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Ee unit bulletin sept oct 09


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Ee unit bulletin sept oct 09

  1. 1. DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY SEPT/OCT 09 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION UNIT BULLETIN What’s been going on ? Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: Done by: Nicole La Force Men of the Hour !! Four wonderfully, dedicated men were honored for their long years of invaluable service to the Forestry Department on the 10th of September. The delightful awards ceremony was held at the CSA Centre and was the first of its kind. From left to right stands Mr. Joseph Hilaire, Mr. Ananias Verneuil, Mr. Donald Anthony and Mr. Peter Vidal; whose combined service to the department is that of 123 years. In attendance to pay homage to these fine retirees were most of the forestry staff from the chief, deputy chief, assistant chief , forest officers and forest workers from the various ranges. Also present from the Ministry of Agriculture were the deputy permanent secretary Mr. Danley Auguste, Ms. Griffith of the Accounts Department and Ms. Carasco the assistant secretary. Though these fine gentlemen all look forward to their retirement, this does not mean that they will be idle, as each is already involved in personal ongoing projects. Retirement just affords them more time to attend to these. They will be missed and this much was expressed by various staff but they have assured us that they will be available should we need any consultations. May those of us who remain emulate the joy and passion with which they carried out their duties. We wish them success and God speed. Cheers to the men of the hour !! H o o r a y !! On the evening of September 24th the Entrepreneurial / Small Business Develop- ment and capacity Building Training Programme facilitated by IICA, the EU and the Ministry of Agriculture culminated with a graduation ceremony at the Fox Grove Inn . Twenty participants of the La Pointe community of Mon Repos were thrilled to receive their certificates. These participants are also members of the Superior Brooms and Mauby Production Co-op. They were pleased that finally some due attention was being paid to them. Thanks was especially expressed to Dr. Curt Delice (IICA Agribusiness Specialist), Mr. Martin Weeks (workshop facilitator) and Ms. Brenda Wilson (Community Development Officer) for their tireless ef- forts in seeing this training come to fruition. Forestry’s Department ACFO Lyndon John was on hand to congratulate and encourage the participants on a job well done being that there exist a long standing association between the Forestry Department and the Latanye and Mauby farmers of the La Pointe community. Congratulations !!
  2. 2. DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY SEPT/OCT 09 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION UNIT BULLETIN What’s been going on ? Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: Done by: Nicole La Force. Are you aware that there are lots of feral pigs in our for- est reserves here in St. Lucia. Feral pigs you say ? Yes wild pigs which are causing quite a stir with the damage they do to our forest. • Pollute our water ways (rivers). • Digging up and eating sapling roots. • Destroying soil structure. • Killing other fauna forest species. • Destroying farmers’ crops near the forest boundaries. For this and other reasons the Forestry Department, particularly the Wildlife Unit held a conference in September with more than 26 pig hunters from around St. Lucia. The main aim of this conference was to begin the development of a strategic eradication plan of these pigs. A lot was learnt from these candid talks; from hunting methods (traps , dogs and guns primarily), to the mapping out of the extensive areas where these feral pigs tread. These pig hunters are eager to assist as this is all fun and sport for them. Some boasted of catching as many as 14 wild pigs on a single hunt. Many issues are left to be ironed out, such as; should there be a hunting sea- son, should there be complete eradica- tion or their population maintained at a minimal threshold where hunters can continue having their fun and sport. This is just the beginning and many more meetings will be held. Thus far the pig hunters have pro- vided valuable information. Although they say that pig meat is sweet, that may be so but not the damage they do. We’ll keep you updated !! Pigs ! Pigs ! Everywhere ! Since 1981, World Food Day celebrated every 16th October has adopted a different theme each year, in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus. This year’s theme was an extremely serious one and we as a small island nation should not take its import for granted. Millions of people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water or a balanced healthy meal. Achieving Food Security in Time of Crisis Here in St. Lucia we seem to be faring well. However, with accumulative problems such as climate change, desertification, eco- nomic recession and don’t forget our pro- pensity to import we should be wary, our good fortune will not hold out forever. We should take seriously the drive to grow more of our own food and eat what we grow. Every home should try to have a backyard garden, no matter how small. Use can be made of recycled materials like old tires, bathtubs, jerry cans etc. To think that with a simple act like that you would be protecting the environment, cut- ting down on the import bill ,eating health- ier organically grown food, exercising and don’t forget the pleasure in the leisure of it. Secure ourselves today and avoid the fear of hunger and starvation tomorrow ! Observance of the day, with a week of activi- ties climaxing with a food fair and exhibition at the Derek Walcott Square was enjoyed by many. EE-Unit staff of the Forestry Department was present to educate the public on many of our local herbs and our seeds used in cooking and handicrafts. All in all the activities were a success and we will continue to improve.
  3. 3. DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY SEPT/OCT 09 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION UNIT BULLETIN What’s been going on ? Phone: 468-5648/5 E-mail your suggestions/ ideas to: Done by: Nicole La Force. National Forest Demarcation and Bio-Physical Resource Inventory Project: Preliminary Findings Forest Reptiles and Amphibians The preliminary findings from the re- search of Dr. Jenny Daltry and her team are as follows: ♦ 28 species of lizards, snakes and frogs have been recorded in Saint Lu- cia’s forests. ♦ At least 7 species occur only in Saint Lucia (nationally endemic). ♦ 9 alien species have been introduced. ♦ 6 species (3 native) are extinct . ♦ The most abundant and widespread native species are Saint Lucia Anole (Anolis luciae) & Johnstone’s Whistling Frog (Eleutherodactylus johnstonei). ♦ High quality (mature, intact) forests support more native species. ♦ Degraded forests contain more alien invasive species. ♦ Many of the native species are threatened with extinction and Alien invasive species are their greatest threat . ♦ The worst alien invasive species are the : ♦ It is recommended that we: 1. Educate everyone!! 2. Secure and Conserve mesic forest. 3. Update Wildlife Protection Act.. 4. Control invasive species. 5. Conduct applied research to guide and monitor management of wildlife New Vegetation Classification The research of botanist Roger Graveson has yielded the preliminary: Whistling Frog Saint Lucia Anole Cane toad Green Iguana. & Photos : Courtesy of Roger Graveson & Forestry Department Major Categories include: ♣ Natural Forest, Non- natural or Plantation Forest and Non - Forest. ♣ Natural Forest includes: • Littoral Evergreen Forest and Shrubland • Semi-evergreen Seasonal For- est • Mangrove • Lower Montane Rainforest • Freshwater Swamp Forest • Montane Rainforest • Rainforest Deciduous Sea- sonal Forest • Cloud Montane Rainforest ♣ Plantation or Non-natural Forest ♣ Non– Forest includes: • Elfin Shrub lands • Herbaceous Swamp (seasonal or permanent) • Aquatic Herbaceous Vegeta- tion. • Littoral Rock and Cliff Vegeta- tion. • Littoral Unconsolidated Sand Vegetation. • Littoral Scrub, including Cacti • Fumarole Vegetation • Grassland, with or without a few trees or shrubs.