Students of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College including Breanna Hutchinson (seen second from right) are all smiles showing eco-friendly awareness following the closing ceremony of the Environmental Sustainability and Conservation Leadership Training course. (Spokesman Snap)

BASSETERRE, ST.KITTS (Friday 8th November 2019)- Environment enthusiasts who have successfully participated in an Environmental Sustainability and Conservation Leadership Training course-held over the period of February to October 2019- have signaled their readiness to be change agents and encourage responsible behaviour as it relates to protecting the natural surroundings of St.Kitts-Nevis.

A closing ceremony was held on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 at the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine whereby more than  ten (10) individuals each receiving a certificate along with a pack of six reusable grocery shopping bags as well as a reusable glass bowl with plastic cover lid.

An infomercial put together dubbed ‘Conservation is Everybody’s Business’ has been one of the biggest highlights coming out of the training course which involved in-classroom and outdoorsy activities such snorkeling and a catamaran tour to explore the Narrows of the Federation and discussions on the topic of Strategic Approaches To Inspire Action and Building Your Own Harm Reduction Team.  

Lead facilitator was Luis Cruz, a Ross University professor and Researcher of Human Behaviour.

According to the details of the certificate, participants have been collectively recognised “For your contribution to our team effort in helping to create a green mindset in St.Kitts-Nevis.”

Funding for the course was provided through a grant received from the US Fish and Wildlife Service in collaboration with the USAID (United States Agency for International Development). 

Ross University, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Canadian Wildlife Health Corporation, Caribbean Youth Environment Network/Ripple Institute SKN, Department of Environment, Department of Marine Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Youth Empowerment, Department of Tourism and the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) were some of the participating groups.

Participants display certificates with Lead facilitator Luis Cruz and Project Coordinator Sheryl Bass (seen middle at back) among those sharing in the moment

Acting Director of Youth Empowerment Pierre Liburd has encouraged participants of the leadership course “to give into the wealth of knowledge that was shared with you during the course of this programme and encourage your peers, family members and friends to take a more critical look at their personal actions, their consumption habits and its impact on the environment and let us all take and maintain that pledge to have a change to commit to a more cleanly, health friendly and perpetually beautiful St.Kitts and Nevis.”

Here is what some of the participants had to say:

Breanna Hutchinson (CFBC Student)

On behalf of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College students who were a part of the Environmental and Conservation Leadership Project, we found it to be a very informative, interactive and it was very educational, and we gained a lot from being a part of this programme.

Lynelle Bonaparte (CYEN-Caribbean Youth Environment Network)

It was very interactive and I appreciate it and from this, I will like to see behavourial changes in our lives so when we go to the supermarkets, let us carry our bags. Many of us, we want to see other people and to tell them that these are the ways to conserve and protect marine species and all but we are not changing our behaviour. From today, I want us to make a pledge that we are going to do something whether it is not to litter or not to use styrofoam containers. Let us be serious and let us try to change so that when we talk to people, they can say look at us and be inspired. When we go with our bags and. Let us be the change… 

Joshua Salters (Department of Environment)

It’s very important, of course, that we are involved in this process. It was a very good workshop. I particularly liked how engaging it was; it wasn’t a situation where Luis just got up and was just talking off of a slide, it was engaging and very interactive the different things that you actually implemented in order to get us proactive and get us engaged and I think it was really effective. Regarding the plastic situation in St.Kitts and Nevis… unfortunately, we are one of the last Caribbean countries to do something significant about plastic and it’s really something that needs to be done especially single use plastics because all of us know that it’s a very big problem for the marine environment and being an island who depends so heavily on tourism, we can’t just be littering everywhere…We all need to make the effort to keep our country clean…