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The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and It's Healing Powers

Figure 1. One of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary’s interpretative walkways.

Figure 1. One of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary's Interpretative Walkways

World Economic Forum has warned that people who are quarantined due to COVID-19 are likely
to develop a wide range of symptoms related to psychological disorders, including low mood,
insomnia, stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression and post-traumatic
stress symptoms1.


The Government of Barbados has recognized that their citizens need to be supported during this
unprecedented time. On April 23rd 2020, the Government announced that it will be launching
initiatives to help citizens cope with the impact of the COVID-192.


A report of NASA Earth Observatory says, “Green space most strongly protects against mood
disorders, depression, neurotic behaviour, and stress-related issues, the study found that
psychological restoration may be the strongest protective mechanism that green space offers. The
effect of green space is also dose-dependent, meaning those who have longer exposures to green
space have greater mental health benefits”3.


There are many studies by reputed researchers which discuss the restorative effect of green
space on the human mind. The mental unrest, stress, anxiety caused by this devastating pandemic
can be healed with the help of the green nature, specially forest and big urban parks.

Unfortunately, the presence of green patches in Barbados is less than most of the Caribbean
countries. In the total land area of 43,000 hectares, only 2,000 hectares are covered with forest,
totalling only 4.65% 4. The presence of the mangrove covers approximately 40 hectares.

As a green space, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is one of the best places for the Barbadians
to regain mental peace once the pandemic is over. The tall trees, the bright lake and the green
turfs can help to soothe the body and mind , and the long spectacular walkways will help to regain
physical and mental well-being.

With half of the world now living under lockdown, the ability to go outside to breathe fresh air has
never been so important. With the presence of COVID-19, it has forced us as individuals to rethink
and challenge what is most important to us.

We hope that the people in positions of policy and changemaking will realize the dire importance
in protecting the greenspace in Barbados and take proactive actions to ensure that the people of
Barbados can enjoy it now and into the future.

References:

1 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/this-is-the-psychological-side-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-that-were-ignoring/

2 https://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/government-helping-persons-cope-covid-19-impact

3 https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/145305/green-space-is-good-for-mental-health

4 https://rainforests.mongabay.com/deforestation/forest-information-archive/Barbados.htm