May 22 is International Day For Biological Diversity

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Environment Minister, Dr. Denis Lowe, will speak to??students of the St. Christopher’s Primary School on the importance of biodiversity this Friday. (FP)

Students from four primary schools across Barbados will have the opportunity to see the importance of biodiversity in protecting the island’s water quality during tours of Harrison’s Cave this week.

This forms part of Barbados’ activities as it joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Day for Biological Diversity, which comes off tomorrow, Wednesday, May 22, under the theme Water and Biodiversity.

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, will also address students from the St. Christopher’s Primary School on the importance of biodiversity on Friday, May 24 at the school compound beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Environmental Officer in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Kim Downes Agard, explained that students from the Wesley Hall Infants School, St. Bartholomew’s, St. Christopher and Ellerton Primary Schools, were expected to take part in the tours of the Cave.

She added that officers within the Ministry’s Biodiversity programme would be working with their adopted schools which had environmental clubs to undertake activities in biodiversity and sustainable land management. "This programme was initiated in 2006 with the Wesley Hall Infants School, [and] it is hoped that the programme will continue, with the addition of new schools’ environmental clubs," she said.

The Environmental Officer stressed that biodiversity was important to protect Barbados’ water quality. "It [biodiversity] contributes to the water cycle and protection of the water resources," she noted.

She added that the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage would use the week to raise awareness about the significance of Barbados’ natural fresh water sources, and their importance to recharging ground water, improving water quality and sustaining the biological diversity of the island.

Mrs. Downes Agard further noted that elements of biodiversity such as tree cover assisted with holding the soil together, while wetlands held the nutrients to prevent them from entering the water supply.

She added that biodiversity also assisted with issues of sustainable land management, and prevented land degradation and land slippage – all part of Government’s plan to promote a Green Economy.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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