??Students from St. Albans Primary School, look at a reef diorama,??at their science fair last??Friday. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Young people have been encouraged to join in the fight to preserve the environment.

This was asserted by Minister of Commerce & Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn as he address an inaugural science fair entitled: Little Green Hands, Bright Green Futures held at St Albans Primary School last Friday. Students used dance, poetry, recitation and various displays to share their knowledge about the environment and its preservation. Mr. Benn also toured the fair and was impressed with the efforts made by the students.

He noted; "The theme which you have chosen for this fair is very pertinent to what is happening in society today, since it comes at a time when many persons in society are becoming aware of the importance of preserving our environment and of the proper use of our limited natural resources.

"This science fair therefore, is timely because it allows you children – the future generation – to start the process and journey whereby we as Barbadians are becoming more aware of the need to protect our fragile ecosystems."

Listing improper disposal of dead animals, chemical waste and noise pollution as some major concerns, Mr. Benn stressed that these transgressions against the environment needed to be stopped.?? The Minister lamented that natural resources were abused every day, when "…someone applies excessive amounts of pesticides to the land which will eventually leach into the ocean causing harm to the reef and the fish.??

"Every day gallons of water are wasted by various means – washing ???half dirty’ vehicles or just leaving a tap not closed or by [persons taking] extra-long showers" Many of the school children present admitted they were guilty of the latter offence, he said.

Noting that all was not lost, the Commerce Minister highlighted the science fair – and others like it held at schools around the island – as illustrating an awareness among parents, teachers and students alike.?? He added that the Ministry would continue to create programmes which would foster an interest in science.

"The Ministry of Commerce and Trade, the parent ministry of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), has been hosting [SciTechXpo] since 1998… the next SciTechXpo is due to be held in 2014," Minister Benn said, adding that "… The NCST will host a science and technology summer camp programme which is open to boys and girls between the ages of six and 11 years old. It will comprise six amazing weeks of fun, scientific enquiry and experimentation in the summer months.

"Additionally the Science club programme is set to be established at all primary schools in the coming months," he disclosed.

Senator Benn also made an appeal to adults as well, namely entrepreneurs, to make an effort to embrace the five R’s – refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and redesign. He encouraged supermarkets to reduce the use of plastic bags, as this would lower their costs and by extension, the cost to consumers.??

He also made a call to the ministries of the Environment and Transportation and Works to consider measures which would protect the environment from vehicles which produced emissions.


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