The Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) joins Saint Lucians and the rest of the world in observance of World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5.
Now described as the largest global environmental event, World Environment Day was first
held in 1973 to celebrate and encourage action on the climate crisis.
This year’s theme, “Only One Earth”, calls for collective and transformative action on a
global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet. The call is an urgent one given the
harsh realities the world has experienced over the past five decades, since the first global
environment summit, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held
in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972. That summit led to the founding of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), which has described World Environment Day as “a global
platform for inspiring positive change”.
SLHTA President, Paul Collymore, said more serious and committed partners need to step
up to help protect the environment, especially as competing global factors continue to
exacerbate climate issues.
“We need to inspire positive change by working harder to protect the environment, by
reducing, reusing and recycling,” Collymore said. “These practices are now more
indispensable than ever given the huge quantities of fossil fuel being used by industries to
stimulate and increase production.”
According to the United Nations, humans are using up the world’s resources faster than
they can naturally recover. Even worse, the UN added, carbon dioxide emissions will need to be reduced by 50% by 2030 to avoid temperature rises of 2.7 degrees Celsius and higher by the end of the century.
Collymore called for a stronger push for reforestation, not only in words, but with a more
proactive plan for replanting trees that would have been lost to commercial development
and natural disasters.
He said the SLHTA will continue to work with schools and organizations to propagate such green-conscious initiatives.
The SLHTA President also called on all players in the hospitality sector, and citizens in general, to be more discriminate in how they dispose of garbage.
The SLHTA, he said, strongly condemns the illegal dumping of garbage in residential and rural communities, urging an end to that practice.
“We implore citizens to be mindful that our island is a shared space that must inspire a
sense of pride among citizens and visitors,” Collymore noted.
“Moreover, we must remember that we need to leave this shared space in a better condition than we found it so that generations after us will be able to appreciate and enjoy its beauty.”
With a vast amount of arable land available in Saint Lucia, Collymore stated that the lush
vegetation and topography have been the envy of other regional territories for decades.
This characteristic, he said, should inspire Saint Lucians to cherish the blessings that Nature has bestowed on them.
“Inasmuch as each of us are proud to boast of Saint Lucia’s natural beauty, it must become
incumbent on each of us to do what it takes to ensure that such beauty remains intact,” he
Collymore said this year’s theme for World Environment Day underscores the reality that if
we treat the environment with continued disrespect, we run the risk of threatening our own
“With shipping lines already being disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic – and further
exacerbated by the Russia/Ukraine conflict – food importation levels have dwindled,
resulting in higher food costs,” he warned. “Therefore, the need to treat our arable land
with due care and respect becomes even more essential.”
Source: Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association