Saint Lucia: Recent heavy rains in Saint Lucia have emphasized a need for the improved management of marine litter and plastic pollution; the Minister for Sustainable Development, Shawn Edward noted recently, adding that the Government of Saint Lucia has taken steps to protect marine ecosystems.
“We have adopted a national ocean policy which has, as one of its outcomes, maintained and improved the integrity of the marine ecosystem,” he said. “The policy recognizes that pollution, including marine litter, plastics, sewage, oil and chemicals, affect our transition toward a blue economy and impacts the value of the goods and services provided by the ocean.”
The minister also outlined activities to address marine litter, including a Marine Litter Management Action Plan (MLMAP). The plan was developed by the Department of Sustainable Development and the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority with support from the United Nations Environment Program UNEP.
• A technical consultation workshop which brought together technical stakeholders who shared their experiences and knowledge to help guide the early phase of this project;
• The development of a national source inventory report on plastic pollution;
• A high-level event at which the findings of the National Source Inventory were presented to leaders, heads and decision-makers across all sectors in Saint Lucia.
• A nationally televised debate is emphasizing the issue of plastic pollution and ways in which it can be addressed.
• The plans also included an underwater clean-up in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Divers Association—Anbaglo; and a public awareness campaign to ensure the national source inventory or MLMAP.