Country News: St Lucia successfully halts deforestation between 2001-2013, according to new report

Wednesday, January 25, 2021, New York; Saint Lucia successfully halts deforestation in its rainforests over a thirteen year period (2001-2013), according to a new Forest Reference Emissions Levels report. Rainforest coverage in Saint Lucia remained constant with a slight increase from 37,250 hectares (2001) to 37,900 (2013).  The report also showed that climate change and the devastation caused by hurricanes, not humans, was now the number one threat to St Lucia’s rainforests.

The report, Forest Reference Emission Levels was written by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives with support from the Coalition’s Technical Team, who ran workshops in St.Lucia in 2019.

Highlights

  • Rainforest coverage remained constant with a slight increase ifrom 37,250 hectares (2001) to 37,900 (2013)
  • During this period, St.Lucia halved land conversions from forests to other uses (cropland, settlements for people) from approx. 785 hectares (2001) to 303 hectares (2013). There was a major reduction in the amount of forest land converted to settlements in particular from 460 hectares (2001)to 150 hectares (2013)
  • As a result, its greenhouse gas emissions due to loss of forests declined from 54,000 tonnes of Co2e (2001) to +3,500 tonnes CO2e stored (2013).
  • Future forest reference emission levels for St.Lucia are estimated to be 24,200 tonnes of CO2e per year for the period 2014 – 2018.
  • The biggest cause of greenhouse gas emissions due to forest destruction came in 2010 as a result of the damage done to Saint Lucia from from Hurricane Tomas (153,200 CO2e)

The country report was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as part of Saint Lucia’s REDD+ obligations for receiving results-based payments. After verification, Saint Lucia will be able to offer nationally-issued carbon credits based on the carbon sinks of their rainforests for corporations and individuals to offset their carbon footprints.

The volcanic island, Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the West Indies. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 617 km2 (238 square miles) and reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census.

The island is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands, with the highest point being Mount Gimie, at 950 metres (3,120 feet) above sea level. Two other mountains, the Pitons, form the island’s most famous landmark. Forests cover about 77% of the land area. Saint Lucia contains five terrestrial eco-regions: Windward Islands moist forests, Leeward Islands dry forests, Windward Islands dry forests, Windward Islands xeric scrub, and Lesser Antilles mangroves.  It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.17/10, ranking it 84th globally out of 172 countries.*

 

A species of lizard, Saint Lucia Anolis, is endemic to Saint Lucia.

To learn more on Coalition’s work with Saint Lucia: https://www.rainforestcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/CfRN_Annual_Report_2019-web.pdf

*Source: Wikipedia

 

 


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