Thursday was Desertification and Drought Day, commemorated each year on that day. The focus on that day was on preventing healthy lands from becoming degraded in the first instance, and reversing degraded lands into a state of healthiness.
This year’s theme: “Restoration. Land. Recovery”. Was critically looked at by the Division of Agriculture which stated that ”placing excessive burden on the land can destroy the very foundation of our prosperity and well-being.”
According to the Ministry “Lands that are degraded have lost all means to support essential life necessities such as food and water, store organic carbon and mitigate or reduce the negative impacts of climate change. Thus, it is essential to create a culture of prevention towards drylands from the onset of desertification. Additionally, integrating land and water management are key methods of preventing desertification and thereby avoid erosion, salinization, and other forms of soil degradation.”
The Division, in a release, noted that implementing sustainable land use policies can address the overexploitation of plants or trampling of soils. And that restoring lands can give better food and water security, reduce carbon emissions, and improve air quality.
“To commemorate World Desertification Day 2021, the Division of Forest and Land Resources Development is partnering with the CIBC First Caribbean International Bank as they celebrate their 100th anniversary since the opening of the CIBC branch in the Caribbean. CIBC has also pledge their commitment to assist the Division’s efforts to rebuilding healthy lands by engaging in a tree planting activity in the northeast coast of the island. The northeast coast of Saint Lucia is among the last remaining frontier endowed with rare and endemic fauna and flora species, landscapes of outstanding natural beauty and unique ecosystems rich in biodiversity.
“As we continue to observe World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, The Division encourages the public to make smart choices and engage in actions that will prevent lands from becoming degraded to ensure that our dependence on the land for essential life services can be sustained well into the future.”