Exchange meeting marine parks aims to launch Caribbean network

POSTED: 09/27/11 1:19 PM

St. Martin– The Reserve Naturelle organizes the first exchange meeting for marine protected areas of St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Barths, Anguilla, Saba and Statia. The four-day meeting started yesterday with a lunch at the Mercure hotel, where the President of the Reserve Naturelle, Harvey Viotty welcomed the twenty park rangers and mangers from the different islands.

The four-day meet is co-sponsored by Unep, the United Nations environment Program, and Spaw-Rac, a Guadeloupe-based regional action center that aims to implement the protocol concerning specially protected areas and wildlife in the Caribbean. From Dutch St. Maarten, Man of War Shoal Marine Park manager Tadzio Bervoets attends the meeting.

Viotty said that the meeting is the first of its kind whereby representatives from the different islands will be able to exchange ideas and experiences.

Collectivité representative Ogoundele   noted that it is time to put in place a form of regional cooperation. “That will help us to build synergy that is beneficial to the protection of our environment,” He said.

Reserve Naturelle director Romain Renoux said that the participants would not be locked up in a meeting room for four days because there are also two field trips on the program. “We share the same sea, the same fish, and the same culture,” he said.

Yesterday the representatives of the six marine protected areas made presentations highlighting the main issues on their respective islands. Today the participants will be on the water, as they visit three sites of the Reserve Naturelle: Creol Island, Pinel Island, and Tintamarre Island.

On Creol Island they will observe the moorings and witness a demonstration of the monitoring protocol for sea grass beds. On Pinel Island a visit to the submarine trail is on the program; and on Tintamarre the subject is the seabird monitoring protocol.

Tomorrow morning the participants will visit the Man of War Shoal Marine Park on the Dutch side. On Thursday the meeting will conclude with the launch of the marine protected areas network.


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