The Department of Sustainable Development (DSD) has been working with the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme to address challenges associated with protected areas (PA) management in Saint Lucia. As was the case with BIOPAMA I, BIOPAMA II aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in protected areas and surrounding communities in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The most recent action was a country specific training workshop from April 9 to 12 2019 on Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) for Saint Lucia. The DSD and other PA management agencies on island participated in this important training exercise held at the Creole Pot Conference Room, Bay Gardens Inn, Gros Islet. Opening Remarks on Day-1 were delivered by Mrs. Silka Tobias, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development. Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn, BIOPAMA Programme Protected Areas Officer, with IUCN Latin America & the Caribbean Office in Barbados spoke on behalf of BIOPAMA Programme.
The overall objective of the workshop was to improve management effectiveness of Saint Lucia protected areas. The training took the form of an introduction to the PAME, Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) Framework and a review and analysis of various METT Tools. Emphasis was placed on understanding the Advanced METT and the Enhancing our Heritage (EoH) Toolkit; with a trial site assessment on the Pitons Management Area (PMA) Management Plan 2003. José Courrau, IUCN Senior Officer, Protected Areas Latin America & the Caribbean was the main facilitator at the workshop. Other members of the facilitating team included Justin Springer, Technical Assistant and Julian Walcott, Technical Officer, UWI CERMES, Barbados. The workshop ended with a technical session in support of the revision of the current PMA Management Plan.
Participants left the 4-day session with ideas and functional tools for improving the overall management effectiveness of PAs under their jurisdiction. Manager for Protected Areas within the DSD, Augustine Dominique commended the BIOPAMA Programme staff for their continued contribution to the improvement of protected area management in Saint Lucia; and reinforced the department’s commitment to leading follow-up action towards the implementation of a national PAME programme for Saint Lucia.