From climate change to pollution, and deforestation to overdevelopment, perhaps never before has the health of our planet faced such challenges. Today, the world marks Earth Day 2022 under the theme ‘invest in our planet’.
It’s time to take action to preserve and protect our health, our families and our livelihoods – because a green future is a prosperous future.
We asked some of Antigua and Barbuda’s leading environmentalists for their thoughts on action we can all take in our twin island nation to make a difference.
Executive Director, Environmental Awareness Group
“This year’s Earth Day centres on the idea of investing in nature. This requires a shift in our purchasing patterns and how we consume. It requires us to think about how we build and incorporate native plants in our landscaping, or donating to environmental causes. This Earth Day we need to move beyond statements and invest our time, our talent and our money into safeguarding the world that sustains us.”
Marine Ecologist, National Parks Authority
“I think the past few years, more than ever, have demonstrated the importance of ensuring that we do whatever is needed to invest in the health of our planet. Our survival is critically dependent on our surrounding environment, and without exceeding our current efforts to reduce climate change and the degrading impacts on our environment, we will surely destroy the place we all call home.”
Technical Coordinator, Department of the Environment
“One thing each of us can do towards reversing biodiversity loss is to decide today how we can reduce the negative impacts that our everyday choices have on the Earth. By choosing to recycle, choosing to dispose of our waste appropriately, choosing to clean up the spaces around us, and by choosing to invest in our environment, we can each play our part in protecting our biodiversity.”
Offshore Islands Conservation Programme Coordinator, Environmental Awareness Group
“This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘invest in our planet’ which recognises the need for us all to make meaningful contributions to the Earth to preserve our future. I hope to see Antiguans and Barbudans investing their time, money and energy to support efforts to protect our natural environment.”
Environmental activist and Atlantic rower
“Over the last two years I have seen what appears to be the start of another tourism boom. More dock space is being built, more marinas, more hotel plans, more residential communities and more villas are all either being built or on the way. While the purpose of all of this development must be to enrich our citizens now, it cannot be done in a way that destroys our natural resources in a way that prevents future generations from also having the ability to utilise them. Sustainable development must be the cornerstone of all our ‘progress’.”
Environmental activist and school principal
“These islands, Barbuda and Antigua, represent some of the most beautiful and interesting lifeforms and physical features on our planet Earth – where land and sea make beauty. On Earth Day we must demonstrate that we care and take action to ensure our grandchildren will be able to experience and enjoy the best our Earth can offer. Speak out and challenge those policy decisions made by our government that destroy the wetlands, marine and terrestrial ecosystems that sustain us all.”