A colourful Tufted Cocquette poised for a sip of vervine nectar. Photo by Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Grow wild

You don’t need to venture deep into the forest to encounter fascinating wildlife. Even an ordinary urban garden can attract birds, butterflies, and more, if you know how. Sharon Millar tells you how.

La Soufrière caldera, St Vincent. Photo by Jonathan Palmer/Mustique Airways

Caribbean volcanoes: fire down below

Shaped by subterranean forces, the islands of the Lesser Antilles are an arc of volcanoes — some extinct, some dormant, some still active. And among their dramatic forested peaks, crater lakes, and hot springs, amateur vulcanologists (and ordinary tourists) can find ample evidence of our planet’s restless energy.

Mangroves and sea grass flourish in Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon. Photo courtesy Waitt Institute

Barbuda — precious blue

For islands, coastal waters form a boundary, but also a source of life, offering food and other resources, and protection from storms. When Barbuda’s coast began to suffer from decades of pollution and overfishing, the Blue Halo Initiative stepped in. Nazma Muller finds out more.

A flock of scarlet ibis take flight over the mudflats of Guyana’s eastern coast. Photo by Pete Oxford

Guyana times five

Stretching six hundred miles from north to south, Guyana is “the land of many waters” — but also of many landscapes, from coast to mountain, river to savannah. As the country celebrates its fiftieth anniversary of Independence, we explore its stunning beauty through photos, while Brendan de Caires visits the “afterworld” of the Rupununi and Vidyaratha Kissoon and David Papannah explore the unique atmosphere of Georgetown.

Ducks at their ease, enjoying the tranquillity of the Pointe-àˆ-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. Photo by Stacey Williams

Wild as the wind: the Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust

Picture a lush oasis of lakes surrounded by green forest, where rare ducks swim among waterlilies, cormorants sun themselves on overhanging branches, and the cries of parakeets fill the air — and all this in the middle of an oil refinery complex. Andre Bagoo visits Trinidad’s Pointe-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, celebrating five decades of nurturing endangered birds.

Seed pods of the castor plant. Photograph by Nuttapong Wongcheronkit/Shutterstock.com

Castor oil, please

Nasty-tasting castor oil was once the bane of Caribbean childhoods. But now an innovative line of beauty products from Haiti is putting castor beans to a different use — and helping make Haiti’s hills green again, Nazma Muller reports.

Photograph courtesy Aruba Reusable Bag

The garbage problem: the Caribbean tackles recycling

Disposing of garbage is a growing concern for small islands with limited space for landfills. Aruba is tackling it head-on with an ambitious recycling programme, Nazma Muller explains — are other Caribbean countries following suit?.

Sargassum weed accumulating on Barbados’s east coast. Photograph by Romel Hall

Wide Sargassum sea

As coastlines across the Caribbean are inundated by masses of floating Sargassum weed, some entrepreneurs are trying to put the seaweed to good use. Shelly-Ann Inniss investigates.

The protected forest of Tobago’s Main Ridge is one of the Caribbean’s natural treasures. Photograph by Chris Anderson

Tobago: green as an island

Tobago may be best known for its breathtaking beaches, but the island’s natural beauty doesn’t end there. Helen Shair-Singh explores the attractions of forests, wetlands, and reefs, and explains how visitors can help preserve them for the future.

Panoramic view of Las Cuevas Bay. Photograph courtesy TDC

Show me your blue flag

Only three Caribbean countries so far have beaches certified by Blue Flag, an international programme for assessing the health of coastal waters. Nazma Muller investigates why this matters to sea-bathers and the tourism sector alike.