Fisheries Dept holds consultation for setting up Conservation Fund for MPA

More than 40 persons representing a wide cross section of stakeholders who will benefit from the National Conservation Fund, recently participated in a consultation aimed at getting their comments and reaction to draft legislations for setting up the Grenada National Conservation Trust Fund.

Grenada is implementing a regional project entitled “The Sustainable Financing and Management of the Eastern Caribbean Marine Ecosystem project” which began in 2012. The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and Environment is the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for the project, and Grenada received a grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), German Development Bank (KfW) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to the amount of 4.3 Million US dollars which capitalized the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF).

National Marine Protected Areas Coordinator Roland Baldeo said that as a result of the project, the Grenada National Conservation Trust Fund will be set up through parliamentary legislation by the Grenada Government for which the ‘interest’ from the CBF will be channeled.

Participants at MPA consultation“Therefore, the consultation provided an opportunity for  stakeholders who will be directly affected and or benefit from the Fund, to  feedback is very necessary as we prepare to  take it through the final stage before it become legislation,” he said.

Baldeo explains that beginning from early 2014, Grenada will be able to draw down an amount of EC$500,000  annually, which would be used to support Marine Protection Areas including  support for interventions in coastal areas and watersheds which impact heavily on our reefs and the marine environment. “And it’s through that Fund the money will be channel, so we have to get it right and create a framework which will have the input of all involved,” he said.

The Workshop was opened by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Mrs Bernadette Sylvester Lendore. In her remarks she reiterated the Ministry’s continuing support towards the establishment and management of Marine Protected Areas nationally.

She also informed stakeholders that Grenada will soon be receiving critical support for strengthening and improving the management of an existing MPA under a new project funded by the German Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation, in collaboration with the Caribbean Environment Health Institute.

Chief Fisheries Officer Mr. Justin Rennie outlined the importance of the fishing industry to the economic development of Grenada and sustainability to the participants, while National MPA Coordinator Roland Baldeo presented an overview of the national MPA program and the vision for governance of MPA’s, where communities and stakeholders will be empowered under a co-management approach. There were also presentations by Mr Robbie Bovino of The Nature Conservancy, and Dan Bailey of the UK legal firm Ropes and Grey about the legal framework.

There are presently three marine protected areas established in Grenada — the Moliniere/Beausejour MPA, The Sandy Island/Oyster Bed MPA in Carriacou, and the Woburn/Clarke’s Court Bay MPA.

Consultations will begin shortly for establishing the Grand Anse fathom reefs as an MPA, while additional priority areas are being considered for protection. They include: Levera, South Coast of Grenada, and White Island off Carriacou.

All these projects are expected to benefit from “The Sustainable Financing and Management of the Eastern Caribbean Marine Ecosystem project,” through the conservation Fund.

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