The role of heritage in the green economy will be in focus throughout the month of June as Environment Month gets underway from tomorrow.
The Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, in collaboration with its stakeholders, has organised an action-packed month with activities designed to bring greater awareness to issues confronting the environment at the national level.
Under this year’s theme: Living Sustainably… Respecting Our Heritage In Shaping A Green Economy, emphasis will be placed on realising the green economy as the conduit for attaining sustainable development.
Environmental Education Officer at the Ministry, Donna King-Brathwaite said: "This year we decided to look at natural heritage and its role to in developing the new green economy."
Noting that a heavy focus will be placed on Barbados’ rich natural heritage, Mrs. King-Brathwaite said this year’s activities will commence with a hike hosted by the Coastal Zone Management Unit, from Bathsheba, St. Joseph to Bath, St. John.
"That activity seeks to highlight the old railway track and bring attention to the changes in the coastline historically for that area, and the heritage significance of the old railway line," she said.
She added that on the national level, Barbados was celebrating the inscription of Bridgetown as a world heritage site, and noted that the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, and its representatives had played a significant role in that achievement.
"In addition to that, the World Heritage Convention is celebrating 40 years of existence. This year is a significant celebration for us in environment looking at the World Heritage celebration as well as Barbados’ inscription," the Environmental Education Officer said.
Another highlight during the month will be the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit scheduled for June 20 to 22.
In celebration, Mrs. King-Brathwaite said the Bellairs Research Institute will be hosting a series of Rio Dialogues from June 17 to 19, to allow for the electronic streaming of activities in Rio, and allow for discussion on some of the themes of the conference.
"The whole purpose of the Environment Month celebrations is to bring awareness to the environment and to focus in on the activities related to solving some of the environmental problems and issues that we face especially nationally," she said.
The United Nations designated June 5 as World Environment Day, June 8 as World Oceans Day and June 17 as World Desertification Day.
"Having celebrated those three days in the month of June the Government of Barbados decided more than 10 years ago to celebrate the entire month of June, as Environment Month as a means of bringing awareness to environmental issues, and to the work that is being done by the Ministry and stakeholders," Mrs. King-Brathwaite pointed out.