The Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) joins the rest of the world in observing World Environment Day today, Monday June 5, 2023. World Environment Day was first held in 1973 to celebrate and encourage action on the climate crisis, and is now regarded as the largest global environmental event. This year’s observance focuses on solutions to the pressing issue of plastic pollution, and is being held under the theme #BeatPlasticPollution.
SLHTA President Paul Collymore has reiterated the Association’s commitment to playing its part to protect Saint Lucia’s environment for current and future generations. Over the past few weeks, the Association has focused heavily on environmental matters. Collymore stated: “Last month we reactivated our Environmental Committee which is co-chaired by Carl Hunter and SLHTA CEO Noorani Azeez. The Environmental Committee will spearhead environmental best practices among members, and lobby for the reduction in plastic waste, preservation of marine ecosystems, energy efficiency, alternative energy use and mount clean-up campaigns.”
The Association is deepening its relationship with the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA). On Friday, June 2, 2023 SLHTA Directors met with the agency’s newly appointed General Manager Ms. Joanna Arthurton and her management team to discuss possible areas of collaboration. A number of initiatives were discussed at the fruitful meeting:
-Establishment of composting sites at accommodation providers
-Funding support for Public Education and Awareness Programmes in schools and communities island-wide
-Introduction of a Plastic Waste Collection Programme
-Distribution of household bins for composting and separation of recyclable material
“We commend the SLSWMA for its sterling work which is delivered with limited resources. The SLHTA looks forward to the roll out of these initiatives, which will redound to the benefit of citizens and visitors alike,” said Collymore. The SLHTA is also in discussions with the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, SLSWMA, Ministry of Tourism, the National Conversation Authority and other stakeholders to roll out a clean-up campaign on the popular Rodney Bay strip.
The President urges all citizens to continue working towards an environmentally-friendly Saint Lucia. “Helen’s natural beauty is undeniable and we must ensure that we do all in our power to fervently protect it,” he said. “We must all take responsibility for our beaches, rivers, drains, sidewalks and roadways by ensuring that we make the right decisions in our everyday lives. Adhering to waste collection days, and desisting from littering and the illegal disposal of garbage are some of the small actions which can positively impact our communities and nation.”