PMA/UVM Partnership Enters Third Year
Staff at the Pitons Management Area (PMA) Office of the Department of Sustainable Development in Soufriere have been reflecting on their 3-year relationship with the University of Vermont (UVM), United States of America. The PMA is Saint Lucia’s premier protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the PMA Office is responsible for its conservation and sustainable management.
UVM’s collaboration with the PMA Office commenced in 2016 with a programme of research on public awareness and community engagement with respect to the PMA’s UNESCO World Heritage status. This year’s research seeks to investigate this topic in greater depth; and surveys are currently being conducted in Soufriere and Castries.
Research provides interesting insights into sustainable management; and this is a view shared by the Honourable Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Dr. Gale Rigobert, who has expressed her gratitude to the faculty and students of UVM for the invaluable contribution to the programme of work of the PMA Office and the Department of Sustainable Development.
This year also marks the 15th anniversary of UVM’s work in Saint Lucia and the PMA Office will highlight this milestone with a Community Forum at the Leisure Inn Conference Room, New Development Soufriere on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 from 4:00pm. The Forum will commence with brief introductions from the PMA Manager and 5-member Faculty and Student Research Team from UVM; followed by a presentation and discussion session on preliminary research findings from this and previous years’ work. Residents and other stakeholders at the forum will be given an opportunity to air their views regarding the PMA and World Heritage Status. The forum will also contribute to this year’s research report by providing additional insights into issues regarding public awareness and community engagement within the site.
The session will last until 5:30 pm and end with light refreshments. Community members are invited to attend to this important session.