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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 23, 2021 (SKNIS): As the discussion to ban single-use plastics gains momentum, the Sustainable Destination Council (SDC) is strengthening its partnership with relevant stakeholders to promote a clean and healthy environment.

Kenney Manning of the Sustainable Destination Council in the Ministry of Tourism said one such stakeholder is the Ministry of Environment in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“We try to bring different ministries, departments, businesses together to collaborate on such initiatives as banning plastic bags and reembracing our former culture,” said Mr. Manning on the April 21 edition of Working for You. “We try to raise awareness, and one of our partners is the Ministry of Environment. We are trying to further deepen our relationship by working on a ‘Plastic be gone’ campaign which coincides with their five-year plan of banning plastics.”

Mr. Manning noted that the SDC has engaged in panel discussions and beach cleans ups to name a few but said more can be done through partnerships to educate the public to promote behavioural change.

“We want to take a step further by collaborating with the Ministry of Environment by gathering data and be able to present it in a more tangible format to people and to be more connecting so that they will be more receptive to it,” he said. “We also want to touch base with those persons who are not just consumers but decision-makers because the consumers will do what is [easier] for them… they might not be aware of the consequences so sometimes it takes the persons who actually have the say.”

He noted that SDC caters to everyone, not just the tourists, adding that local tourism is constantly growing.

“It is not completely for the tourists. It is good for us, better for all. If we have a healthy and stable environment it benefits all of us in terms of our health and livelihood, which greatly depend on tourism,” he said. “So, it is good for us, better for all. It is not just us trying to make things all nice and polished for the guests.”

The SDC serves as an advisory council for the Ministry of Tourism with the aim to increase opportunities for locals and tourists to act as destination stewards. Currently, SDC instills sustainable tourism understanding across public and private sectors, builds agencies’ capacity to incorporate sustainability into daily operations, and creates opportunities for increased collaboration.

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