From July 23 to 26, 2019, the PMA Office of the Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) successfully hosted its Second Annual Summer Day-Camp at the Leisure Inn Conference Room in the picturesque town of Soufriere. Hosted under the theme: Engaging Youth in Heritage Promotion and Creating Greater Environmental Awareness, this year’s camp participants came from secondary schools in the north, west and south of the island and were transported to the venue daily.
Campers were full of praise for the opportunities for learning about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the Pitons Management Area (PMA) UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) and the National Environment Information System (NEIS) established under the project “Building Local Capacity for Multi-lateral Environment Agreements and Sustainable Development” being implemented by the DSD. Their comments following the online evaluation at end of the camp suggests that it had lived up to its promise of being fun filled, relaxing, entertaining, educational and tech oriented. On Day 2 of Camp 2019, participants took to the field to practice skills in photography and videography to capture photos and video footage that was later used to produce signage and 30-second documentaries on the PMA.
The final session of Camp 2019 saw participants producing a PMA Ad, a 30-Second Micro-documentary on the PMA and designs for entrance and exit signage for the PMA. This year’s camp received financial and material support from the DSD and private sector agencies and firms identified below.
Camp 2019 was brought to an official close at a special ceremony which also witnessed the opening of an Exhibition on World Heritage, hosted by the PMA Office in collaboration with the cultural Mexican Embassy in Saint Lucia. The venue was the newly established Soufriere Beach Park. Honourable Herod Stanislas, Parliamentary Representative for Soufriere Fond St Jacques welcomed all present to Soufriere.
During their turns at the podium, Mrs. Marcia Symphorien-Laurent, Secretary General, National Commission for UNESCO and Mr. Imanol Belausteguigoitia, Officer in charge of Cooperation, Economic and Cultural Affairs at the Mexican Embassy both addressed the significance of the occasion.
Remarks by the Honourable Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development were delivered by Ms. Caroline Eugene, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development. While welcoming the opportunity for Saint Lucia and Mexico to celebrate their achievements in World Heritage, Minister Rigobert also expressed her delight that the ideals of UNESCO were being vigorously pursued by agencies within her Ministry through activities and programmes that engage youth and encourage collaboration with our international partners; all in contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030.
Government’s commitment to investing in the Youth of Saint Lucia as Agents of Change was also highlighted in the Honourable Minister’s remarks. She stressed the need to channel the energy and creative potential of Saint Lucia’s youth towards solving today’s challenges and tomorrow’s problems.
Officials of the Department of Sustainable Development and the Pitons Management Area Office were congratulated for the programme of youth engagement over the last three years. All campers were presented with Certificates of Participation with MC and Manager at the PMA Office announcing that this year’s Camp Ambassadors would be rewarded at the beginning of the new school year in September 2019.
The Exhibition which also commemorated 15 Years of World Heritage inscription for Saint Lucia’s Pitons Management Area was declared open for public viewing on the 1st Floor, Excelsior Plaza on Bridge Street, Soufriere on Friday, July 26, 2019 and on the eve of Emancipation Day on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.