BASSETERRE (26TH April, 2016): The Heart of St. Kitts Foundation has launched a new website that will give visitors and locals the opportunity to invest in sustainability projects that preserve and benefit the environment, culture, heritage, and livelihoods of the island’s residents.
The Heart of St. Kitts Foundation was launched in January to build awareness of sustainability priorities in St. Kitts and provide funding for local projects that make St. Kitts a better and more sustainable place to live in and experience. The Foundation will engage tourists, local tourism enterprises and international organizations, and source the resources needed to translate this awareness into action.
Businesses, residents, and visitors can now visit www.heartofstkitts.org to learn more about the Foundation and the various projects that are being implemented. Also at the website is a donation portal, where contribution to the Foundation can be made. One hundred percent of donations will directly support projects in St. Kitts, in the following areas:
Conservation of Marine and coastal habitat
Improvement of waste management
Preservation of local culture and heritage sites
Support for new community-driven tourism products
The Heart of St. Kitts Foundation is currently raising funds to support its three pilot projects:
1.The Old Sugar Railway Rails to Trails Project, which is a strategic partnership between public agencies, private enterprises, community groups and residents in St. Kitts to restore and convert the old sugar railway into a hiking and biking trail that will promote community integrity and restore national historical pride
2.Beach Clean Ups: the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation will support regular beach clean-ups and awareness building activities around the impacts of litter on coastal ecosystems, the economy, and community pride.
3.Waste Management Project: St. Kitts-Nevis generates 5.45 kilograms of trash per capita every day. This poses a significant problem for the island when locals have little to no access to recycling services. This project will facilitate much needed improvements in St. Kitts’ long term waste management infrastructure goals.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton, said the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation will play a fundamental role in preserving St. Kitts’ future as a leading tourism destination by building a coalition of local tourism enterprises that share a sense of ownership of the island’s sustainability story and lead the sector in best practices.
“The vision is to ensure that locals and visitors contribute to the lasting legacy of the cultural and environmental well-being of St. Kitts as stewards of the island,” Mrs. Morton said. “Since 2012, we have partnered with international NGO, Sustainable Travel International to achieve our common agenda – to improve lives and protect places through travel and tourism. Through our collaborative efforts, we’ve achieved multiple accolades in Sustainable Destination Management at the Ministry level.”
Mrs. Morton pointed out that St. Kitts was one of the first destinations in the world to be accepted as an Early Adopter of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria for Destinations and is now a founding member of the Sustainable Destination Alliance of the America’s.
The Heart of St. Kitts Foundation is made possible by a dedicated group of individuals and organizations in St. Kitts and around the world. The development and launch of the Foundation is in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, a US based non-profit organization, which is responsible for the financial administration and financial reporting of the Foundation.