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Commemorating International Day for Disaster Reduction in St Lucia

CSC Alumni St Lucia

An alumnus plants trees along the Soufriere watershed

An alumnus plants trees along the Soufriere watershed

International Day for Disaster Reduction was introduced in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction. Held every year on 13 October, the day celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

On 29 October 2010, St Lucia was hit by Hurricane Thomas, which caused huge devastation to the island, with the Fond St. Jacques area in Soufriere being the hardest hit. Eight years later and in advance of the anniversary of Hurricane Thomas, on the 13 October the Commonwealth Alumni Association of St Lucia teamed up with the Forests and Lands Resources Division within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Cooperatives, through the Integrating, Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (IWEco) project, to undertake a tree planting exercise in the upper Soufriere watershed as part of a slope stabilisation programme. Members of the Environmental Club of the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School also participated in the exercise. Over 100 trees were planted on the slopes in the upper Soufriere watershed.

IWEco is a regional initiative funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Executed by the Forests and Lands Resources Division within the Ministry, the project aims to mitigate the poor biophysical conditions (due to unsustainable land management practices) in the Soufriere watershed, which have impacted sustainable livelihoods of the population. Broader initiatives expected to be funded include land restoration work, creation of alternative sustainable livelihoods, capacity building and increasing awareness.

Photos from the event are available on CSC Flickr

If you are a Commonwealth Alumnus and would like to find out more about CSC events and activities taking place in St Lucia, please contact alumni@cscuk.org.uk

You can also get involved in the local alumni association in St Lucia, Commonwealth Alumni Association of St Lucia, which is coordinated by Margaret Henry (2012 Commonwealth Distance Learning Scholar, MPH Public Health, University of Liverpool).

Photos on flickr

@commschols on Twitter

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