February 7, 2008
The Nevis Island Administration has been promoting the “green” standard for quite some time. As the island’s economy grows along with a booming tourism industry, the government and private businesses have encouraged a responsible approach to the environment which is beginning to produce very positive results.
Among the initiatives taken is a law on Nevis to construct no building higher than the tallest palm tree. You’ll find no soaring skyscrapers obscuring the beautiful views on Nevis. Building height restrictions allow only two story construction throughout the island.
Strict environmental impact assessments apply to all building projects on the island whether commercial or residential. Low density development combined with quality control takes precedence over massive mega-resort complexes. Construction practices that incorporate natural, sustainable materials and designs which integrate energy and water saving technologies are encouraged. One hotel on Nevis, the Oualie Beach Hotel, has already achieved Green Globe accreditation.
The Nevis island Administration, in an effort to reduce energy consumption, had all incandescent light bulbs in every household on Nevis exchanged for energy saving, low wattage florescent light bulbs.
This past summer, The Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority installed 100 environmentally friendly moorings along the leeward coast for visiting yachts. This will negate the need for boats to anchor and do untold damage to the fragile sea bed in the most desirable anchorages.
The Nevis Island Administration intends to cut its dependence on fossil fuels by 50% within the next five years. Initiatives that will help the government reach that goal include Geo-thermal energy exploration. Initial studies suggest that Nevis will be able to supply all of its electricity from geo-thermal energy.
Implementation of the geothermal initiative, along with continuing research and development in the field of energy production, will lead to the distinct possibility that Nevis will become a net exporter of electricity, all generated by renewable sources within the next five years.
Eco-enthusiasts among Nevis’ residents, business community, schools, churches, non-profit organizations and even hotel guests team up each year to ensure that the island presents a spotless image.
Every year, the Nevis Historical & Conservation Society hosts an “International Coastal Clean-Up Day” which draws nearly 300 volunteers.
Groups of volunteers are divided into teams in order to effectively “divide and conquer” the beaches of Nevis. This past September over 5,000 pounds of litter were collected from thirty sites and 15 miles of beachfront.
Last, but not least, Nevis will continue to address the delicate balance between the development of tourism and the strain it places on the environment.
In a feature currently posted on NationalGeographicTraveler.com, Nevis fared extremely well in its ability to manage and sustain its resources. However, constant vigilance on the part of the entire community is important if Nevis is to remain the “Queen of the Caribees.”