Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is pictured examining??a copy of the book Preserving Paradise, while??its editor Professor Sean Carrington and President of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Dr. Trevor Carmichael look on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)
Barbadians have been urged to take care of the environment, not only for those who are here but for generations to come.
This was asserted by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he addressed a book launch of Preserving Paradise – a series of lectures by the late Dr. Colin Hudson and edited by Professor Sean Carrington. The ceremony was held today at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, The Garrison.
Mr. Stuart emphasised that Barbados was a small island state which could do very little in terms of making changes to its physical landscape, but he cautioned persons to be mindful that it was the acts or omissions of today which could make life on this island unsustainable not only for those of the present generation but also, for generations to come.
He said the publication of the life and work of Dr. Hudson would help persons to better understand Barbados, especially the issues that pertained to the relationship that exists between man and nature, which, he described as the environmentalist’s passion.
He said: "And, if we are to bequeath to future generations an environment capable of sustaining them, a solemn duty devolves on us to ensure that we husband the resources of the environment in our lifetime in such a way that we become credible trustees for those who are to come afterwards. And, [Dr.] Colin Hudson understood that and made it a substantial part of his life’s work. He is gone and we are left. But, the fact that he is gone does not absolve us of responsibility to do our part to make sure that we preserve the paradise which we have here in Barbados."
In further articulating the importance of Dr. Hudson’s influence, Mr. Stuart pointed out: "He has, therefore, placed us eternally in his debt for fixing our gaze on this area of concern. He was doing it from a Small Island Developing State. If proof were needed that we live on this small island and it is no determinant of the breadth and the depth of our thinking, because the same ideas that have energised [Dr.] Colin Hudson here in Barbados have been energising people in larger countries across the world…Our concerns here are now no longer insular – our concerns are now being shared by mankind wherever he can be found."
Consequently, the Prime Minister noted that it was important for the future preservation of the island to examine how Barbadians produced how persons consumed; and how waste was handled. These three areas, he said could inevitably determine "how the interface between ourselves and the environment was managed".
"When human beings talk to one another it is easy to disagree, to argue, to refute what is being said, or sometimes not to listen at all. Because, that is the nature of the interpersonal intercourse. But, when the planet begins to speak to us, none of the options I just itemised is available to us. We can’t argue, we can’t refute; we can’t refuse to listen; we just have to take cognizance of what the planet is saying. And, if the players of climate change are to be our guide- the planet must be speaking to us- and speaking to us very loudly, because man in his zeal to tame nature and to extract as much as possible from the environment- has been transgressing certain planetary bounds," he said.
Following the book launch, the Prime Minister was taken on a short tour of the Museum.