Saint Lucia advancing Protected Areas Management

Press Release:-January 25, 2017 – The Department of Sustainable Development in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations, and Sustainable Development is hosting a 3-day workshop with key Protected Area (PA) stakeholders on the island from January 25 to 27, 2017.

The aim of this second   workshop, is to develop an action plan to support the formal adoption and implementation of a Systems Plan for Protected Areas for Saint Lucia.  This initiative is funded and facilitated by the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme and implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The drive to create such a plan began in 1992 at the impetus of the Saint Lucia National Trust, and attained a framework through the 2009 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods (OPAAL) Project.  

 Mr. Augustine Dominique, Protected Areas Manager with the Department of Sustainable Development, believes that the Department is actively pursuing the establishment and sustenance of an effective and integrated system of PAs for the island. As such, the action plan is expected to recommend strategies to assist with the development of a national policy on PA and to guide the process of Adopting a Systems Plan for PA.

The workshop is taking place in the Ixora Conference Room of the Bay Gardens Inn with approximately twenty (25) participants drawn from various government departments, NGOs, and CBOs with vested interest in the success of this initiative.  

These include the Departments of Sustainable Development; Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources and Co-operatives and Physical Planning; the Saint Lucia National Trust, the Trust for the Management of Rivers, the United Nations Development Programme’s Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (UNDP-GEF-SGP) in Saint Lucia, the OECS Commission and the IUCN.

Ms. Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn, IUCN Protected Areas Officer says that working with the responsible agencies in Saint Lucia to advance the implementation of the Systems Plan for Protected Areas aligns with the focus of BIOPAMA’s work in the region for the last 3 years.

 Moreover, the work being done in the region is to improve and enhance biodiversity and natural resource management primarily through building capacity of technical personnel and strengthening national institutions in their governance and management of our valuable natural resources.