St. Kitts-Nevis To Benefit From 4 Mil Euro German Grant

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St. Kitts-Nevis To Benefit From 4 Mil Euro German Grant Pauline Ngunjiri St. Kitts and Nevis is among several OECS countries earmarked to benefit from a German grant of 4 million Euros for capacity building in the management and protection of marine life. The grant was awarded to St. Lucia-based The Nature Conservancy (TNC), said Dr. Sherry Constantine, TNC Program Manager, at a recent regional workshop held in Nevis. Thirty eight participants, drawn from the countries that will benefit from the grant -St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Grenada, attended the workshop. Dr. Constantine told the Observer that Dominica, which is still recovering from the devastation of Tropical Storm Erika, did not send a representative. She explained the purpose of having the workshop for those involved in preserving marine resources in the islands. “There are different components to the workshop and one component is to train the participants in collecting data related to marine management. The data will help decision makers to make better decisions on marine management,” she said. The facilitator said the funded project’s time frame is four years, 2013 to 2017. At the end of the project, she added, strong support systems will be built to improve and update an Eastern Caribbean Decision Support System (ECDSS) that provides accessible decision making tools and incorporates current ecological, socio-economic and climate change data. Dr. Constantine said after the training workshop, the countries represented will be facilitated financially to collect data over the next 18 months based on what they have learnt. In 2017 data collected will be compiled into a report and disseminated to various stakeholders involved in the management of marine life in the selected countries. Patricia Kramer, a US-based marine biologist, who was one of the facilitators at the workshop, said human activities impact negatively or positively on marine life, especially coral reef. “Everything we do affects the reef including how we handle trash. We should make sure there is no sedimentation that comes into the sea.” Tricia Greaux, a Habitat Monitoring Officer from the Department of Marine Management in St. Kitts said the fisheries legislation is being reviewed and the data collected will help in the legislation process. “The data collected is hoped to impact policy development,” she said.