The Saint Lucia National Trust along with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Departments of Forestry and Fisheries, PCI Media Impact, ECO South Tours, the Au Picon Charcoal and Agricultural Producers and the Grenada Fund for Conservation, are hosting a ‘Mangrove Discovery Week’ from November 14th to 20th.
From January 2016 these agencies have been collaborating with local communities in Vieux Fort and Praslin to restore and reforest the Ma’ Kôté Mangroves in Vieux Fort which experienced some die off in 2006. The Ma’ Kôté mangrove is situated opposite the George Odlum
Stadium in Vieux Fort and is the largest mangrove stand in the Eastern Caribbean. This very valuable mangrove area provides some essential ecosystem services including serving as a sanctuary for juvenile fish, protection from storm surge and restricting coastal erosion. In 2002, under the RAMSAR Convention, the Ma’ Kôté Mangrove was declared a Ramsar Site. This means that the Ma’ Kôté mangrove is an area ‘of global significance’ and that the protection of Ma’ Kôté is not only necessary for Saint Lucia, but the globe. Recent restoration efforts in the affected area by the Trust and its partners look promising. Restoration of the mangroves has also received significant support from USAID through the OECS RACC Project.
The highlight of ‘Mangrove Discovery Week’ is a three day reforestation event that will involve the planting of approximately 4000 seedlings which have been propagated from a nursery, recently established to facilitate mangrove restoration. The orgarnisers have targeted school children aged 6 to 12; members of the Saint Lucia National Trust; community-based organizations; staff of local businesses; members of environmental groups; and community members from across Saint Lucia, but especially from the southern districts to participate.
Most primary and secondary schools in the south of the island will be planting mangroves at Ma’ Kôté on Friday the 18th of November. The general public, as well as organized groups are invited on Saturday, November 19th and Sunday the 20th to participate in planting activities at Ma’ Kôté. Families are especially invited as there will also be fun activities, a mini exhibition and entertainment.
For further information please call the National Trust’s Southern Office at 454-5014 or PCI Media Impact at 452-0864.