PRESIDENT Paula-Mae Weekes has said the country’s development is not only about the amount of foreign exchange earned, but also about the state of the environment.
“The development of a country is not to be measured only in economic terms, it’s not just about how much foreign exchange we earn, or what the average income is, the employment rate or even the number of tertiary-level graduates, important though those statistics are. Our development also has to do with the quality of our lives and our environment has a direct bearing on that,” she said.
Weekes was speaking at the EMA’s World Environment Day observances which included its Schools’ Green Leaf Awards 2018 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando yesterday.
She said this year’s theme, Beat Plastic Pollution, was relevant given its “deleterious” effect on fragile ecosystems.
“Beating plastic pollution is not solely about washing plastic containers, crushing them and disposing of them in bins provided for that purpose, understanding waste as a resource is an important aspect of the reuse and recycle thrust which should become part of our culture,” she said. Weekes said both large and small countries had to become mindful about climate change and institute the relevant plans and programmes to combat environmental pollution. “We must do what we can in our own back yard both literally and figuratively to guard against pollution,” she said.
The Brazil Secondary School was awarded the Sustainability Award while ASJA Primary School, San Fernando received a merit award.