St. Lucia Sustainability and Ecotourism

Responsible “Green” Travel to Saint Lucia

Sustainable Eco-Tourism in Saint Lucia

The Saint Lucia National Trust conserves both the natural and cultural heritage of Saint Lucia.  The Trust is currently responsible for the conservation and management of: Pigeon Island National Landmark; The Maria Islands Nature Reserve; Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area; Morne Pavillon Nature Reserve; Morne Fortuné; and Anse La Liberte – Which are all open to the public.  Eco South Tours offers a Maria Islands Tour, as well as several tours in the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area.

The Soufriere Marine Management Association is an NGO authorized by the Government of St. Lucia to manage the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) and the Canaries & Anse La Raye Marine Management Area (CAMMA). Mandated to conserve and protect the natural marine environment, the Association also ensures sustainable use and development of the Area.

Tour Operators on the island exemplifying Sustainable Eco-Tourism include:

  • Dive Saint Lucia, a scuba diving centre/school offering diving and snorkeling tours, has built a new facility in Rodney Bay that has earned the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum level Green Building Certification award, for it’s ‘sustainability, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources and indoor environmental quality’.
  • Anse Chastanet’s Scuba St Lucia received PADI Green Star Award for commitment to conservation and the aquatic environment

In terms of accommodations, St. Lucia offers the following “environmentally friendly” options:

  • Fond Doux Plantation & Resort at Jalousle
    • Has received Green Globe as well as Organic Plantation Certification
    • Utilize water and power conservation practices
    • Excavated the land and built all their cottages without machinery as not to disturb Nature
    • Harvests much of the land to use in their two restaurants
  • Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa at Rodney Bay
    • Has received Green Globe Certification
    • Converted a number of AC units to energy efficient inversion units; Changed their lighting to LEDs; Implemented a recycling program; and Established related education for their team and local community
    • Implemented a farm to table menu that reduces food travel
  • Anse Chastanet Resort at Anse Chastanet
    • Has received “Travel Life” recognition for Sustainability in Tourism
    • Utilize water management practices including: Use of their own rain/river water reservoir and fresh water treatment station; Utilize water saving shower heads and toilets; Use of their own waste water treatment plant and re-use for irrigation;  Ensure that all cleaning products are non-toxic, non-corrosive, and biodegradable
    • Practice good energy saving behavior as well as promote the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle of hotel consumables
  • Jade Mountain at Anse Chastanet
    • Has received “Responsible Travel” recommendation
    • Utilize water management practices including: Use of their own rain/river water reservoir and fresh water treatment station; Utilize water saving shower heads and toilets; Use of their own waste water treatment plant and re-use for irrigation;  Ensure that all cleaning products are non-toxic, non-corrosive, and biodegradable
    • Practice good energy saving behavior as well as promote the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle of hotel consumables

 

Sustainable Energy Production in Saint Lucia

As of 2015, the island was almost 100% reliant on imported fossil fuels for electricity generation.  Saint Lucia now has a “Renewable Energy Goal” to generate 35% of the country’s energy from renewables by 2020.

Saint Lucia’s energy policy evolution:

  • 1994 – The Electricity Supply Act enabled the island’s utility, LUCELEC, to advance development of renewable
    resources through voluntary financial incentives
  • 1999 – The government waived import duties and consumption taxes on renewable energy equipment
  • 2001 – Solar water heaters became tax deductible and the government initiated a National Sustainability Energy Plan (NSEP), which aimed for a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010
  • 2004 – A lighting program reduced the island lighting load
  • 2005 – A Sustainable Energy Plan was implemented and a green paper on the National Energy Policy (NEP)
    was written.
  • 2010 – The government established the Saint Lucia NEP outlining provisions to increase the use of renewable
    energy technologies to offset the amount of fuel the country imports to meet its energy needs.
  • 2016 – The Government of Saint Lucia created the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) to oversee and regulate the electricity system in Saint Lucia. The Government also developed the National Energy Transition Strategy (NETS) to pave the road for a sustainable, reliable, cost-effective, and equitable electricity sector using the island’s local resources. This process, independent of any particular technology, yielded a detailed 20-year strategy as well as a suite of optimal near-term projects.
  • 2018 – NETS was formally approved and adopted

The NETS findings indicate that a portfolio of utility-owned/scaled energy sources offers the best economics for Saint Lucia, and include:

  • Distributed Solar with Energy Storage
  • Wind with Energy Storage
  • Diesel (for flexibility)
  • Geothermal resources

This would be combined with an energy efficiency program targeting lighting, refrigeration, air-conditioning, and water heating.  As of the spring of 2018, the following initiatives have been completed or are underway:

  • Starting in the fall of 2017, LUCELEC has constructed Saint Lucia’s first utility-scale solar farm near the Hewanorra International Airport in the south of the island.  The solar farm was energized in April 2018, providing 3MW of clean electricity, enough to power approximately 3,500 homes.
  • Thanks to the Government of Italy (Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea), a solar carport with electric vehicle charging infrastructure is being built in 2018 at the St. Lucia Ministry of infrastructure in Castries
  • As of March 2018, 25kWp Solar PV ‘grid connected’ systems have been installed at the Gros-Islet Secondary School and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Castries
  • A project demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of commercial scale Solar PV on public buildings is currently being planned – A 200kWp system at the Owen King EU Hospital in Castries is being built in 2018 to contribute knowledge and experience that will help drive market evolution
  • As part of the ‘Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership’ Green Architecture Promotion Pilot (GAPP) a project to promote the use of climate adaptation techniques, consistent with Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), is currently being developed.  The project will be implemented at three schools across the island and includes a total of 38kW renewable energy, as well as approximately 6000 gallons of installed rain water harvesting systems; along with green-houses and irrigation systems at each school.
  • The Government of Saint Lucia is also actively pursuing geothermal resource development. A number of studies have been conducted and with assistance from the Government of New Zealand and other sources of grant funding, suitable areas for potential geothermal exploration drilling have been determined.  The Government of Saint Lucia through consultancies have completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment as well as the pre-feasibility study. The next phase will include exploratory drilling.

 

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