“Restoration and stabilization of the leeward and windward access trail of the La Soufriere Volcano”
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation Fund (SVGCF), on Thursday, June 8th, 2023, signed a Grant Agreement with the National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA), for the project titled “Restoration and stabilization of the leeward and windward access trail of the La Soufriere Volcano”, for the amount of $274,905.59 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (XCD), under the SVGCF Volcano Recovery Grant with financing from the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF).
The Project will provide a quality visitor experience in line with safety, security, enjoyment and conservation awareness. The project has the following objectives:
The project is expected to have a life cycle of 4 months and will be executed in collaboration with the SVG Forestry Department and National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).
Vice-Chair of the SVGCF, Ms. Louise Mitchell expressed that the SVGCF stands ready to assist the government and entities like the NPRBA to ensure that spaces like the La Soufriere are well managed and protected for posterity. She also expressed that while the La Soufriere is one of our most popular tourism product, it has not yet been declared as a protected area and the goal is for the NPRBA to advocate that the government makes a declaration to protect the La Soufriere Volcano, as a National Park.
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable
Development and Culture, Dr. Resa NoelMcBarnett, expressed gratitude to the SVGCF for its continued support towards the conservation efforts and natural capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and recognizes the importance of organizations such as the SVGCF. The PS also stated that going forward the NPRBA and the ministry will work towards the declaration of the La Soufriere as a protected area.
Prior to this Grant, the NPRBA benefited in 2021, after the eruption of the la Soufriere Volcano, from SVGCF funding for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Dark View Falls Recreation Park and Owia Salt Pond Recreation Park, for the funding amount of $201,843.99 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (XCD). They were also the recipient of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), on Friday, July 9th, 2021, valued at EC $10,000.
The SVGCF is committed to biodiversity conservation in St. Vincent and the grenadines and stands ready to provide further assistance to key government agencies, NGOs, CSOs and other local entities for conservation efforts.
Since 2020 the SVGCF has financed 9 projects in areas related to pollution reduction, Coral Reef Restoration, enhancement of resource management, Vetiver Systems Technology for farmland restoration, biodiversity conservation and education, and rehabilitation and restoration of national recreational parks including the La Soufriere trail following La Soufriere Volcanic eruption in April 2021. To date the SVGCF has provided 1.2M Eastern Caribbean Dollars (XCD) in grant funding.
Additional funding with the Inter American Foundation valued at USD $360,000.00 is being provided, with approximately 88% of the funds allocated for grant making for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to increase their capacity to help solve ongoing environmental and sustainable livelihood challenges.