THE ISLAND of Saint Lucia, located in the Windward Islands and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has a land area of 239 sq. mi. (616 sq. km.), with a population of 165,000 (2006 est.) and a population density of 774 people per sq. mi. (298 people per sq. km.), making it the 39th most densely populated country in the world. About a third of the population lives in the capital, Castries, on the sheltered western coast, with 8 percent of the land being arable and a further 5 percent used for meadows and pasture. Some 41 percent of the exports of the country come from bananas.
Saint Lucia has a number of offshore coral reefs, the most well known being those near Soufrière, in the southeast of the island. Just south of these are other coral reefs that also attract many tourists. There are worries about their preservation, with signs of coral bleaching resulting from the increase in water temperatures. There is extensive public transport on the island, maintained by private bus companies. As with many other developing economies, Saint Lucia has seen a rise in carbon dioxide emissions per capita, going from 1.2 metric tons per person in 1990 to 2.2 metric tons in 1996 before falling to 1.4 metric tons in 1998, but rising again to between 1.9 and 2.1 metric tons per person since then. All the carbon dioxide emissions in the country come from liquid fuel, and all electricity production in the country comes from fossil fuels.
The government of John Compton took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and ratified the Vienna Convention; two years later, Saint Lucia was represented at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States held in Barbados. The Saint Lucia government of Kenny Anthony signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Conven-
tion on Climate Change on March 16, 1998, with the country ratifying it on August 20, 2003, and it entering into force on February 16, 2005.
See ALSo: Climate Change, Effects; Transportation.
BIBLIogRAPHY. P.I. Gomes, ed., Rural Development in the Caribbean (C. Hurst, 1985); St. Lucia Industrial Development (National Development Corporation, 1973); "Vulnerable Caribbean Nations Prepare for Global Warming," Environment News Service, http://ens-newswire.com/ens/ jun2001/2001-06-04-02.asp (cited September 2007).
JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.