To mark St. Kitts and Nevis’s first National Volunteer Day, the Cayon School Environment Club carried out a tree-planting activity at their school:
On Feb. 16, the Environment Club, comprising third and fourth formers of the Cayon High School, volunteered to plant fruit trees to participate in the National Volunteer Day.
Eight trees – Avocado, Spice Guava, Fat Pork and Soursop – were planted at the school entrance and in the garden. The project was a partnership with the UNESCO St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve (SMBR) programme, the Caribbean Sustainable Environment Awareness Organization (CSEAO), the Ministry of Community Development and Social Affairs and the National Volunteers Day Committee.
The students were guided by Winston “Ebro” Caesar, a MAB committee member and Cayon farmer, who demonstrated how to plant and maintain the trees. MAB Coordinator Markysa O’Loughlin, who is a SMBR resident, gave the students an opportunity to share their knowledge of the plants in an interactive session.
Dr. Joyelle Clarke, teacher and Environmental Science Club coordinator, said the exercise was an excellent tool to instill the spirit of volunteerism in her students while giving them the practical experience of promoting Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 13; No Hunger and Climate Action, respectively. “The students are getting the opportunity to apply the knowledge taught in our club sessions,” she said. “Additionally, beyond today, they will care for the plants weekly.”
Markysa O’Loughlin, UNESCO SMBR committee member, explained that the exercise is also part of an ongoing Education for Sustainable Development Programme to encourage youth participation in the growth and development of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve.
The Cayon community is part of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve, which is the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the English-speaking Caribbean:
When with guidance from the National Commission for UNESCO relevant stakeholders grabbed hold of the concept of the Man and the Biosphere, St. Mary’s (Keys, Canada, Cayon) was identified as the ideal location for development/implementation. The area having several natural attributes, being extremely bio-diverse, claiming outstanding cultural heritage as well as a vibrant village life was thought to provide the ideal opportunity. The special focus of the site is its biodiversity as well as supporting the indigenous peoples and recognizing the value of their knowledge systems. Village participation in preserving the outstanding mosaic of natural and cultural landscape values was recognized as key. It is an innovative approach to economic development that is socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.
[Image via: St Kitts – Nevis National Commission for UNESCO]