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Source:This article was posted in The Tip! – A free publication published every Wednesday and distributed through-out Dominica.

The month of August begins a very special time for us in Dominica. School in out and as families, we begin a journey of self discovery in preparation for the celebration of our independence on November 3rd. We talk time off to survey the land we call home and to re-acquaint ourselves with the people and traditions that make us a nation. Most of all it time to enjoy the outdoors; the physical environment.

The August Monday Holiday gets bigger and bigger very year but it is also an opportunity to see first hand some of the environmental degradation taking place in our lovely Dominica. We enjoy the beaches, rivers and other open spaces but we don’t leave them the way we met them. There is serious cause for concern about the way we treat the environment. It should in some way affect the way we celebrate our nationhood the year. We must ask ourselves questions about biodiversity, pollution, waste disposal and our consumption patterns. All of these are taking a toll on the Nature Isle.

The Environmental Coordinating Unit (ECU) is making a special effort this holiday to educate the public on issues of environmental management with a view empowering citizens to form part of the solution to our environmental challenges. They know it is imperative that any environment awareness campaign must harnesses the energy of our youth to ensure its success.

ROSTI is having a serious challenge protecting our turtles. Even with the consistent efforts of our dedicated and experienced Forestry and Wildlife offices they will not win without the help of the public.

The National Cultural Council working with the Waitukubuli Eco-Logical Foundation (WEF) has taken the lead in a self-discovery process with the Emancipation Hike. Activities like these re-affirm our commitment to preserving our cultural heritage and to defending the land from all forms of abuse.

Dive Fest is doing wonders in promoting our underwater heritage but we can do more to explore this as a new frontier for economic growth. What we need is more participation for the public and greater support from the government in this area. But don’t for one moment think that because we do not see what is under water that we are not impacting things under there too.

Thanks to satellite imagery, every year around this time you can watch as the columns of clouds rise from the African Continent and begin their dance across the Atlantic to the island and especially to Dominica. Depending on how organized they are they bring moisture to the green forest or scare the landscape. Like the weather systems, we the various peoples of Dominica have all arrived. It is now time to think about the impact we have had on the Nature Island. And most importantly, begin thinking of how our impact on the physical environment could affect the way we celebrate our country now not just now, but in the future.

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