CASTRIES, St Lucia, April 22, CMC – A St Lucian boutique hotelier has made an Earth Day appeal to the Caribbean to lead the world in climate-friendly practices and attract more visitors because of it.
Eroline Lamontagne, general manager of Fond Doux Holiday Plantation, a restored plantation house in Soufrière, said in a statement to mark the global environmental awareness day on Sunday that environmental protection and conservation were not only imperatives for the Caribbean, but also made “very good” business sense.
Lamontagne recalled the 1994 United Nations Global Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Barbados when the international community examined the special needs of small islands on the frontline of climate change impacts, from sea level rise to natural disasters.
“The Barbados Programme of Action, agreed by the countries of the world at that conference, should be our bible,” said Lamontagne, urging Caribbean hotels to “use Earth Day to highlight what sustainable programmes they initiated or enhanced during the year.
“We must end the lip service and emerge as the world’s foremost destination for the development of green technology,” added Lamontagne, who believes that “our climate friendly moves will attract a lot more environmentally aware visitors.”
She said Fond Doux Holiday Plantation, which carries a Green Globe certification an an environmentally friendly tourism plant, “adheres closely to the spirit of eco-building and cultural preservation”.
Rescued from demolition, the Fond Doux estate maintains “intricate” French Colonial wooden buildings more than 100 years old, Lamontagne said.
In a statement that also trumpeted the resort’s environmental profile, she said the buildings were “painstakingly dismantled and transported” to the cocoa estate, where they were restored as guest accommodations and today stand as “monuments of the island’s rich colonial history.”