Staff members of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean worked side by side with communities in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to protect and preserve the local environmental heritage, in a special commemoration of the United Nations World Environment Day 2015.
Under the theme “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume With Care”, World Environment Day was celebrated this year on Friday 5th June. ECLAC staff partnered with two local non-governmental organizations, the Volunteer Centre of Trinidad and Tobago (VCTT) and the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP), and contributed by cleaning up 1800 ft along the Fondes Amandes River in Saint Ann’s, Port of Spain.
This effort was aimed at supporting the work of the FACRP. This Community project has had significant success over the years in the reforestation and watershed management in Saint Ann’s, by transforming the land area of the watershed from a fire climax zone to one with green, leafy vegetation, resulting in the enhanced growth of flora and fauna species and increased rainfall in the region.
At the opening ceremony, ECLAC Director Diane Quarless delivered the Message of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for World Environment Day. She reminded the participants that this year was particularly important, since the international community would adopt a new set of Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that we can achieve inclusive, sustained economic growth and shared prosperity for all peoples, while protecting the resources of the planet for present and future generations.
Ms Quarless paid tribute to the work being done by the FACRP, which she described as an exemplary model of sustainable development in action in Trinidad and Tobago, for its commitment to promoting community awareness and action towards protecting and conserving the environment of which they are a part. In this they exemplified the interdependence of people, planet and prosperity through partnership, central to the strategy for transformation needed to restore the world to more sustainable footing.
Underscoring the importance of activities such as the one held today, the Director encouraged the attendees to become more involved in similar projects aimed at protecting the environment of their respective communities.