Interview Section for NYCD Media Team Blog

The National Youth Council Media Team would like to shed light on the issue of sustainable development among young people. In that bid, below is an interview conducted by Edona Jno Baptiste with sustainable development advocate Eardley Pierre. Pierre who hails from St. Joseph is the president of the St. Joseph Youth Empowerment Committee and a member on the Dominica Youth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Working Group.


Q: What is sustainable development?

A: Sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  A key element in the definition is the unity of environment and development, placing emphasis on the environment not only being physical but should include social, cultural and political spheres. It also insists that development is not just about how poor countries can ameliorate their situation, but what the entire world, including developed countries, can do to achieve our common goal which is the survival of the our Planet Earth and our existence as human beings.


Q: Where did the concept of sustainable development stem from?

A: Sustainable development came from the concept of sustainable forest. The foresters in 17th and 18th century Europe developed a system where they could estimate the annual forest timber output.  They calculated stem girth, spacing, climatic factors as well as the vertical growth to determine how many trees they could cut down while ensuring sustainability of the forest. This is known as Sustainable Forest or Sustainable Yield.


Q: What sparked your interest in the sustainable development platform?

A:  I first got involved during the UNESCO-funded Parle Kwéyòl Project in 2005. It was implemented by Youth Culture and Heritage Movement in an effort to revitalize the speaking of the Kwéyòl language amongst the youth of Dominica. Core pillars of the project included training and certification of young people to teach Kwéyòl ; Kwéyòl  Classes; Kwéyòl Speeling Bee; Kwéyòl Marché and Extravaganza.


Q: How do you contribute to advocacy towards sustainable development in your community? 

A: Through the St. Joseph Youth Empowerment Committee, which I am the president of. Its primary objective is to empower the community’s youth to use our resources in a sustainable way to develop our community.

In 2013, the group developed the Feast of St. Gerard Community Project which covered a beach clean-up, youth debates, educational workshops, a poster competition and Family Fun Day. At the end of the project, a cadre of 75 primary school students in St. Joseph was certified in basic sustainable development concepts. A compost heap project was established at the Kaleb Laurent Primary School and a small hut was erected at the St. Joseph beach to enhance the area.

Currently, members of the St. Joseph YEC are undertaking projects in rabbit and poultry rearing as well as horticulture.

On a national Level, in 2012 I joined the National Apiculture Planning Committee established by the Global Environment Faculty (GEF) to develop a National Apiculture Strategy.

I’m also a member of the Dominica Youth SIDS Working Group working towards education of young people on the issues of sustainable development, as well as initiatives on how to mitigate the effects of climate change. The group is also trying to achieve a consensus among Dominica youth as to their vision ahead of the third International Conference of SIDS, which will be held in Samoa, September 2014.

The Dominica SIDS Working Group is working with the National Youth Council to implement a Sustainable Development Education Program, to help spread awareness about sustainable development


Q: What are your expectations?

A: It is my hope that Dominica’s youth will be able to capitalize on signing of important documents such as the Jamaica Declaration and implementation of the National Strategic Program for Climate Resilience (SPCR). Ultimately, realizing that the future of our Country is in our hands by being able to use our environment (which includes the physical, social, cultural) to allows us a comfortable and fulfilling life.

See more posts on the National Youth Council Page.