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£83,915 for local conservation project- NPT

The launch of the Darwin Project Vegetation Mapping for the Virgin Islands was held today December 12, 2013 when it was announced that some £83,915 has been granted for its execution. Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (left) was on hand to give his blessings. Photo: VINO
The launch of the project was held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Road Town where the project was detailed by Chairman of the National Parks Trust (NPT) Ms Sheila N. Braithwaite. Photo: VINO
The launch of the project was held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Road Town where the project was detailed by Chairman of the National Parks Trust (NPT) Ms Sheila N. Braithwaite. Photo: VINO
UK Overseas Territories Programme Coordinator, Mr Martin A. Hamilton gave a brief tour of some of the special features of the botanical garden and spoke of the UK's involvement. Photo: VINO
UK Overseas Territories Programme Coordinator, Mr Martin A. Hamilton gave a brief tour of some of the special features of the botanical garden and spoke of the UK's involvement. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The launch of the Darwin Project Vegetation Mapping for the Virgin Islands (VI) was held today, December 12, 2013 when it was announced that some £83,915 has been granted for the execution of the project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering was on hand to give his blessings and in his brief address spoke of the significance of the project as it relates to the furtherance of the tourism industry of the VI.

‘My presence here today is in a large part a testament the Ministry’s commitment and dedication to the preservation and conservation of these Virgin Islands and to the sound good management and conservations of the environment and our patrimony.”

The launch of the project was held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Road Town where the project was detailed by Chairman of the National Parks Trust (NPT) Ms Sheila N. Braithwaite. She said the Darwin Initiative Plus Fund of the United Kingdom’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has granted the NPT £83,915 to undertake the project for a 21-month period.

The project, titled ‘conserving plant diversity and establishing ecosystem based approaches to the management of forest ecosystems in the British Virgin Islands’ builds on two previous Darwin Initiative funded projects, which have identified four endemic and sixteen  threatened species in the Virgin Islands.

“Initial work of the National Parks Trust and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has yielded an improved understanding of the distribution and number of plants which are important to us. Under this project, a broader survey of habitats to further enhance and build on the former surveys will be undertaken,” Ms Braithwaite explained.

The National Parks Trust and Kew will identify the distribution of these and other threatened species to allow better conservation management within and outside of protected areas. This project will also provide data that will feed into the creation of a decision support tool for on-going management of these areas, it will inform the VI Government development planning process and formalise recommended management activities through the creation of a draft management plan for forest ecosystems that will be used by the NPT, the Town and Country Planning Department and the Conservation and Fisheries Department. 

“This project will strengthen the base of information available to the network of departments that use Geographic Information Systems information to facilitate watershed management with an aim to reduce erosion, as we better plan for development in upland forests which then impacts coastal areas. Other benefits will include the provision of educational and awareness information that will be shared through the Department of Education and the BVI Tourist Board in order to sensitize students, residents and visitors of the unique flora of the Virgin Islands,” added Ms Braithwaite.

The role of the J.R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens will change over time, as it will increasingly be used as the national repository which will house collections of threatened and endangered species for the Territory. According to Ms Braithwaite, over time, the Gardens will be engaged in the transformation required to serve as the national botanic garden that will hold a collection of plants of importance. 

The collections at the Botanic Gardens will be enhanced for a more unique experience for students, residents and visitors. “We will witness our initial efforts to this avail, as we inspect with the Minister the recently established collection of threatened and endangered species collection at the Gardens,” Ms Braithwaite concluded.

The Trust said it anticipates many benefits to the Territory in an improved base of information of the plant diversity of the Virgin Islands and therefore looks forward to the day when the understanding of the uniqueness and natural patrimony is further enhanced.

5 Responses to “£83,915 for local conservation project- NPT”

  • bay yute (12/12/2013, 16:29) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    hope they put it to good use and not another concert leaving us in the red under the last chairlady now speaker
  • ... (12/12/2013, 19:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ok then
  • conservationist (13/12/2013, 05:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    money well needed
  • shaw (14/12/2013, 00:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    "...it will inform the VI Government development planning process and formalise recommended management activities through the creation of a draft management plan for forest ecosystems that will be used by the NPT, the Town and Country Planning Department and the Conservation and Fisheries Department."

    Too bad these departments get overridden at will and their attempts at regulations are ignored. Can you see a big development project being halted because of a grove of endangered trees or rare lizards? I think not. The government would ignore that.
  • two man (14/12/2013, 17:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wil be the first to say ndp need to go but we not replacing with any recycled political light weight


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