5 June 2020 is being recognised across the globe as World Environment Day (WED).
World Environment Day is the United Nations flagship day observed globally to stimulate awareness of the impact of our actions and behaviour on our environment and to promote individual, community and national action towards sustainable living. The focus of WED in GRENADA, this year is “Our Solutions are in Nature.”
This year’s focus on “our solutions are in Nature” recognises the interdependence of humans and the webs of life in which they exist and highlights that within Nature, we can find solutions to all of the major issues that are affecting human populations.
WED is an opportunity to reflect on the goods and services that Nature makes available for us to utilise. These goods and services include raw materials like lumber, economically important fruits and vegetables, export crops, medicinal plants (bush medicine); services like nutrient recycling and water cycling; homes for our bees, bats and bird pollinators and well known “cultural services” include recreational opportunities (e.g. ecotourism, outdoor sports and recreation), spiritual significance and historical opportunities, educational experience (e.g. schools visiting natural systems like mangrove ecosystems to learn about them) and therapeutic value (e.g. ecotherapy to ease stress while improving fitness).
These are important goods and services contribute to our health, wellbeing and provide livelihoods that support our economy.
In Grenada, our natural environment is increasingly being affected by a number of issues including 1) Climate change 2) Habitat conversion 3) Land degradation and loss of topsoil 4) Pollution. These issues can affect the goods and services provided by our nature and this, in turn, affects livelihoods and economies. To address these issues, everyone needs to play a part in the sustainable use of our environment.
A number of activities have taken place in the tri-island state over the past 2 weeks commencing with International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May).
The ministry’s activities in commemoration of WED began on 22 May 2020 with a media release and will continue with the launch of the “most environmentally friendly mask” social media campaign; the ‘Plastic Free Shopping – Grenada’ Facebook page is updated regularly with new photos, information and e-newspaper articles. Today, we had the release of the minister’s address to the nation and a webinar series including speakers on plastics, nature’s goods and services, economic value of nature and coastal zone studies recently carried out.
The key message is our solutions are in Nature. Let us be innovative and use Covid-19 as the opportunity to reshape our responses to the challenges affecting man-kind by partnering with Nature. If we take care of Nature, it will take care of us.
Environment Division, Ministry of Climate Resilience