Environment Month Celebrations In June
by Carol Gaskin
Published on May 28, 2010

Environment Month will be observed in June under the theme: ‘Living Sustainably ...Responsible Business...Responsible Consumers".

Activities are being planned during the month to highlight the importance of sustainable living and through environmental stewardship.

World Environment Day, which will be observed on Saturday, June 5, is the first of three United Nations (UN) designated days to be celebrated during the month.  Launched by the U.N. General Assembly in 1972, it is held annually to bring attention to environmental issues and show how communities can work to promote sustainable development.

The main activity to be held on that Saturday will be a national Environmental Community Walk, sponsored by the National Conservation Commission (NCC) under the theme ‘Stepping Towards a Greener Barbados."  It will commence simultaneously from 11 routes across the island, and will culminate at various beaches or sites managed or maintained by the NCC.

In observance of World Environment Day, the Ministry of the Environment will be staging an inaugural "Green T-shirt Day", on Friday, June 4.  School children, and government officers, respectively, are being encouraged to wear green t-shirts, green ribbons or green articles of clothing on that day. By extension, Barbadians in general are also being urged to wear green in solidarity on that occasion.

According to the Ministry's Environmental Education Officer, Donna King-Brathwaite, the wearing of green on Friday will be "to show support and demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship."

World Ocean's Day, officially introduced in 2009, is the second UN day to fall within the month.  It will be observed on Tuesday, June 8.  To mark the occasion, the NCC will be staging an innovative marine simulation event aimed at highlighting the skill and fitness of its lifeguard unit. The exercise, which will take the form of a team competition, will be held at Rockley Beach, Christ Church, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

With the oceans being essential for food security and the health and survival of all life, the official designation is seen as an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.

The link between sustainable living and business will be brought to the fore, during the month, when the Ministry, in collaboration with the Barbados Institute of Environmental Professionals hosts a four-part lecture series to be held on consecutive Wednesdays, beginning June 2, at the Grande Salle, Central Bank.  The lectures will begin at 7:00 p.m.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, observed on June 17, is the third UN global observance in June.  To mark the occasion, the Ministry of the Environment, in collaboration with its partners, will host an official launch of a Land Degradation Comic Book, which seeks to educate our nation's children about this important issue.

In December 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, acknowledging the global problems, which affected all regions of the world.

Schools will also play an integral part in the celebrations, when the National Heritage Department and the Environmental Protection Department hosts a series of hikes, 10 K walks and runs from June 17 through 19.

Nature and poetry lovers will also have the opportunity to enjoy two of their favourite pastimes simultaneously, when the Ministry again stages the popular "Green Readings" on the picturesque south coast Boardwalk. These will take place on Saturday, June 12 and 19 at 3:30 p.m. each evening.

A number of other activities, including plant sales, tree plantings, hikes and beach events will also be staged during the month. A full events calendar will be unveiled in the very near future.

cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb