Thursday, June 7 Chief Minister Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith has encouraged residents of the Territory to get involved in the international fight against global warming.

Speaking at a ceremony on Tuesday morning held to commemorate World Environment Day and mark the beginning of Environment Month, the Chief Minister said, “Though we contribute little to global climate change, its effect on us could one day be severe.” 

He added that changes in the earth’s climate can have an effect on life in the BVI. “As weather patterns change, the global tourism market could be profoundly influenced as formerly cold climates become more temperate and warmer climates like ours become even hotter. … These risks pose a grave and growing danger to our entire way of life,” said the Chief Minister.

Acknowledging that the BVI is a relatively small Territory in respect to other users of the earth, the Chief Minister said that though the BVI cannot solve the problem of global warming, it can do its part. This begins with “exerting every effort to make sure that we are responsible managing and protecting our precious natural recourses right here in the BVI.”

Global warming refers to the increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature, due to a build up of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.  Climate change is a broader term that refers to long term changes in climate, including average temperature and precipitation. 

The Conservation and Fisheries Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, annually spearheads activities during the month of June to highlight the Territory’s natural environment and ways residents can get involved in protecting and preserving our environment. This year’s theme is, Melting Ice: A Hot Topic?, the same theme used by the United Nations Environment Programme. 

Activities for the month began with the World Environment Day ceremony held at the Joseph Reynold O’Neal Botanical Gardens and will culminate with the annual fisherman’s tournament at Long Bay, Beef Island on July 2.  A church service, a talent showcase, and for the first time, a parade advocating responsible stewardship for the planet are some of the other activities planned during the month.  For further details on the activities for Environment Month as well as ideas to help manage the Territory’s natural resources, please visit the department’s website at



  1. The Conservation and Fisheries Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, seeks to manage the natural resources of the British Virgin Islands in a sustainable manner. It was established specifically to address the growing environmental stresses that the British Virgin Islands are experiencing.