Canadian professor warns region of changing climate
May 26, 2006

Canadian professor warns region of changing climate

A Canadian professor of environmental studies is warning policy makers in the Caribbean to seriously focus on the changing climate in the region and to make sure that the watersheds in the region are properly managed.

Professor Bradley Walters of Mount Allison University told SEARCHLIGHT in a recent interview during his short vacation in Bequia that he is concerned that as a region many in the Caribbean are still thinking short term when matters concerning the environment are being considered.{{more}}

Professor Walters has been based in St. Lucia for the last five months. He is working along with that government’s forestry ministry conducting a study on how development is affecting the island’s watersheds.

Watersheds are land areas that drain into rivers.

“With the construction boom taking place right now, residential development is pushing up into the hills and is a major issue with the watersheds,” stated the concerned professor.

The passionate environmentalist told SEARCHLIGHT that with the prediction of increasing frequency in storms, Caribbean islands will be setting themselves up for environmental degradation if they do not concentrate on the protection of the watersheds, keeping it at the forefront of their thinking.

Walters, who has been involved in environmental studies for over 20 years, told SEARCHLIGHT that at times his work is frustrating, especially when he sees the carefree way people approach environmental issues. He was, however, in high praise for the St. Lucian Forestry officials who he says are lending admirable support and showing true concern for environmental protection.

“When I flew over St. Vincent I realized that development here is taking a similar course to that of St. Lucia,” commented Walters, who told SEARCHLIGHT that he hopes that efforts are being made in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to really protect the environment.