IAS Project Regional Closeout Workshop

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts– The Ministry of Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment convened a three-day Regional Closeout Workshop conducted under the Global Environment Fund (GEF) dubbed Preventing the Cost of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Barbados and the OECS, from 20-22 March 2024 at the St Kitts Marriott Resort.

The Regional Close Out Workshop centres on the IAS project’s successes, lessons learned, and strategic partnerships in conserving biodiversity.

It includes a field trip, on Thursday 21 March 2024, to determine the impact of IAS on agriculture and livelihoods on both islands. On St Kitts, the delegation visited a farm to assess its monkey control measures as well as The St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation more commonly referred to as The Monkey Farm. On Nevis, the New River agricultural area was visited to learn more about the IAS control measures there.

In her remarks, Minister of Environment et al, the Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke said it is fitting to reflect upon the significance of the collective efforts in combatting the threats posed by Invasive Alien Species.

She said, “The journey we have undertaken through the “Preventing COSTS of Invasive Alien Species in Barbados and the OECS” project has been marked by collaboration, determination, and a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. I am pleased to acknowledge the significant strides made through the collaborative efforts. As we reflect on the journey of the project, it is evident that our sub-region has made commendable progress in strengthening our capacity to manage and control IAS.”

In attendance were key partners including the United Nations Environmental Partners (UNEP), Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), and national and regional partners.

The workshop will culminate with an outlook on maintaining sustainable actions to mitigate the threats of Invasive Alien Species. Key talking points included building a Biosecurity Risk Management Committee to sustain actions in endemic biodiversity in the Sustainable Island States. A case for the Caribbean’s Invasive Species Trust Fund will be among the topics to be discussed, as well as tools for enhancing surveillance of IAS.

The broader implications of the IAS project lean toward sustainable development and climate resilience. By addressing the threats posed by IAS, not only are obligations being fulfilled under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also advancing towards the execution of the Global Biodiversity Framework: Target 6, which calls for the prevention, control, and eradication of invasive alien species.

The overall project goal is to focus on prevention, early detection, and the establishment of control and management frameworks for Invasives.

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