The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) is celebrating 41 years of conserving Saint Lucia’s natural and built heritage. This membership based organization established in 1975, endeavours to fulfill its mandate through site maintenance and management, promoting the sustainable use of our natural resources and through education and advocacy.
Some of our accomplishments to date include inter alia: (i) the successful management of the Pigeon Island National Landmark; (ii) successful lobbying of government to undertake the Limits of Acceptable Change Study and to keep the Pitons Management Area off the list of World Heritage in Danger; (iii) prevention of the sale of the beach close to Petit Piton through an appeal to the court;
The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) wrapped up two consultations with various stakeholders in an effort to ascertain information and encourage dialogue on the proposed Desert Star Holdings (DSH) Limited Pearl of the Caribbean project which has been earmarked for Vieux Fort. The aim of the ongoing dialogues is to collate the views on this project from a wide cross section of stakeholders.
There was general consensus that a project of this magnitude could result in a boost in the economy. A major issue raised at both meetings was the proposed development of a marina in the mangroves. Many were of the view that the mangroves which are designated sites under the Ramsar Convention1 should not be developed in any way as they are home to a large variety of fish, crab and many other marine species coupled with the fact that mangroves protect shorelines from destructive storm and hurricane winds, waves and floods.
The Saint Lucia National Trust notes the agreement between the Government of Saint Lucia and Desert Star Holdings (DSH) for a major integrated development called The Pearl of the Caribbean, in Vieux Fort. Since the press release on July 29th, 2016 the Trust has received several enquiries from diverse interests, including from our members, on its views on the project, given both its scope and location, which encompass one of the most diverse, and archeologically and resource –rich areas of Saint Lucia.
Mrs. Joanna Octave-Rosemond received a scholarship from Coady Interna-tional Institute to pursue a certificate in Livelihoods and Markets at St. Francis Xavier University located in Antigonish, Canada from 31st May to 17th June 2016. Mrs. Rosemond was the only female among the five students from the Caribbean who were accepted into the course for 2016. Coady International Institute is well known for its delivery of community-based development and leadership education programmes and has a track record for inspiring and contributing to the empowerment of individuals to positively influence their own communities.
The Saint Lucia National Trust has been collaborating with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in the implementation of two projects aimed at contributing to the restoration of the Ma Kôté Mangrove in particular, and mangroves in Saint Lucia in general. The activities were undertaken with funding provided by USAID through the OECS under an Environmental Mitigation Programme and TNC under a broader Mangrove Management Project for Saint Lucia. The SLNT was able to synergise activities under both projects in order to gain maximum benefit and avoid duplication.
“The long-term sustainability of cultural heritage depends on ensuring its use and developing local support. Without heritage being valued and protected, it will become irrelevant and disappear.” taboroff, 2002.
Our global heritage is under threat. I recently asked the 66 INTO member organisations that constitute the worldwide National Trust movement what they saw as the greatest threat to heritage. I expected climate change, war and conflict, bad planning or even tourism to be their response. But there was one resounding and clear answer from them - apathy on behalf of both governments and people.
The Second Caribbean Conference of National Trust and Preservation Societies was hosted by the Citizens for Conservation, Trinidad and Tobago, The National Trusts of Trinidad and Tobago and ICOMOS Trinidad and Tobago from 19th – 22nd May 2016 in Trinidad and Tobago.
The conference opened with a passionate Maria Nunes’ presentation on Port of Spain, entitled Crossroads of Worlds - A Visual essay. In her presentation Maria took participants on a journey through the Architecture of Port of Spain juxtaposed against the rivalry of carnival, as a voyeur.
The Saint Lucia National Trust Northern Youth Chapter embarked on a Turtle Watching expedition at Grande Anse on Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th June, 2016. Though the group did not get the opportunity to witness the turtles laying their eggs, the guides identified several nesting areas as they walked along the mile-long beach. The Youth Chapter’s members joined the guides in patrolling the beach during the first shift with half the party treading up to the northern end and the other half going to the southern end. Unfortunately, during the wee hours of the morning, Grande Anse beach experienced some considerably high tides. This resulted in our patrols becoming quite limited.
