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CARIBBEAN - Dominica Activities

Second Regional Sandwatch Project Workshop, 7-9th July 2003

Caribbean students plant trees on the beach in Dominica
by Arlington James, Dominica

This is my first contribution to the Small Islands Voice, and the matter that I am reporting on is not an issue per se, but an example of pooling of efforts aimed at improving the conditions on a beach near a community, and in the long-term, reducing the level of beach erosion, and providing habitat for wildlife.

Some readers may be aware that from Monday 7th to Wednesday 9th July, the regional Sandwatch Project workshop - sponsored by UNESCO - was held in Portsmouth, Dominica. This workshop involved students and teachers of primary and secondary schools from several Caribbean islands/territories, including Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao) and the host country Dominica. Also, there were teachers from the Seychelles (who, like Dominica, are a Kweyol-speaking country), Cook Islands and Palau.

Two of the activities on the packed programme were a field visit to the Cabrits National Park, immediately followed by a tree-planting exercise on the Glanvillia Beach, which is adjacent to the village of Glanvillia - one of the communities in the greater Portsmouth area.

Under the supervision of officers from the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division - who also provided the planting materials and stakes - the students planted eight Indian Almond (Terminalia catappa) trees on the beach, a short distance from the edge of the Michael Douglas Boulevard and the Indian River. In a few years, these trees will enhance the aesthetics of the beach, provide shade for residents of the area, provide habitat for wildlife (bats, birds, lizards, insects etc). The trees' roots will also help reduce beach erosion that occurs during storms.

The activity drew the attention of many curious passers-by, as well as the Indian River Tour Guides who have pledged to assist with the maintenance and care of the trees, which will enhance the appearance of the general area from which the guides operate.

Jeanette Laruefrom Seychelles and Michael Penniston from St. Vincent and the Grenadines planting a tree at Glanvillia Beach, 7th July 2003

Students from Dominica and the British Virgin Islands assisted by staff member from the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division, planting a tree at Glanvillia Beach, 7th July 2003


To get involved, contact :


Ms. Gloria Shillingford
UNESCO National Commission for the Commonwealth of Dominica
Ministry of Education
Government Headquarter
Roseau, Dominica
T: +1 767 449 9059
F: + 1 767 448 0644


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