The project to boost the brand of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve and create a management plan is in full effect. A UNESCO consultant is currently in St. Kitts and Nevis since the start of the week, meeting with stakeholders together with head of the St. Kitts and Nevis UNESCO Secretariat Mr. Antonio Maynard and St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve National Coordinator Markysa O’Loughlin. So far they have met with Minister of Education Shawn Richards, Minister Eugene Hamilton, the Solid Waste Management Corporation and other stakeholders, including an appearance on the radio talk show Voices on Tuesday. Ms. O’Loughlin listed the meetings they have had so far. “Some of the key persons we have met with are the minister of education as well as the minister of sustainable development, agriculture, marine resources and national housing and he is also coincidentally the constituency representative for this particular area,” Ms. O’Loughlin said. “So far both ministers have committed the support of their ministries behind this initiative.” She further disclosed that they met with relevant NGO committees and directors of ministries so far for the week.
Ms. June Marie, the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere consultant currently visiting the St. Kitts and Nevis, explained what her role entails. “We have been gathering a lot of information and contributions to the management plan of the biosphere reserve. That is our main task right now—what we want to get to and how we get there,” she said. “This is really about planning together; it has something about dreaming together because we need to dream to where we want to get to and that’s the only way to get somewhere if we know where we are going to,” Ms. Marie added.
Meanwhile, Head of the St. Kitts and Nevis UNESCO Secretariat Antonio Maynard spoke of the importance of the Man and Biosphere project to the environment and that UNESCO has been very supportive of the initiative. “There are 622 Biosphere Reserves in the world in 122 countries and we are fortunate to be leading the way in this Caribbean region on this particular programme. Over 10-15 years we were able to sustain this particular programme on St. Kitts and Nevis being implemented out of the local UNESCO Secretariat here on St. Kitts. We have gotten a lot of support from UNESCO Headquarters out of Paris and the UNESCO Jamaica office for the Caribbean,” Mr. Maynard disclosed.
There will be a workshop next week Tuesday involving stakeholders of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve that will be focusing on developing the management plan for the reserve. A subsequent report on this workshop will be released at a later date.