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News > Latin America

Climate Change Threatens Unique Biodiversity on St. Lucia

  • Climate change may wreck havoc on St. Lucia.

    Climate change may wreck havoc on St. Lucia. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Published 8 August 2018

Conservationist Sean Southey said urgent action is required to protect the eastern Caribbean island nation's biodiversity.

The Commission on Education and Communication, or CEC, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, warns that climate change could wreak havoc on biodiversity and the ecosystem on St. Lucia, home to more than 2,000 native species.

Caribbean Warned 2018 Hurricane Season May Be Worse Than 2017

Of the total number of species, almost 200 species are unique to the country of nearly 615 square kilometres.

Sean Southey, chair of the CEC, said that urgent action is required to protect the eastern Caribbean island nation's biodiversity.

The Amazon parrot, with its bright green plumage, purple forehead and dusty red-tipped feathers, is St. Lucia's most renowned species.

Other species of conservation concern include the pencil cedar, staghorn coral and St. Lucia racer, according to Caribbean 360. Mangrove forests, as well as low-lying freshwater wetlands are also at high risk, Southey confirmed.

The racer, which is restricted to the nine-hectare island of Maria Majo, is believed to be the world's most threatened sake.

Late last year St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said climate change could devastate Caribbean countries if global leaders don't act now to stop its extreme effect on the small islands.

“We have experienced first-hand, what climate change looks like: Irma, Jose, Maria," Chastanet said at the 2017 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. He emphasized that the region holds the highest risks against the devastation of the recent hurricanes that hit the are.

"Not only have these storms decimated our countries and our economies, but they have also left our citizens and governments with a feeling of fear and helplessness."

Meteorologists have warned that this year's hurricane season, which officially runs from June 3 to September 30, will be as bad, or worse, than last year's. Researchers at Colorado State University are predicting seven hurricanes, as well as 14 named storms, will form this year.

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