Vote for the political party that supports the environment [that supports us!]

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Our government must place greater focus on the environment and ocean. They are the lifeblood of our economy and where we get much of the oxygen that we breathe, the food that we eat, employment, jobs and income through tourism. 

We are in the midst of an international disgrace with regards to the sewage crisis; we are living in a plastic World; our coral reefs that protect the coastline and contribute significantly to tourism are threatened. These are issues that impact all of us negatively. 

The sewage crisis has been going on for way too long!  Almost daily, one can encounter sewage bubbling up somewhere along the South Coast. It is harming our health, that of the environment and our already unhealthy economy too!  Our existing poor water quality, marine ecosystems and the last remaining mangrove swamp are threatened. 

Walking through sewage daily. Businesses and schools closed. People Sick. How much longer Mr. Prime Minister? 

The plastic that we consume and discard of daily will affect the environment and our health for generations to come. When we throw something away, there is no such thing as away; it must go somewhere. Over 1,000 tonnes of waste is sent to SBRC daily, of which over 70% can be recycled.  Every piece of plastic made still exists. Do we wish plastic leaching into our soil, into our food, our water sources, do we wish our marine wildlife such as sea turtles to be choking on plastic bags? Do we wish to be potentially consuming plastic in some of our favourite fish dishes? Or would you like that pie served with a side of plastic too? Do we want our beaches, where our children play and tourists lay to be covered in plastic?  

Plastic pollution. Environmental, Health and Economical Impacts. Why has there been no public discussion on the ban of single use plastics and styrofoam? Why Minister of Environment, Why Minister of Health, Why Government of Barbados? 

We must support a blue economy with our oceans, fisheries, coral reefs and coastal zone being prioritised. Did you know that over 70% of the oxygen that you breathe is produced by the ocean? What about the protection that coral reefs afford our coastline? Or that our tourism product heavily relies on our marine resources? Or that we import over 60% of the fish that we consume? Or that the ocean provides thousands of jobs? What about being prepared for effects of climate change and increasing intensity of hurricanes? 

Carlisle Bay. Still not a marine managed area after so many years. Why Barbados? 

Please support us by subscribing to the following statement. Let us make sure your vote counts, especially for those things that you care about.  

 “By signing this petition, I hereby declare that I will vote for the political party that promises to place greater focus on our environment and environmental sustainability.

Within 12 months of coming into office:

  •  Fix the sewage issue 
  • Create a marine managed area in Carlisle Bay as well as continue to explore the possibility of extending along the West Coast, taking into account all stakeholders.  
  • Legislate the ban on styrofoam and single use plastics while providing incentives on alternative packaging.  Antigua and Barbuda have done it so why can't we? 

During the rest of the term,       

  • Implement and support curbside recycling and commercial composting facilities;
  • Backyard growing, permaculture, public planting of fruit trees coupled with sustainable development of green spaces;
  • Greater education and awareness campaigns surrounding the environment and sustainable living;
  • Integration of school gardens into the curriculum;
  • Promotion of and support to sustainable fisheries and organic agriculture as we work towards a sustainable food system in our island;
  • Greater development of renewable energy, uptake of electric vehicles, removal of the tipping fee and increased fines and enforcement for illegal dumping and littering. 

Change happens one small step at a time - every little bit counts and our voices must be heard. Today, our voice carries more weight than usual, because it is election time. And let us make this election count for all of the citizens of this country, including our children and youth who deserve to grow up in a beautiful pristine Barbados just like we did.

If we are to stay relevant and to once again become leaders within the Caribbean, we must make a change!   

Our environment and oceans do so much for us so it is time that we do more for them. 

 Signed:  Nikola Simpson | Age 29 | Christ Church |Concerned Citizen of Barbados.