Kayaking trail is among numerous environmental measures
Already green Dominica is looking to become greener. A destination that bills itself as The Nature Island is working to ensure that tourists and locals alike will find it a particularly environmentally friendly part of the world. And that includes both the island itself and the Caribbean water surrounding it.
A new kayaking trail is helping to promote the island – already home to the Caribbean’s longest hiking trail – as a sustainable tourism destination Hugging the island’s dramatic west coast for more than 60km, the Waitukubuli Sea Trail is the Caribbean’s first dedicated sea kayaking route. It runs south to north along the island’s western coastline, taking in welcoming communities, secluded beaches, dramatic scenery and local cuisine.
The trail is the brainchild of long-time Caribbean Peace Corps worker Wes Moses, who opened Soufriere Outdoor Centre on the island’s south-west coast in 2022 after settling in Dominica in 2018. He’s also joined forces with coastal lodgings to create a network of accommodations along the trail’s 14 sections, with land-based hiking excursions and cultural experiences to enjoy along the way.
The country has taken a multifaceted approach to ensure climate resilience, includes having a strong focus on ecotourism and investment in eco-resorts. The country also made international news last year when it creased an 800-square-kilometre sperm whale sanctuary, with the reserve among other things now off-limits to commercial fishing.
About 500 sperm whales live off Dominica’s shores. Limited numbers of tourists can swim with them and view them from boats in the sanctuary. Dominica is focusing on sustainability goals for the island, including the successful adoption of clean energy. 28% of the country’s electricity is generated by hydropower and wind energy, more than any other country in the Caribbean Community region.
During a 2022-2023 budget presentation, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, presented updates on the construction of the geothermal power plant project that will be commissioned by the end of 2024 to improve independent energy resources. The Dominica Geothermal Development Company is developing the project and plans for a capacity plant that will be located in Roseau Valley.
Dominica is also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, relying on the Dominica Climate Resilience Recovery Plan.
In addition to funding conservation programs, Dominica has also banned single-use plastics. Furthermore, Dominica has introduced a number of eco-resorts, among them Coulibri Ridge, Jungle Bay Resort, Sanctuary Rainforest Eco Resort & Spa, and Secret Bay. They been built sustainably with every effort to consider the environment. For example, Secret Bay sustainably sources tropical hardwood for its villas. Many of the hotels also run on solar power, use eco-friendly crockery, cutlery, and glassware, and have a zero-waste policy.
“Overall, Dominica is named the Nature Island for a reason and these steps prove that they are planting the seeds for future eco-conscious growth. This way, future generations will be able to experience this truly unique island,” says Jerry Grymek of LMA Communications, which represents Dominica in this country.