Minister for the Environment and Rural Modernization, Cozier Frederick, has said there are a number of threats to the country’s biodiversity and if left unchecked could negatively impact the nature island of the Caribbean (Dominica).
His comments came as Dominica joined the rest of the World to observe ‘World Environment Day’ on Friday.
According to Frederick, within the sub-region, Dominica’s natural resources have been regarded as being least tampered with or altered and substantial levels of its natural features are still intact.
He said Dominica hosts valuable biodiversity including over 1200 species of plants and most diverse assemblage of wildlife in the Eastern Caribbean, including 175 species of avifauna.
“Much of our economic activities are linked to nature and by extension to its biodiversity. However, there still remains a number of threats to our biodiversity such as deforestation, pollution, over-exploitation of natural resources, unregulated development, invasive species, natural disaster and the impact from climate change, which if left unchecked, could negatively impact on our proud claim as being the nature island of the Caribbean and indeed the world,” Frederick said.
The minister called on the general public to not only continue replanting and beautifying but also to take time to ensure and appreciate the intimate relationship with our diverse ecosystem.
“The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that make our planet habitable all come from nature,” Frederick stated.
He commended the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division for its continued efforts at educating and enhancing the level of awareness of Dominicans about our natural environment and conservation in general.
He mentioned that Post-Hurricane Maria the Division intensified its focus on the reforestation and beautification of our island, where several tree-planting programmes including reforestation, awareness drives and campaigns have been organized at regular intervals to help motivate and to generate public awareness among the populace towards the importance of biodiversity.
The minister called on everyone to help the environment.
“It’s time to wake up, to take notice; raise our voices; slow down; sit at a park; take a swim; take a walk; plant a tree; take a hike; help save endangered species,” Frederick urged. “Let’s help our environment, our Dominica and by large the world, to thrive and to be a better world to live in.”
This year’s theme for World Environment Day was ‘Time for Nature Biodiversity’.