SAINT LUCIA will join the global community tomorrow, to observe World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD).
WDCD serves as a point of reflection and calls for action, as all countries use the soil or land for food and water.
The focus this year is the “attainment of food security for all through sustainable food systems.”
The Forests and Lands Resources Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology will spearhead activities to plant in excess of 100 trees with the aim of restoring degraded lands around the island.
A number of media interviews and features are also planned to highlight concerns relating to the depletion of plant life and the loss of topsoil.
School presentations and tours will also form part of the sensitization programme.
With the slogan “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil,” the 2015 observance calls for a change in land use practices through smart agriculture and adaptation to the changing climate, especially in the dry fragile parts of the world where food shortages are becoming more and more severe.
WDCD also seeks to emphasize the need for access to technology and land rights for small holder farmers who safeguard the environment and meet the food needs of millions of households;; a balance in land use for ecology and consumption, more investments in sustainable land practices so that sustainable food systems become the norm; and more effective action on desertification whose effects on security, peace and stability are invisible yet real for the affected countries due especially to food and water scarcity and environmentally forced migration.
In Saint Lucia, desertification continues to be a major concern primarily due to the illegal cultivation of crops in the forest reserves.
The Forests and Lands Resources Department encourages citizens to get informed and to help combat desertification, which is key to attaining sustainable development.