Basseterre, St. Kitts — The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in collaboration with the Department of Marine Resources will host the first Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN) Project national consultation in St. Kitts and Nevis on January 16, 2014 at the National Emergency Management Agency (NADMA) Conference Room, Basseterre from 9:30 am. The meeting is the first step in determining how best to utilize project funds for improved marine resources and fisheries management, and enhanced livelihood opportunities in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The ECMMAN project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (ICI) via The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). This is a four year project (2014 – 2017) that will invest over EC$14.7 million, to improve fisheries and conserve and restore marine resources, while providing for sustainable job opportunities. With actions in the 6 OECS countries of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, the project will focus on:
- Establishing new and strengthening existing marine management areas;
- Supporting fisher organizations and providing support for new livelihood opportunities;
- Improving access to data and information regarding management of marine resources; and
- Instituting sustainable funding mechanisms to support marine management as part of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative.
In St. Kitts and Nevis, the project will be implemented by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), in collaboration with the Department of Marine Resources. In addition, TNC is working with five partner organizations that will implement specific components of the project.
- OECS Secretariat, Social and Sustainable Development Division, will run the livelihood program that will fund projects via individual grants.
- UNEP SPAW-RAC acting through the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Managers (CaMPAM) network will assist with the strengthening of marine protected areas via a small grants program.
- CARIBSAVE will assist by conducting detailed livelihood assessments and monitoring programs.
- Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat acting through the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO) will strengthen fisher organizations through capacity building initiatives.
- PCI Media Impact will handle aspects of the public awareness, education and outreach components of the project.
The Department of Marine Resources envisages significant benefits to St. Kitts and Nevis under this project. Some of these benefits include:
- Protection and conservation of marine resources through the declaration of a new protection regime for the coastal areas in St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Provision of training for fishers in areas such as safety at sea and proper fish handling and preparation techniques.
- Provision of assistance with the implementation of livelihood opportunities in the areas of aquaculture; sport fishing; fish preservation, packaging and distribution; and craft production.
- Strengthening of fisher organizations to enable local fisherfolk to have increased ability to participate in the crafting of plans and actions that impact their livelihoods.
- The collection of stories and experiences from fishers and residents of coastal communities and the communication of lessons learned to other relevant stakeholders to enhance decision making.
Further, the Department of Marine Resources is looking forward to working with TNC and the other implementing partners on this four year project that will result in substantial benefits to the lives of fishers and residents of coastal communities and will enhance the protection and conservation of the marine resources of St. Kitts and Nevis that our people depend upon.