Mrs. Joanna Octave-Rosemond received a scholarship from Coady International Institute to pursue a certificate in Livelihoods and Markets at St. Francis Xavier University located in Antigonish, Canada from 31st May to 17th June 2016. Mrs. Rosemond was the only female among the five students from the Caribbean who were accepted into the course for 2016. Coady International Institute is well known for its delivery of community-based development and leadership education programmes and has a track record for inspiring and contributing to the empowerment of individuals to positively influence their own communities.
Seamoss farmers from the Au Picon-Cacoa region in Vieux Fort North were the recipients of a newly refurbished fiberglass Reinforced Pirogue (FRP) fitted with a brand new Yamaha 85hp engine to assist in their sustainable seamoss production efforts. The handing over ceremony took place on Monday, May 30, 2016 at the 9:30 a.m. at the recently opened Savannes Bay Jetty in Vieux Fort.
Saturday, 23rd April marked the Saint Lucia National Trust Northern Youth Chapter’s visit to Walcott House; the culturally significant reimagined childhood home of distinguished twin brothers Derek and Roderick Walcott. The Youth Chapter’s expedition was the culmination of members learning and gaining a respect for the artistically fervent brothers’ history, influence on the arts regionally and internationally, and the legacy they have since created.
The Saint Lucia National Trust is working together with the Department of Fisheries, the Marine Police Unit and the Crime Scene Investigation Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in response to the slaughter of a nesting hawksbill sea turtle. The incident occurred early Tuesday morning and comes during the closed season for turtle hunting. It was reported by beach security staff to the National Trust’s sea turtle monitoring team which regularly patrols the beaches of Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area along the south-east coast.
For the past two years there was no sighting of the Saint Lucia Racer. After many searches not a single individual was found. The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT), Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Forests and Lands Resources Department (Forestry Department) and Fauna & Flora International contin-ued their relentless efforts in searching for the elusive Racer, never giving up hope. On January 5, 2016 a team consisting of Saphira Hunt - SLNT’s Programme Assistant-Conservation, Vincent “Jeg” Clarke -Volunteer and SLNT member, Stephen Lesmond - Wildlife Field Guide of the Forestry Department and Webster Albert - Police Officer attached to the Laborie Police Station ventured out to Maria Islands to conduct routine monitoring. On this trip the team was extremely fortunate in capturing a healthy young Saint Lucia Racer. According to Ms. Hunt, “This was quite a joyous moment for the team and hope for the survival of the species
The Third Meeting of Negotiating Committee held from April 5-8, 2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay is an important step towards achieving a Regional Agreement on Access Rights to Information, Participation and Justice Regarding Environmental Matters. The following link provides a thorough report on the outcome of the negotiations.
A Round Table consultation scheduled for 21 – 22 April 2016 at the Folk Research Centre will kick-start planning for a national museum. In November 2015, the Government of Saint Lucia vested the property known as the Married Women’s Quarters, at Vigie in the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) for the purposes of establishing a national museum and other ancillary purposes.
Next week, officers from the Departments of Forestry and Fisheries, staff of the Saint Lucia National Trust, and community members from Vieux Fort and Praslin will join regional experts to establish mangrove nurseries that will help replenish the island’s critically threatened wetlands.
The project is an initiative of the Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN), and will result in the establishment of two temporary nurseries, as well as the training of community representatives and over ten Forestry and Fisheries officers.
The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Day of Monuments and Sites or World Heritage Day, observed annually on April 18th. This day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability.
As part of this observance, the SLNT has planned a students’ tour of the Morne Fortune Historic Area. With its strategic view of Castries Harbour, Morne Fortune became the focal point for fortification and battles between the two colonial powers, the British and French in the 18th and 19th centuries. Following the tour, which will be led by notable Saint Lucian Historian, Dr. Gregor Williams, students will visit Walcott Place. Walcott Place, which was opened in January 2016, has created a physical space to celebrate Roderick and Derek Walcott’s achievements and their contribution to the arts.
The Trust hopes that this initiative would engender within our youth a greater sense of pride and appreciation for our heritage and encourage greater use of our sites not only for recreational activities but as a tool for educational and research purposes.
The 3rd Negotiating Committee Meeting of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice Regarding Environmental Matters took place in Montevideo, Uruguay from April 5-8. 2016. Members of the public played an integral role in the negotiations which are critical to transforming how environmental decisions are taken in the region. Below are a few engaging articles by the public on how the negotiations unfolded.
