Holiday stresses protecting and enjoying environment on Ocean Day

POSTED: 06/4/12 2:00 PM

Ursula Oppikoffer (second left), who runs an animal shelter in St. Martin and organizes the I love my Island Ram and I love my Island Dog competition, is presented with an award by President of the St. Maarten Pride Foundation Jadira Veen (left) in the presence of, amongst others Governor drs Eugene Holiday.

St. Maarten – Several persons in the community were awarded for their contributions towards the environment during a ceremony at Saratoga Restaurant on Saturday evening to mark World Ocean Day. Governor Eugene Holiday also stressed the need to draw attention to and increase awareness about the importance of preserving the natural habitat.
“The significance only comes to light when people take action,” Holiday said.
The governor lauded the efforts of the St. Martin Pride Foundation, for being at the forefront of the awareness efforts even though St. Maarten is but a dot in the planet’s “delicately balanced and mystical environment of flora and ecosystems.”
“Here in St. Maarten we are privileged to have some of the world’s ecological treasures in our beaches, our lagoons, our fresh ponds, our once great salt pond, our flamboyant trees and our beautiful hillsides to name a few.”
Holiday enjoyed the ecological treasures as a boy and indicated that young people in this time period do not have the opportunity to enjoy these treasures as they should. He stressed the importance of enjoying the natural habitat and the need to protect them.
“Ecological treasures are all ours and are part of a global inter-connected ecosystem. How we treat our environment will affect us.
The governor also stressed the need for taking action to “protect our natural habitat” and the devastating effects of polluting the environment.
“As we strive for economic growth we should also consider the importance of the environment. These are not mutually exclusive. We must be aware of the importance of the environment and I encourage people to get out more and experience it because it is only through experience that the appreciation of our environment will grow,” Holiday said.
President of the St. Maarten Pride Foundation Jadira Veen said the foundation continues to deal with pollution that washes ashore from other islands and with trash left behind by locals and other beach users. She also called on government to improve the tourism product, while staying away from doing more of the same.

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