our efforts to safeguard our marine ecosystems and biodiversity and the economic benefits they provide for our people, the Honourable Minister for Sustainable Development, calls upon all Saint Lucians to make smart choices in their everyday lives, by engaging in activities that will positively impact the marine and coastal environment.