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CARIBBEAN - conservation

Caribbean Regional Environmental Programme (CREP)

Wednesday 20, August-2003

THE BARBADOS-based Caribbean Regional Environmental Programme (CREP) is now set to launch two phases of a million-dollar project involving 13 CARICOM states.

CREP’s work-plan for the launching of a demonstration project at specific sites in the participating countries and for raising regional environmental awareness (REA) has been approved, and a total of 2.7 million Euro has been committed towards these programme components.

The demonstration project has identified a number of amenity areas in the region of significant ecological and economic value, and through a process of training and capacity building it is envisioned that these sites will serve as examples of how similar areas can be better managed by strengthening collaboration between governments and civil society organisations.

“The objective is to set into motion a long-term sustainable development process where resident communities derive social and economic benefits from activities which internalise environmental conservation as the basis for their value,” said Cathal Healy-Singh, CREP’s programme manager.

The amenity areas are:

Codrington Lagoon in Antigua and Barbuda;

Central Andros National Park in the Bahamas;

Scotland District in Barbados;

Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Payne’s Creek National Park in Belize;

The Carib Territory in Dominica;

Sandy Island/Oyster Bed Marine Protected Area in Carriacou;

Negril Environmental Protection Area in Jamaica;

Bath House/Bogs Area in St Kitts/Nevis;

Fond D’or Nature and Historic Park in St Lucia;

North Leeward Communities Richmond & Lashum in St Vincent and the Grenadines;

Brownsberg Nature Park and Brownsweg Community in Suriname,

Galleons Passage which comprises northeast Trinidad from Matura to Matelot and the Buccoo area in Tobago.

Healy-Singh also believes the project will assist governments in formulating policies that would focus on the sustainable use of resources.

“CREP can put good food on the table of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy by demonstrating how key stakeholders in demonstration sites can turn the corner towards sustainable use of their natural resources, by striking a balance between economic activity, social well-being and environmental management. Ultimately, the lessons learnt are intended to inform government policy on future development planning,” he said.

The demonstration projects will be launched in each country during the period from September to December this year.

The REA component foresees production and dissemination of five elements; two commercial video productions, a regional syndicated newspaper column titled Conversations with the Earth, a CD compilation of songs and poetry on environmental and integration themes by a variety of Caribbean culture producers, and a radio comedy-drama series set in a typical Caribbean household, are also foreseen.

Additionally, the prototype for a one-cent money tree‚ will be designed for public spaces.

The video productions will highlight the challenges and goals of the demonstration projects narrated by children, and the values and lifestyles of indigenous Caribbean peoples, emphasising their knowledge and respect for Earth.

Another CREP component – strengthening of regional environmental information networks (REIN) – using computer workstations to link 15 Government departments and 13 NGOs with environmental responsibilities to each other, across the region, is already underway.

Also underway is a capacity-building component through which the Caribbean Conservation Association and the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute are developing training modules for Government and NGO focal point organisations directly involved in implementing the demonstration projects in the 13 CARICOM States.

The training is in protected areas management and collaborative management and participatory planning. These institutional capacity-building initiatives are intended to deepen the regional integration process between government and civil society.

Compliments of the Nation News


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