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The Importance of Preserving GHNS for Environmental Education

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. School kids visiting the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (GHNS)

 

Environmental education refers to organized efforts in the education of natural environmental functions, and particularly, how human beings can manage its behaviour with ecosystems to live sustainably [1].

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (GHNS) can serve not only as a live classroom for environmental education but as a rich textbook with chapters such as:

  1. The Barbadian estuarine ecosystem
  2. The Graeme Hall Wetlands as one of the primary roost areas for migratory and native waterbirds in Barbados and
  3. The breeding of rare birds in captivity

On October 25th 2008, while celebrating environmental education day at GHNS, Harry Roberts, Former General Manager of the Sanctuary said,  “Our main goal has been to provide a living outdoor classroom for teachers, and provide an enhanced eco-tourism facility that can support educational programming” [2].

Besides, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance recognizes that GHNS is an environmental demonstration area and a field research site for university studies.[3]

Another interesting fact is that the Caribbean-born John James Audubon, a 19th century wildlife artist, drew many North American birds that visit GHNS as seasonal migrants and non-breeding residents[4].

In whole of Caribbean, GHNS is one of the few places where one can experience and study the life and behaviour of migratory birds and the avifauna of the island under the leafy shade of primitive mangroves.

Unfortunately, GHNS also an exemplary proof of the degradation of environment due to man-made pollution, as this last precious piece of mangrove is rapidly being destroyed by the overflowing contaminants from the South Coast Sewage Plant and the mismanagement of the sluice gate as a result of negligence, lack of leadership and corruption from the Government of Barbados.  

In 2007, over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition to protect this living classroom of environment and to create a 240-acre Graeme Hall National Park[5]. After 13 unlucky years, this proud possession of the Barbadians is on the verge of permanent destruction. The legacy will be lost forever.

 

References:

[1] Morris, S. (2019). Education: An Introduction. Scientific e-Resources.

[2]https://www.graemehall.com/press/releases/environmental-education-day/

[3]https://rsis.ramsar.org/RISapp/files/RISrep/BB1591RIS.pdf

[4]https://www.graemehall.com/education/docs/Migratory-Bird-Facts.pdf

[5] https://www.graemehall.com/ghns/docs/allard-closing-letter.htm