1. Grenada Signs on
2. No Equal Rights for ‘Outsiders’
3. General Statement from the Public at the Closing
4. A Call for More Political Will to Protect our Environment &Health\
Happy reading and do share with others!
Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development seeks to ensure that every person has access to information, can participate in the decision-making process and has access to justice in environmental matters. A regional agreement to implement this principle fully and effectively with the significant participation of the public is being negotiated in Latin America and the Caribbean. To this aim, the Declaration on the application of Principle 10 in Latin America and the Caribbean was adopted. In the Plan of Action of Guadalajara, Mexico, the signatory countries of the Declaration agreed to establish a Regional Public Mechanism for those interested who could subscribe by completing a short form available on the ECLAC website. The main objectives of this Mechanism are to keep all those interested in the process informed and facilitate their involvement; to coordinate public participation in international meetings; and to contribute to the transparency of the process. The Mechanism may also serve as a complement for participation actions carried out at the national level.
In less than 24 hours negotiators from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will gather in Montevideo, Uruguay for the 3rd Meeting of the Negotiating Committee of the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in the LAC Region. This process seeks to set higher standards in the region regarding environmental governance by including everyone, especially those who are most affected, in the environmental decision making process and can in so doing alleviate conflicts.
A one day consultation aimed at determining where and how the resources within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) are being utilized was held on Friday March 18, 2016 at the Department of Fisheries Conference Room in Vieux Fort. The consultation brought together various stakeholders from both the public and private sectors who have a vested interest in the protection area and who are familiar with its unique resources. Through interaction with the major resource users, conservation management agencies were able to identify and evaluate resource use patterns at various locations within the PSEPA. Such information is crucial for the effective management of all the resources, including those which are under special protection by law. In addition, the discussions provided participants with the opportunity to dialogue on issues related to access to resources; clarifying legislative obligations; identifying potential conflict areas and making recommendations which could reduce user conflict.
The Vieux Fort Town Square buzzed with excitement as hundreds of people gathered for “Sé Maria Nou Ka Alé” a popular theatre production by the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) in collaboration with Coaks Production. The objective of the production on Sunday, March 13, 2016 was to sensitize the public of the rare and endemic species found on Maria Islands, two offshore islands located in the south and the negative consequences that could result if permission is not sought from the SLNT prior to visiting the island.
The official certification ceremony of seamoss farmers was held 19th February 2016 at the Vieux Fort Square on Clarke Street in Vieux Fort. This certification of the seamoss farmers was another important milestone under the CARIBSAVE Caribbean Fish Sanctuary Partnership Initiative (C-FISH) sponsored project implemented by the SLNT.
The training and certification of seamoss farmers is a component of a larger project aimed at strengthening community-based marine protected areas management (marine reserves or no-take-zones) by providing resources, training and alternative livelihood opportunities in 5 countries across the Caribbean. This project comes under the Caribbean Fish Sanctuary Partnership Initiative (C-FISH). CFISH is funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The CARIBSAVE Partnership is implementing the project on behalf of DFID and the CCCCC.
In January 2015, the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) and the Forestry and Land Resources Department (FLRD) received funding from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) to implement a project entitled “Conservation and Management of the Endemic Fer-de- Lance (Bothrops caribbaeus) on the small island developing state of Saint Lucia”. The project seeks to commence the implementation of some of the actions recommended by the fiveyear Management Plan for the Saint Lucia Fer-de-Lance. One of the recommendations of the Plan is to “implement actions to ensure that people at risk of snake bite because of their work or where they live get safety training”.
While the “Walcott House” would be the most strategically fitting title for the recently restored boyhood home of Derek and Roderick Walcott, “The Trusted House”, the poetic title given by the 1992 Nobel Laureate for Literature, may actually be the spiritual name needed to ensure the survival of the institution. Here, I am joining Walcott to harness all of my faith in the magic and inspiration of poetry.
Although they are mostly out of sight for those who spend most of their time on land, coral reefs play an essential role as they provide shelter and protection for many species of fish, which feed millions of people annually. Additionally, without coral the amount of carbon dioxide in the ocean would increase significantly and have a negative effect on all living things. Notably, coral reefs protect coastal areas from strong currents and waves by reducing the wave energy before it gets to the shore.
