…Environment Minister Makes Appeal

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 15th October 2021) – In St.Kitts-Nevis, the celebration of the 110th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan), was marked an eco-friendly way via beach clean-up at Friars Bay in St.Kitts, as organized by the Taiwan Embassy for the second year in a row as a pause is put on the usual cocktail reception due the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outing has prompted Minister Environment Eric Evelyn to encourage all residents of St.Kitts and Nevis to take care of the natural surroundings.

Resident Taiwan Ambassador Michael Lin thanked the attendees for “joining us in celebrating Taiwan’s Nation Day in such an eco-friendly way.”

He continued: “Today, the 9th of October [2021], is also an important date marking the 38th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis, just weeks after the Federation’s 38th anniversary of independence. Let us thank Sir Kennedy for his vision to forge this precious relationship 38 years ago, which has been strengthened by successive governments. The beach clean-up we just completed this morning is a best example of our two countries’ common goals and continued joint efforts to build a better environment for the future generations.”

He further touched on the “fruitful bilateral cooperation” between St.Kitts-Nevis and Taiwan.  

“The cooperation between Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis has been expanding its scope and bearing fruit in more and more areas. The 17 Kittitian and Nevisian recipients of Taiwan scholarship this year are now preparing for their studies in Taiwan, whereas locally, we have ongoing projects in smart agriculture, public health, ICT, sustainable tourism, mandarin teacher and volunteer programmes, as well as new initiatives in recycling, renewable energy, and very soon in women’s economic empowerment.”

Ambassador Lin highlighted the values and ideals that Taiwan stands for as he mentioned the COVID-19 management in his country.

“Since the emergence of COVID-19 last year, Taiwan has also been sharing its resources and expertise in pandemic control with allies and friendly countries worldwide, despite its long exclusion from the WHO and UN. Being left out did not isolate Taiwan, but rather spurred our novel approaches to contribute wherever we can, and the successful ‘Taiwan model’ in COVID response demonstrated that democratic countries can effectively cope with a crisis of such scale, being able to harness the power of technology while also ensuring the rights of people is respected.”

Meanwhile, in speaking to members of the media, Evelyn, when asked to comment if he had any concerns on the waste collected, his response was:  “I’m always concerned. This happens too much. I was a little happy though because I think we got less garbage than last year whether or not that is because of the fact that there is not a lot of activity happening on the beaches right now because of the pandemic as I said last year we had more garbage…and so I hope this is a trend that we’re going to see in the future that less garbage will be seen on the beach …”

He expressed hope that people can get into the groove of not littering.

“When you come to the beach, when you come to do your picnic, bring your bags, bring your containers so that at least you can take away whatever garbage you have. We are hoping that hopefully very soon in the very near future, we can have zero littering  on the beaches in St.Kitts and Nevis, and not only the beaches but littering generally.”

Commenting on his view about enforcing laws to have individuals comply with keeping the environment clean, the Environment Minister acknowledged enforcing and passing tougher legislations.

“As I always say we’re a tourist destination but we should not clean St.Kitts and Nevis for the tourists, we have to clean it for ourselves as well  because the cleaner the environment is the healthier we are as well, and of course if that means tougher legislations, I’ll be all for that.”

In applauding the Taiwan Embassy, the Environment Minister stated: “I’m very pleased to see this type of initiative because of course we’re championing the cause to keep the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis clean, in particular our beaches as well. Of course normally when we have things on the beach, they end up in the water which affects marine life and we have been all along asking persons not to litter the beach, to take away their garbage and so it’s very, very heartening to me that the Taiwan Embassy would have organized this initiative…”

Taiwan’s National Day is officially observed on the 10th October and is popularly referred to as the ‘Double Ten’ celebration.