Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 21, 2018 (SKNIS): Approximately thirty (30) persons tackled Nevis Peak on Saturday, August 18, as an awareness raising activity aimed at highlighting and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.
“The hike to Nevis Peak was the fourth in a series of activities supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Project, called Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management (IWECO) in Caribbean Small Island Developing States, explained Ilis Watts, National Coordinator of the GEF SGP in St. Kitts and Nevis. “ It allowed persons to appreciate our abundance of natural resources and to understand the need to use it sustainably.”
Reginald Thomas, Owner of Nevis Adventure Tours and the guide who facilitated the trip, explained that he began undertaking these hikes since 2011, noting that he was pleased that the hiking trail has been well preserved. Thomas proudly stated that the trail is very clean and almost 100% human-debris free. On the way down, he was seen taking pieces of plastic bags and an old shoe sole left from some time before.
“When we started these hikes, this particular trail was littered with garbage, plastic bottles, food wrappers and containers and even discarded shoes,” said Mr. Thomas. “I used to walk with bags just to take debris off the trail when I conducted my hikes. We started a Facebook campaign where we encourage persons not to litter – take only photos and leave only footprints. This was noticed by several of the seasoned hikers who marveled at the cleanliness of the trail.”
The national coordinator said that the Small Grants Programme SKN is hoping to develop a “I was here” signature-based network for hikers and users of the peaks and trails throughout the Federation.
“One of the things we would like to do coming out of this hike is to develop, in collaboration with partners in tourism, tour guides, ministries of environments and the communities, a virtual signature book for all peaks and trails in the Federation,” said Ms. Watts. “We will create a platform for persons to enter the site and “sign” their names, add a photo, and make a comment. One of the questions, the person who logs onto the site answers will be “what did you do as part of this experience to sustain and preserve our natural environment?”
The hike was sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) and allowed avid nature lovers, students, researchers, teachers and members of environmentally conscious groups and organizations to scale the over 3200ft peak.
Persons interested in finding out more about the Small Grants Programme and the work the programme supports can visit the global website www.sgp.undp.org<http://www.sgp.undp.org/>
or they can contact the local office on West Independence Square Street, Basseterre, at 1-869-662-3135.