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E E unit Bulletin March - April 2011


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E E unit Bulletin March - April 2011

  1. 1. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY M A RC H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? International Year of Forest International year of forest? What does this mean? What does it aim to accomplish? The UN de- clared this year 2011 as “International Year of Forest” under the theme “Forest for People”. The primary objective is to raise awareness and strengthen sustainable forest management, conser-vation and sustainable development of all types of forests for the benefit of current and future generations.The leading international organizations working to protect and manage the world’s forests are calling for governmentsacross the globe to increase communities’ role in forest management. Doing so could contribute to lifting close to a billionpeople out of poverty, as well as improve the health and vitality of forests.The role which forest plays is invaluable, providing fresh air, clean water, regulating climate, reducing soil erosion, provid-ing livelihoods and much more. Unfortunately many of the persons living in or near forests who rely heavily on the forestecosystem for food, fuel and medicine are not part of the decision making policies on sustainable management of forest. In many countries it has been proven that strengthening community rights regarding their own forests, helps to reduce pov-erty and also has benefits for forest biodiversity. It is something that the Forestry Department aims to do; encouraginggreater community participation.To commemorate international year of forest the Forestry Department has many activities planned some of which have al-ready been executed. Activities include:♦ exhibitions♦ radio programmes♦ forest hikes♦ forest photo competition♦ tree planting exercisesThe objectives of such activities are to get the general public involved and sensitized, as well as to develop better relation-ships and lasting linkages. We hope to have a high level of participation in the various activities.It is imperative that we here in St. Lucia sustainably manage our forest. The impact on our small island nation could be dev-astating if the forest is mismanaged. Think of Haiti. Think of constant flooding, drinking water of terrible quality, dried uprivers, greater destruction from hurricanes, massive landslides, great loss of wildlife, increased poverty. Without forest ourfuture is bleak. Pay attention. We each must play our part.It’s interesting the data that’s out there. According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 1.6 billionpeople depend on forests for their livelihoods. About 1.4 billion of these, live in the developing world, and 1 billion live inextreme poverty. Recently-released data by IUCN and the Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration show thatapproximately 1.2 billion hectares of deforested or degraded areas could be restored through better, locally-controlled man-agement. Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force
  2. 2. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY M A RC H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? st Superior Brooms 1 AnniversaryThe official handing over ceremony of the Latanye nursery from IICA (Inter American Institute for Cooperation inAgriculture) to the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries to the Superior Broom Producers tookplace on the 9th of February 2010 at La Pointe Mon Repos a little over a year ago. We take a look at their firstyear in operation to see how they have fared.The year has been described as a challenging and difficult one due in part to a few major set backs. Thoughplanting material was prepared there was no sale of any plants. The Superior Brooms Association president andmembers sited challenges such as the inability and untimely procurement of materials e.g. potting soil, broomhandles, fertilizer, which resulted in late application and manifestation of nutritional deficiencies such as yellowingof plants.All is not lost however, and members feel that with the advantage of their nursery being closer to farmers inMicoud than to nurseries in other districts and with farmers having little time for nursery production due to the de-mands of land preparation, the Superior Broom Association is capable of fulfilling a need in the community.It has long been a goal of the association to diversify and not be solely involved in the production of latanye.Strides are already being made in this regard as members have received training from IICA in various propagativemethods of citrus, mango etc. The association has also been fortunate through IICA in acquiring solar panels tosupply electricity which is essential to operate the irrigation system and lighting in the potting area.The Superior Broom Association has grand plans for the future one of which is to use the nursery as an eco-tourism attraction where visitors can learn to make brooms and keep them as souvenirs. They believe that withcontinued determination their goals will be realized. After all they’ve been in this fight a long time and some of theirgoals have already been manifested. May they continue to persevere and achieve great success. Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force
  3. 3. D E PA RT M E N T O F F O R E S T RY M A RC H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 E N V I RO N M E N TA L E D U C A T I O N U N I T BU L L E T I N What’s been going on ? Oh Oh! Not Rats Again! Our various offshore islands (Praslin, Maria Major and Minor, rat island etc.) are homes to some of our beautiful endemic crea- tures. Part of the Forestry Department’s mandate is to protect and preserve our en- Female and Male Whiptail Lizards demic wildlife. The department has been doing this for years with the assistance of other agencies such as Durrell Conservation Trust, National Trust and others. These creatures are vulnerable to threats including habitat loss, and catastrophic events like fires or hurricanes. However, one of the greatest threats to these crea- tures especially the St. Lucia whiptail (Cnemidophorus vanzoi ) are invasive preda- tory animals such as the manicou, mongoose and rats.Boat docked at Praslin jettywith islet in the background Considerable time, money and effort has been spent in eradicating these predators from these offshore islands in order to make them safe havens for some of the rar- est creatures in the world. Recently rat droppings were spotted on Praslin island, an unfortunate sign. The suspi- cion is that fishermen and other persons visiting the island may have stowaway rats in their boats which get onto the island. Left over food and litter left on the islands further Male Whiptail Lizard on worsen the situation. Praslin island Monitoring efforts have increased as well as the rat bait stations. The whiptail lizardswhich were translocated to Praslin island from Maria Island in 1995 are thriving and the population is nowestimated to be a little over 300. If this rat situation is not dealt with immediately then this whiptail populationcan be annihilated and all the hard work which has been done would have been for naught. This tragedymust be averted. Let’s do what we can and please instruct persons to check their vessels for stowaways be-fore disembarking on the offshore islands as well as not leaving leftover food, fires and litter which encour-ages harborage of these invasive predators. Phone: 468-5648/5E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: By: Nicole La Force