Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 20, 2018 (SKNIS): The Department of Environment and the Department of Marine Resources in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Conserving Biodiversity Project will be conducting a marine ecological assessment within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKNMMA).
The assessment, which will be carried out at the conservation zones in Keys, Sandy Point and the Narrows from June 13-24 and August 01-18, 2018, was explained by Phynora Ible, Conservation Biodiversity Project Associate working with the local Department of Environment.
“The overall task is to conduct a biodiversity and ecological assessment to expand on the existing baseline data that would be used to further support current and future coastal and marine resource management decision-making in and around St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area at the conservation zones,” she said. “Knowledge sharing is key, therefore, local expert knowledge will be integrated into this experience as Marine and Beach Conservation Officers, staff from St. Kitts Physical Planning, and Department of Fisheries Nevis, will be working with the team of ecological inventory experts from Envision Mapping Ltd. out of the United Kingdom.”
Ms. Ible stated that the data collected will aid greatly in strengthening the management of the SKNMMA. She further added that the Departments of Environment and Marine Resources seek the continued cooperation of persons living in these areas and the general public at large.
“Remember, when it involves #SKNMarineResources to #Use #Protect #Conserve to support #SKNbiodiversity!” she added.
St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) Coast Guard Unit will also play a vital role in the marine ecological assessment as they will assist the departments in successfully carrying out and completing the task.
“The assistance that we will be offering is the use of one of our ribs, as well as a team of four officers. This is mainly to take the ecological inventory experts to the designated sites where they need to collect the data from,” said Midshipman Carlus Garnette.
Consultants Ian Sutheran and Allison Benson from Envision Mapping are currently in St. Kitts and Nevis leading the assessment.