(PRESS RELEASE) — May 22 is International Day for Biological Diversity. To mark the occasion The OECS Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Sustainable Development (Saint Lucia) hosted an exhibition event for students and members of the public at Provost Park, Morne Fortune, Saint Lucia on May 22, 2019.
Mr. Bradshaw Isaacs, Technical Officer: Occupational Health and Safety/Indoor Air Quality, delivered remarks on behalf of the Executive Director, Dr. C. James Hospedales, Head of Department, Mr. Lyndon Robertson and staff of the Saint Lucia Campus of the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
Welcoming co-organizers and participants to the event, he stated that the diversity of the earth’s natural assets are made up of many millions of distinct biological species of plants and animals-on land, in water, and in the atmosphere which link humans and the environment into one interdependent ecosystem.
According to him, biological diversity, or “biodiversity” as it is also known, makes the world beautiful and unique, and is important to Saint Lucia for food, shelter, medicines and other ecosystem services, sustainable livelihoods, agriculture, tourism industries and future untapped resources.
Highlighting the stark reality of the current situation, he pointed out that the world is losing biodiversity at an ever-increasing and alarming rate. According to him, research shows that not only has biodiversity declined by more than a quarter in the last 35 years in terms of number of species, but also, globally, humanity is using 40% more resources than nature can regenerate in a year. To put it another way, we would need 1.4 planet earths to support our lifestyle. This, he says, is crucial because biodiversity is critical for human development.
According to Isaacs preserving biodiversity is key for a future where people have sufficient food supplies, agriculture keeps on producing what it ought to, where there is resilience to pests and diseases, where fresh water is in sufficient supply and where climate change is mitigated.
In closing, he commended the OECS Commission and the Ministry of Sustainable Development for hosting the event and called upon members of the public to commit to cooperate for sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.
Happy International Day of Biodiversity!