Barbadians are yet to recognise their critical responsibility in preserving the environment!

This charge has come from General Manager of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Keith Neblett, who said that consequently, illegal dumping remained one of the things the NCC "doesn’t seem to have the solution for."

Speaking in the midst of the organisation’s 40th anniversary celebrations, Mr. Neblett explained:?? "Every year we get NGOs and groups going into the gullies and the beaches to clean. What we want Barbadians to realise is that it is really their responsibility to curb illegal dumping.?? This has a serious impact on the fish in our marine environment, it also creates problems in terms of flooding, rodents and a whole set of things that Government has to spend substantial amount of its scarce resources to correct.

"We at the NCC have been trying our best to provide bins wherever possible in the parks. Even when we provide bins, people just leave the bins and drop the garbage next to where they are sitting. When you ask them about it they keep saying – Oh the NCC workers will do that. People do not seem to recognise that they have a role to play in trying to maintain our environment," he maintained.

Stressing that their principal target group would be schools, Mr. Neblett observed that there had been some programmes, spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment’s Environmental Education Committee (EEC), within several of the island’s schools specifically dealing with environmental preservation.

"I hope they (EEC) can get the message into the primary schools especially, so that the children can be change-agents for their parents. However, it has to be an effort by the whole family, and by extension the whole community in terms of stopping illegal dumping.

"You see people driving in buses and their cars and just throwing things out. I don’t?? think there are enough police to control such a?? matter – but people simply?? have to understand the negative impacts of these behaviours, so that they can begin to take a step back and say ???You know we really shouldn’t do?? this’.

The NCC, which was formerly the Parks and Beaches Commission, is charged with the preservation and beautification of the island’s public parks and beaches. ??It holds responsibility for the maintenance of popular public parks such as Queen’s Park, Farley Hill and King George V, as well as other public areas worthy of beautification, most notably Rockley Beach, the seaside of the East Coast Road, the Bay Street Esplanade and Folkestone Park.

The Commission is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary under the theme: ???Stepping towards a Greener Barbados’.

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