Interpretation centre opened at cabrits

first_img Tweet Sharing is caring! 29 Views   no discussions Share LocalNews Interpretation centre opened at cabrits by: – August 5, 2011center_img Share Share The opening of an Aquatic Interpretation Centre is expected to add a new marine dimension to the traditional forest experience of the Cabrits National Park.From now on, visitors to the park will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds – the lush green forest and the exciting marine environment of the Caribbean Sea.The centre was handed over to the Government and people of Dominica by the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States at the formal closing ceremony of the OPAAL project at the Cabrits National Park on Friday, July 29th, 2011.Director of the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division, Minchinton Burton, highlighted a few of the activities that were conducted under the project which includes the development of a management and communication plan for the marine section of the Cabrits National Park.“The selected site, which is the marine section of the Cabrits National Park, was selected due to the fact that there is still no active management structure in place for this section of the national park.  Of course, as most of us know, this park has two sections: the terrestrial section which most of us are accustomed with but there is also the marine section which a lot of people were not aware of.  This constitutes about eighty percent (80%) of the total national park, hence, the significance of this section.”The project, which ran for five years, was geared at conserving biodiversity and increasing the involvement of civil society and the private sector. It focused mainly on the marine component of the Cabrits National Park with the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division as the national implementing entity.OECS Secretariat, David Popo, said that the citizens of Dominica have and will continue to benefit from the training and seed funding component of the project.“We are really pleased that approximately fifty-four (54) persons and over were trained, strengthening the capacity and also as well approximately thirty-one (31) persons received grant funds, totalling approximately and over three hundred thousand EC dollars (XCD$300 00.00).  I just want to note, very quickly, that a lot of the investments went to the fishers; approximately seventeen (17) fishers and Jacqueline ensured that those persons qualified. There was a great demand to the point that we also had to increase the seat funding from its original budget.”Head of the OECS ESDU, Keith Nichols, said that the centre will play an important role in positioning Cabrits National Park as a high quality destination for visitors and residents alike. He encouraged everyone to play an active role in managing the use of the island’s natural resources.“It is extremely important that we recognize and appreciate the fact that notwithstanding our God-given natural blessings, these assets do represent fragile and irreplaceable ecosystems that can easily be destroyed if extra care is not taken to manage our natural assets in a sustainable manner.  In fact, as we speak, we have a plethora of issues and activities impacting our natural environment, a number of which have dire consequences for the survival of species, habitats and entire ecosystem.  And I add, have dire consequences for ourselves as well if we don’t manage the vital resources adequately.”Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Walter, pledged Government’s commitment to provide the necessary support towards the further development of the Cabrits National Park and its environs.“A tangible demonstration of this is the development of the hotel funded by the Moroccan Government on your entrance into the park which should be commenced shortly.  There are also plans for a marina in the area which is expected to further enhance economic opportunities for the residents.  We are cognizant of the environmental sensitivity associated with undertaking such projects and can assure one and all that every step will be taken to ensure that these projects are undertaken in a manner which gives due consideration to protecting the environment and with very minimal effects the Cabrits National Park.  While providing increased livelihood opportunities for stakeholders around the parks.”The OPAAL project was officially launched in Dominica in April, 2005. It was funded by the Global Environment Facility of the United Nations through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.By: Emmanuel JosephGovernment Information Servicelast_img

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