On November 28, 2015 the Southern Chapter of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) undertook a tour to Maria Islands Nature Reserve. Fifty persons signed up for this educational tour, all eagerly ready to invade Maria Major. Ready and waiting, armed with binoculars, walking poles and cameras with long range lens, these folks were set on a mission to capture the many wonders which the Maria Islands (Maria Major & Minor) have to offer and of course the bragging rights, with the many photographs to prove it.
For the past two years there was no sighting of the Saint Lucia Racer. After many searches not a single individual was found. The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT), Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Forests and Lands Resources Department (Forestry Department) and Fauna & Flora International continued their relentless efforts in searching for the elusive Racer never giving up hope.
The Saint Lucia National Trust celebrates, with the rest of the world, the adoption of the Paris Agreement where 195 countries committed to bold actions to tackle the issues of climate change. Congratulations to the Alliance of Small Island Developing States, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean Organization, PANOS Caribbean and all other agencies who have advocated for the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to no more than 1.50C.
One would think that the location or even the inclement weather the day before would have kept members away but this was not the case as close to 100 members and 23 staff attended the 39th Annual General Meeting of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT). The meeting was held on December 5th at the Belle Vue Human Resource Development Centre in Vieux Fort.
The conversation about climate change is not only taking place at the ongoing United Nations Conference of Parties (COP 21) in Paris but also in Saint Lucia. Six months ago the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) staged the World Wide Views (WWViews) on Climate and Energy Debate along with over 70 countries. This unique event gave 10, 000 people across the globe an opportunity to (i) learn more about climate change; (ii) discuss the key areas being debated at COP 21 (for example, tools to tackle climate change and fairness and distribution of efforts among others) and (iii) share their views with policy makers.
The world watches as leaders meet in Paris from November 30 - December 11, 2015 for the 21st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) in Paris, France. Considering one of the world’s most disastrous phenomenon, climate change and the detrimental impacts that are expected to emerge or have already surfaced such as rising sea levels, increased incidences and intensity of natural disasters, decreased food production capabilities and health impacts among others, many anticipate that COP 21 must culminate with a legally binding agreement that will enable mankind to have a sustainable future.
The Saint Lucia National Trust held its 7th annual Youth Environment Forum (YEF) from July 27 – 31, 2015. Due to budgetary constraints this year only one programme was held in the South, at the Vieux Fort Primary School. The main co-ordinators, SLNT’s Ms. Saphira Hunt and Mr. Craig Henry facilitated the participation of forty (40) youngsters between the ages of 9 to 18. The programme aimed to inculcate in the minds of participants the importance of the Marine Ecosystem, particularly within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA).
I am pleased to present to the members of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) my third report as Chairperson of the organization. I take this opportunity to thank members and Council for the confidence displayed by electing me to this position for the past year. When I was elected Chairperson, the organization was in a tumultuous position, but with the steady guidance of members and Council, and support from a dedicated and passionate staff, we were able to overcome many of the hurdles that threatened the organization at the time. Of course there are still some challenges remaining and new challenges have emerged, but we have started a concerted effort to address these lingering issues and I look forward to, and fully expect that we will emerge from this a stronger and more focused organization with all working towards a common mission.
The 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) was called to order at 1:19 p.m., with the arrival of Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia, and Patron of the SLNT. The National Anthem was sung by all present and a prayer was delivered by Ms. Candy Jean of the Western Chapter.
Dr. Vasantha Chase, SLNT’s Chairperson, then welcomed the Governor General, all members, Councillors and staff present. In her welcome remarks Dr. Chase thanked Her Excellency for her continued support to the Trust. She noted the low turnout and expressed the hope that more members will arrive as the meeting progressed.
“I just want to express heartfelt gratitude for the occasion of Dr. Honychurch’s lecture. It was indeed a very sapid presentation, enough to capture the undivided interest of my 11 year old, who saw it fitting to take pertinent notes. The lecture and subsequent discussion left me personally with a piqued interest in engaging the Trust in continued conservation effort”.
These sentiments were expressed by a member who attended the second annual Trust Pioneers Lecture on September 24, 2015. Held as part of activities to commemorate the organization’s 40th anniversary, the event brought together H. E. Dame Pearlette Louisy, representatives from various organizations, foreign ambassadors, the media, SLNT Councilors, members and staff, members of the public as well as the evening’s honoree, Sir Julian Hunte.
