Basseterre, St. Kitts: The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Project, a UNESCO funded environmental preservation initiative within the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve culminated with the unveiling of an Environmental Awareness Sign on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Upper Cayon.
Addressing the attendees, Secretary-General SKN National Commission for UNESCO, Mrs. Dorothy Warner, noted that the presence of the sign should serve as a deterrent for the illegal dumping of garbage into the river.
“We have created this sign to discourage people from the Upper Cayon area from dumping garbage into the river,” she said. “All rivers flow into the sea and if we contaminate the river everything that gets down to the sea will come back to haunt us in the cycle [of life]. We are discouraging you from dumping into the river because we are saving ourselves”.
Ms. Warner further charged residents in the community to assist with safeguarding the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve through their actions.
“I want to encourage the persons of the Upper Cayon Community to appreciate our [UNESCO and MAB committee] efforts and to share our passion for the preservation of the environment by not throwing garbage into the ghaut. The National Commission for UNESCO, working together with the MAB National Committee and other stakeholders are here to preserve the reserve. So help us to preserve the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve,” she said.
Echoing the call made by Ms. Warner for the preservation of the Reserve, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Human Settlement et al and Parliamentary Representative for the area, urged his audience to “be careful about dropping things in the river because they have the potential to harm your health and that of your unborn children” MAB Coordinator, Mrs. Telca Wallace noted that the unveiling of the sign is very significant. “It marks end of the historic and timely implementation of the UNESCO participation project of 2021 entitled: Clean up of the Cayon River, Hermitage Estate, Hermitage and Keys Bay Areas,” she stated.
Mrs. Wallace also appealed to the community to practise environmentally friendly garbage disposal habits so as to preserve the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve and its environs.