Highlighting the importance of the environment to the sustainability of one of the territory's economic pillar-tourism, the Natural Resources Minister has reenforced the need to protect the environment.
Hon. Dr. Kedrick Pickering recently spoke of the environment as the golden goose and stressed that residents must understand that without the environment there will be no tourism.
"there is absolutely no tourism without the environment...understand that the environment plays such a critical role in our lives. I say that the first task God ever gave to man was to look after his creation. So each and every person should appreciate the environment," he said.
Minister Pickering said the recent study on the Tourism Value of the Marine Ecosystems of the Virgin Islands, shows that not only will all tourists be reluctant to come back if the environment is hurt or destroyed, but tourists are willing to pay to preserve the BVI's precious surroundings.
In the study it was also disclosed that the total economic tourism value of nature in the BVI comes at an estimate of $194M per annum, and this amount is attributable to both the marine and terrestrial ecosystems.