Climate change is occurring across the world and has varying effects depending where people live. Â For those islanders of Ambergris Caye, the past five decades have seen rising waters and shrinking beaches. Â Now, those wanting to ensure that the islandÂs shoreline is protected are joining forces to discuss matters and develop a plan of action to combat the erosion.
For many of those indulging in a vacation on Ambergris Caye, itÂs the beautiful coastal beaches that provide a real lure. Â With San Pedro having lost around 30ft of beaches because of rising sea levels, itÂs important to ensure that the Caribbean isnÂt allowed to continue eroding away the land. Â Now, a collection of workshops led by the University of West Indies has brought residents together to formulate a plan.
Regional Coordinator of Panos Caribbean, Indi McLymont-Lafayette, said that it was vital to talk to everyone involved. Â ÂThe Caribbean region has been identified as amongst the most vulnerable to climate impacts,Â Lafayette said, adding: ÂIt is important that the younger generations understand, as well as the wider community of San Pedro, how important climate change is and how it can have a long term effect on the lives of each and every one of us.Â
In Belize there are several factors that continue to heighten the effects of climate change, including water bed dredging, the cutting down of mangroves and the extraction of the countryÂs natural resources. Â For students attending the workshops, it was important to be shown why climate change is occurring so that steps can be taken to reduce the bad effects.
Vivian Noralez, a student of San Pedro High School, was one attendant, who highlighted that because Ambergris Caye is an island, as well as hosting the second largest barrier reef, combating climate change is essential. Â She added that much of the islandÂs income was from tourists. Â Therefore, it was vital to keep the natural habitat in place so that vacationers would continue to be attracted to the beautiful region of Belize.
The workshops have been very beneficial for those living in and around San Pedro. Â It is hoped that people will realize the importance of combating climate change and ensuring that those enjoying a vacation on Ambergris Caye continue to enjoy the paradise.