According to an OECS-issued press release, the OECS Secretariat will hand over the vessel on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.
The vessel, which was recently purchased from a Saint Lucia-based agency, is estimated at a value of US$129,804 and is being presented to the Trust to manage the aforementioned conservation site, which is located on the south coast of St. Lucia.
The vessel is meant to boost the conservation efforts of the St. Lucia National Trust; in particular, the Trust is expected to use the vessel to increase surveillance of the marine area of Point Sable, and to improve the general management of the area.
The vessel is the third so far purchased by the OECS Secretariat through the OPAAL project and OECS officials anticipate that the Trust will soon intensify its operations in the area in order to heighten public awareness of its importance to biodiversity conservation, improve sustainable livelihoods and promote long-term preservation for future generations.
The vessel was procured through the OPAAL project, a five year development project, being executed by the OECS Secretariat through its Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU), in partnership with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank) acting as an Implementing Agency of the GEF; and the Fond Français de l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) of the Government of France.
In previous years, similar vessels have been purchased for the Tobago Cays Marine Park (TCMP) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the North East Marine Management Area in Antigua and Barbuda.
(Content for this article was obtained from an OECS press release)