Ms. Megumi Kawaguchi and Ms. Saori Iwashita are the latest two Japanese volunteers who have arrived here to work as Environmental Educators for the Saint Lucian Government. The two are dispatched by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) in conjunction with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Social Transformation.
Although the volunteers arrived together, they will be spread to the north of the island in Castries and Gros Islet and in the south at Belle Vue Community Centre in Vieux Fort.
Under these Ministries, they will each carry out a two-year program (June 2016 – June 2018) to increase knowledge and understanding of the environment and its challenges, cultivate sensitivity and awareness of the world we live in and create programs in which Saint Lucians can participate to create a better climate.
St. Lucia’s economy is based mainly on the agricultural industry (including fisheries) and on tourism. Both sectors rely heavily on favourable environments to thrive. Without un-polluted water bodies, air and land, there cannot be sufficient and healthy production of local food nor will tourists be persuaded to come to our lovely island.
In truth, things are not perfect: many persons are now witnessing the detrimental effects of the global cascade of climate changes which are seemingly not going to end any time soon. Furthermore, there is the theory that the modern human lifestyle itself is contributing to the destruction.
In order to stave off adverse climate change and protect our environment, it is important that we learn new skills to cope with the changing world. Two projects proposed by the volunteers are the continuation of the Compost Management project in Belle Vue and as yet un-named projects in waste disposal, public hygiene and water supply.
JICA/JOCV would like to thank the Ministry of Social Transformation and the Ministry of Sustainable Development for taking the steps to preserve our lovely country. We would also like to thank the Saint Lucian populace in advance for their participation in the various programs and for their efforts to keep our country healthy and clean.
We wish Ms. Megumi and Ms. Saori good luck, and we look forward to seeing the fruit of their efforts over the next two years.