World Population Day is an annual event, which is observed on July 11 of each year. Its purpose is to raise awareness of global population issues.
At Hamanasi Resort, in Hopkins Belize we decided to celebrate this day in our own little way. Hamanasi’s Green Team hosts an information sharing session for guest every Tuesdays from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm In an effort to celebrate World Population Day, our Green Team decided to team up with Citizen Science GIS (Geographic Information System) from the University of Central Florida and for them to share some of the work they have been doing within our community of Hopkins.
First, who is Citizen Science GIS and what do they do? Citizen Science GIS is a group of students along with their professor, Dr. Timothy Hawthorne, and Senior Research Coordinator, Ms. Lain Graham, that champions innovative, community based applications of GIS, drones and spatial storytelling to examine social and environmental inequalities. Some of the group’s major research areas here in Belize include flooding and disaster management, coastal and community development, accessibility to social services, coastal restoration and preservation, and beach debris.
At Hamanasi our Grounds personnel cleans the beach in front of the property on a daily basis. In the past the inorganic debris that was
found was just discarded. Now we have developed a program jointly with Citizen Science to keep a record of the types of waste that are washing up on our shores. We hope to use this information to better understand the different kinds of debris and ways to mitigate the problem. This activity also is being done on the entire stretch of Hopkins’ beach.
As the world’s population grows, we struggle to develop in harmony with nature. We struggle to safely and properly dispose of our waste. An old saying says, out of sight out of mind. Most people feel this way about garbage. At Hamanasi, our waste is our business, and we strive to dispose of it in an environmentally sound manner.
In closing, when you come to Hamanasi, ask for a tour of our organic garden, our compost facility and our recycling station. We love to share our sustainable initiatives!