Saint Lucia To Observe World Wildlife Day – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The Forestry Department joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Wildlife Day on March 3rd, 2024.

On 20th December 2013, the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), declared March 3rd as World Wildlife Day (WWD).

The primary objective of this initiative is to raise awareness and take action to protect our planet’s precious fauna and flora.

The history of World Wildlife Day is rooted in the efforts of the United Nations and the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to highlight the critical role of wildlife in sustaining ecosystems and supporting human well-being and livelihoods.

This year we celebrate World Wildlife Day under the theme: “Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation”.

This year’s theme for World Wildlife Day, shines a light on the transformative power of technology in protecting our precious wildlife.

This theme holds particular significance in the current global context, where biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, and climate change pose unprecedented threats to wildlife populations worldwide. However, while the challenges we face – habitat loss, climate change, illegal trade – are daunting, this theme emphasizes the innovative solutions emerging from the digital revolution.

By highlighting this theme, we aim to inspire collective action and foster greater awareness of the importance of preserving our natural heritage.

The Forestry Department in St. Lucia appreciates the invaluable contributions that digital innovations make towards wildlife protection and habitat preservation.

Currently, camera traps and drones are incorporated in our work program for information gathering on wildlife and patrolling and monitoring of protected areas and the forest reserves.

Also satellite imagery is used to assist with forest inventories and habitat assessments especially after severe natural disasters like hurricane Tomas.

As we move into the future, the intention is to incorporate computer apps to connect local communities with our conservation efforts and also tap into other digital tools which will aid with our conservation mandate.

The Forestry Department is collaborating with a local entity to develop a local wildlife documentary with the main objective of raising greater awareness on our wildlife species and their conservation.

Additionally, real time cameras are being used to detect the presence of feral pigs in our forest reserves and private lands.

This initiative aims to manage the population of feral pigs within an acceptable threshold while promoting rural livelihood in a sustainable manner.

St. Lucia is blessed with an impressive array of endemic and indigenous flora and fauna. Among these are a total of 132 bird species (including 5 endemic and 13 endemic sub-species) and 13 indigenous reptiles (including 7 endemic and 5 endemic sub-species).

However, these wildlife along with their habitats are constantly under the threat and risk of becoming extinct due to a number of factors including habitat loss, fragmentation or degradation.

The Forestry Department calls on local communities, land owners, property developers and the general public at large to be more environmentally conscious and appreciate the valuable role that our biodiversity plays in enhancing our lives and livelihoods.

Help save our wildlife by making a conscious effort to be responsible stewards of our environment.

For more information please contact Mr. Pius Haynes – Assistant Chief Forestry Officer- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development, at telephone number 5187154 or email [email protected]

SOURCE: Ministry of Agriculture