Sustainable Charcoal Production presents exciting opportunities for Saint Lucians

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Sustainable Charcoal Production presents exciting opportunities for Saint Lucians

PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia through the Forests and Lands Resources Development Department is supporting the sustainable production of Charcoal, which continues to be extremely popular locally as a source of energy for food preparation.

In fact the new production method is already presenting numerous benefits for youth in the community of Errard on the east coast.

This new method involves the use of a kiln made of concrete rather than the traditional sand pits which are an inefficient, unhealthy and a dirtier process.

Acting Chief Forestry Officer Mr Adams Toussiant says the Sustainable Charcoal Production Project is in keeping with the Ministry’s strategic objectives of :

-The provision of reliable and affordable energy

-Demonstration of the value of the green economy and other related concepts to sustainable development,

-Enhanced application of science, technology and innovation

“We recognise that Charcoal production is one form of livelihood for many people around the island and we also recognise that the production of Charcoal is one of the drivers of deforestation.

The traditional production method is contributing a lot to the loss of Carbon making it inefficient, it is also a health hazard and generally an unclean process, so we have assessed the traditional method and we are now seeking to promote a more sustainable method of Charcoal production”.

The Sustainable Charcoal Production Project is designed to increase benefits to the many citizens who depend on the production of Charcoal to support the livelihoods, while reducing Saint Lucia’s very small carbon footprint.

The Acting Chief Forestry Officer says the new method has been proven to increase charcoal production by at-least thirty percent.

“Although the process is not complete in terms of having the capacity to harvest the smoke and fumes from the coals to produce other bi-products like wood vinegar and Charcoal paint but it is extremely efficient and you do not require water to extinguish the blaze.”

“We have compared the two methods and realised that prom this new sustainable process the production of Charcoal can increase by thirty percent when compared to the traditional method, so this is a pilot project that we are hoping to promote and encourage people around the island to utilise, it can be sustainable in many ways and environmentally clean”.

The new method is being piloted by the Saint Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth which is seeking to make charcoal production more attractive to the youth as a sustainable and viable source of income.

In addition to the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology the Sustainable Charcoal Production Project is supported by the Small Grants Programme (SGP) of the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Not to mention the smoke that covers the island and fills the inside of homes perpetuating lung cancer from the carbon emissions.. It sucks living down hill from one of these wonders of the stone age.

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  2. Public Education !!

    The Forests and Lands Resources Development Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology welcomes the wave of public feedback to ongoing work aimed at sustaining the production of Charcoal on Saint Lucia.

    In keeping with our mandate on educate the public on development on our work programme and respond to queries and questions, we have sought official responses from the Acting Chief Forestry Officer in the Forests and Lands Resources Development Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology to two important questions in response to a press releases issued 22.10.2014

    Please see below.

    Questions ?

    1. Wouldn't deforestation still be a problem?
    By: Irma Charles
    Source: Saint Lucians Aiming for Progress (SLAP) Facebook Page

    Response.

    Firstly the Forests and Lands Resources Development Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology recognises that the production of Charcoal Production on Saint Lucia will never die and so we are seeking to work with the producers to apply more sustainable approaches . There will be some deforestation because not all system is perfect. However we are encouraging Sustainable Forest Management which will include the certification of charcoal that are produced from plantation grown trees and remnants wood from landscaping, tree pruning ect. All being equal, we are hoping people will comply.

    2. I am all in favor of charcoal. But when you cut down a tree , do you plant another one?
    By: Julian Morgan
    Source: St. Lucia News Online(SNO) Facbook Page

    Response:

    There will be guidelines for the sustainable charcoal production. A component of this programme will include public education and monitoring and evaluation; especially relating to knowledge attitude and practice. Public education will reenforce adherence to the guidelines. The department will provide extension service to advise on silviculture (the science involve in the cultivation and production of trees for harvesting) and harvesting best practices to mitigate the impact of charcoal production on the environment.

    Hope this answers the questions.
    Cheers

    Adams Toussaint
    Acting Chief Forestry Officer
    Forests and Lands Resources Development Department.
    Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology.

    PS: We appreciate and continue to monitor your feedback to the work being done by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology. For more information contact the Forests and Lands Resources Development Department at 4685635.

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  3. no trees have to be cut, there is so much waste wood available. and even if u have a "wood lot" to trees, for every acre of land in trees , you can harvest a "cord or wood" a cord equals a stack of wood, 4 ft by 4 ft by 8 feet . If u only tale a cord per acre per year, u can harvest wood forever. Thats sustainable wood lot or forest management

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  4. The articles states: "We recognise that Charcoal production is one form of livelihood for many people around the island and we also recognise that the production of Charcoal is one of the drivers of deforestation" yet nothing was mentioned about what will be done to prevent deforestation.
    Honestly, some things are just upside down!!
    The Chief Forestry Officer claims that this initiative is in keeping with the reliable and affordable energy etc. etc.
    BUT, ISNT'T THE FORESTRY'S ROLE ALSO TO PRESERVE THE TREES???
    Do we want to go in this direction in light of all the landslides and flooding that have been occurring during the past years?

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  5. forestry department has never asked people to cut down trees like there is no tomorrow. careful in the near future if most of us may have to be cooking on coals.
    by the way... did you know that our food taste alot better when it is cooked on coals that's a fact!

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  6. Sustainable means the raw material is regenerative. Considering the length of time it takes for a tree to grow, how is this new and improved method sustainable.

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  7. Arw these people crazy. ..isn't they gonna cut down trees for this, That's deforestation...we already suffering with drought around the island because of lack of planning in agriculture and now we want to cut the rest for charcoal wrong move forestry, don't go THERE

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  8. "Sustainable Charcoal" - is that anything like the "clean coal" myth advanced by Obama to pay back the underwriters of his presidential campaign - in the same vein as the farces proposed by Bush the dim son, with opposite-meaning "healthy skies" and unfunded "no-child-left-behind'?

    This is just more of the governments' pissing in our eye and calling it rain!

    Now, on the other hand, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, wave energy, hydrogen energy - that's sustainable!

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