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Large Events Pose Challenges For Pigeon Island Landmark

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The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) has stated that Pigeon Island National Landmark’s historic layout and fragile historic structures pose undeniable challenges for hosting large-scale events. 

According to the Trust, as event sizes grow, exceeding a certain capacity becomes increasingly unsustainable and unsafe.

The SLNT said while the Landmark has become a favoured venue for tourism and events, it was essential to recognize its primary role as an internationally recognised historical heritage park

” Pigeon Island National Landmark can foreseeably maintain its crucial role in the Jazz Festival by hosting smaller, more intimate events, allowing the larger events transition to larger, more suitable venues,” the organisation observed in a statement.

The complete statement appears below:

The Saint Lucia National Trust (the Trust) acknowledges the Minister of Tourism’s recent remarks concerning the management of Saint Lucia’s historic and natural treasure, the Pigeon Island National Landmark (the Landmark).

With a proud partnership with the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival spanning thirty-one years, the Trust is advocating for a collaborative, strategic and solutions-oriented approach to address the evolving venue management landscape, while upholding sustainability and heritage conservation.

The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival is recognised as one of the premier events in the Caribbean and is poised for continued significant growth:  The Trust is cognizant of the need for a symbiotic relationship between heritage conservation, culture and tourism, and emphasizes mutual respect for each sector’s values and priorities.

We firmly believe that through open dialogue and collaboration, a harmonious balance can be achieved – one that carefully safeguards our heritage assets for future generations, while harnessing the potential of our vital tourism industry. 

As Saint Lucians, we cherish our island’s rich history, often referred to as the “Helen of the West” for its unparalleled beauty and the storied conflicts between the French and British. Pigeon Island National Landmark stands as a tangible testament to this narrative.

Preceding the causeway’s construction linking Pigeon Island to mainland Saint Lucia, visionaries including Sir Julian Hunte and Robert Devaux, advocated for its preservation as a heritage park.

They were successful and their efforts also culminated in the establishment of the Trust, dedicated to safeguarding Saint Lucia’s heritage. As Sir Julian emphasized on Earth Day 2022, “Our job is to ensure that we do not throw away our patrimony.”

While the Landmark has become a favoured venue for tourism and events, it’s essential to recognize its primary role as an internationally recognised historic heritage park.

The Trust collaborates closely with tourism operators and event organizers to ensure sustainable use of this unique heritage space, steered by legislation such as the Trust Act and Pigeon Island Byelaws. These laws provide clear guidelines for site usage and maintaining the delicate balance between utilization and conservation.

The Trust consistently urges event organizers to adhere to the regulations, along with the 2009 Cabinet-approved Mass Crowd Events Guidelines, which set standards and safety requirements.

However, the Landmark’s historic layout and fragile historic structures pose undeniable challenges for hosting large-scale events. As event sizes grow, it becomes increasingly unsustainable and unsafe to continue exceeding a certain capacity at the Landmark: Pigeon Island National Landmark can foreseeably maintain its crucial role in the Jazz Festival by hosting smaller, more intimate events, allowing the larger events transition to larger, more suitable venues.

In response to this challenge, the Trust has taken proactive measures: An audit of Festival events at Pigeon Island National Landmark was conducted by events management expert Ms. Bernadette Albert; The findings, shared with Festival Management partners in August 2023, underscore the need for updated venue management strategies.

The Saint Lucia National Trust is committed to this process of dialogue, and to collaboratively seek solutions that uphold the integrity of Pigeon Island National Landmark and Saint Lucia’s heritage other spaces, while pursuing sustainable tourism practices.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Someone need to ask the Trust how much is the Tourism Authority paying for the usage of the park for Jazz Then you will get a better idea of what really going on

  2. The national trust is very correct. The statement made by Hilaire was way out of place.

  3. What are we saving these space for not for us to use? I am all for protecting it but it should used for it’s recreational purposes. Jazz is only once a year not much goes on beyond May per say, but if it has exceeded its space then they should consider having it at the cricket grounds but that’s another Hale Mary another’s bunch is going to complain about the “grounds” same way. That’s why they need to finish St Jude’s and fix the stadiums they can use it to have jazz and everything else in between, but you know how that would play out just the mention of the thought you know how these fools will find fault with everything.

  4. If our government is truly serious about the importance of jazz and other mass crowd events and their contribution to our economy why has it not invested in properly identifying, developing and designating the space for such? After 30 yrs we still uncertain about where to host? If the Trust had not been firm about conserving that space it would not have been available for this use. Today is the THE PARK, tomorrow is the CACABEF, day after is PIGEON POINT BEACH. The government is busy selling land to foreigners but our local enjoyment is at stake. All we get is the little strip that’s left over. Be responsible, “LEADERS”.

  5. Use DSH lands and the horse track! …..Bring in desalinization units from Saudi Arabia the leading users of these systems worldwide ..research it……
    Saudia Arabia desalinization plants…..have of the country’s water is from desalinization, only 40% from ground water!,,,,,, an @ Be Responsible: Exactly like the pigeon island article on Jazz being moved says” As Sir Julian emphasized on Earth Day 2022, “Our job is to ensure that we do not throw away our patrimony.”” Check Cabot……
    How is this not resonating with you RF and UWP an SLP…..The rest of Cas En Bas beach is sold an now the rest of Reduit beach is gone! To Alia ,,,,, smph
    What about our water ….2 months we had no Wasco flow distribution of water two months January feb2024!???

  6. You wanna make headlines…Hilarie. ….St Lucia The first Caribbean county sitting very close to the equator to start Desalination…..
    Now that would bring notoriety’s, respect and worldreknown valor utilizing what we all KNOW….in the future ,the near future we will need!…….bc water is extremely limited on this island from Wasco!.

  7. Hilarie is an out of place man but Pigeon Island is a small park on a small country. How much space can we save to keep cutting style on the people. It’s already not free to access in order to afford maintenance. People hardly ever go there because it isn’t even half as beautiful as it was years ago. These ppl get paid alot for events and small private functions. Please put out the figures. The name of that Forte needs to change anyway because that whole place would have been useless if it wasn’t due to Comptons vision.

  8. When I mentioned Hilaire was out of place re: the statement he made on the subject. He said, “we will have to look at the management of the NCA and how they manage.” That gave me Chastenet vibes. In my opinion, they (NCA and stakeholders) should get to the table and talk about how they can come to a solution and not a government minister going on the media and putting his foot in his mouth.

  9. Look when the trust was headed by toolsie he was not in alignment of no political goons. Pegion Island national park will be tossed like a dice until a certain politician get to lay hands on it. Mark my word, the trust is riddle with corrupted political individuals because the assets they are managing is what certain politicians need to build hotels, soon they will cut funding causing the maintenance to collapse and it falls into the predator hands like a gift. How much money does the entity generates annually, it is public record if so then publish it, so the people of this island can have a realistic input. Next 30yrs from now st. lucians will struggle to walk on their own soil

  10. The very name “NATIONAL LANDMARK” says it all.
    Yesterday’s “leaders” were very correct in their assumptions of keeping it in “patrimony”. Unfortunately, it seems “Joe Public” does not understand that language (so sue me!!). St Lucia is already becoming infamous in not cherishing its history and patronage. Our current politicians, from after John Compton. Julian Hunte, et al, have lost the visions of what was intended for St Lucia by these visionaries. Instead we have now “grand standers” with ABSOLUTELY NO VISION for this “Fair Helen”. (So Sue Me!)

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