The hike to Morne Pavillon Nature Reserve was held on Saturday, October 17, 2015. The area is a designated 18-acre site with a rich military history background and a nature reserve for wildlife and endangered plants. Twenty-nine (29) members assembled at the bus stop opposite the Gros Islet Police Station to begin the exciting journey. Before the walk commenced a moment of silence was observed for two members who recently passed away; Maria Grech and Geoffrey Jennings Clark.
On arrival to the site a brief history of the area was given by SLNT Programme Assistant – Membership, Melissa Mc. Lauren with the assistance of Mr. Bishnu Tulsie, the Director. Afterwards the participants proceeded to tour the site and was given a short botanical lecture by fellow member, Mr. Roger Graveson at the summit. To top off the experience, a most delectable Creole breakfast was served to participants at the end of the hike. Do enjoy these photos and we hope you will join us on our next expedition!
The Trust is an implementing partner (along with the Fisheries Department of the Government of Saint Lucia) in a national campaign dubbed ‘This is Who We Are’. The campaign was launched in April this year and terminates in October, and is intended to enhance people’s understanding and appreciation for the value of the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA) and other Marine Managed Areas. Campaign targets include clarifying the rationale for designating marine managed areas; improving public understanding of the interconnections between marine and terrestrial eco-systems and changing attitudes and behaviours for a more positive impact on marine ecosystems and other protected areas.
This campaign is part of a regional initiative being implemented in six other member states of Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) with similar objectives. The initiative is being undertaken under the scope of the Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network (ECMMAN) Project under its “Communicating for Conservation” programme coordinated by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
Maria Patricia Grech was born in Portsmouth, England in 1936 and migrated to Saint Lucia with her husband and son in the early sixties. Her involvement with the Saint Lucia National Trust dates back to the early eighties when she joined the Trust as a Life member. Subsequently, she was elected to Council, a position she retained until 1996 when she opted not to seek re-election.
THE SAINT LUCIA NATIONAL TRUST - 40 YEARS ANNIVERSARY
Dr. Edsel Edmunds, OBE *
As a founding member of The Saint Lucia National Trust, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate our organization for its contribution to the protection of Fair Helen’s patrimony for forty years.
Our people should be aware that among the principal objectives of the Trust are:
to advocate and promote the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the country in the terrestrial, marine, subterranean and submarine environment; to encourage research on cultural and natural resources of the country; to identify and document prehistoric, historic, archaeological and traditional objects, buildings, monuments and places of natural beauty including flora and fauna; to establish museums; to act in an advisory capacity to the Government of Saint Lucia; to build self-esteem and a love of country through the appreciation of the natural and cultural heritage of Saint Lucia.
These are a few all-embracing, powerful and demanding mandates of the Trust established in 1975 with the assent of the then Governor of Saint Lucia Sir Allen Lewis with powers in keeping with Section 5 of Act No 16.
Whereas we must congratulate the past and present managers of the Trust, our Government (past and present) and members for keeping alive the objectives of the Trust we must ask ourselves, is the Trust receiving the support and funding to accomplish its Herculean objectives.
In the course of my recent visit to Saint Lucia, it became clear to me that there is the need for far greater support and involvement from all sectors of our community to fulfill its noble objectives as well as the necessary financial underpinnings to accomplish them. Founding members were clear in the formulation of these objectives, but for various reasons, we have fallen short in fulfilling some very important projections. The future plans up to 2020 are very well expressed by the present management of the Trust but without additional support and funding from government agencies, businesses and local communities we will continue to fall short in the achievement of our mandates.
Having examined our well defined needs, we should accelerate efforts in our approach to international agencies and friendly governments with welldefined proposals in keeping with our mutual interests. For example, there are agencies with a specific mandate to assist countries in the establishment of museums and the preservation of historical sites. There is an example of a Caribbean country which, in addition to establishing a central museum has established museums in different districts of that country with some funding from friendly supporters.
There is also a need for a vigorous research component to further define and uncover the yet unknown facets, realities and challenges facing the execution of the objectives of Trust for, one of its stated objectives is “to encourage research on cultural and national resources of the country.” There is therefore a role for enquiring minds and graduate studies in this arena. Further, the Trust must be the custodian of our national artifacts and arrangements put in place for the preservation of such objects in their rightful place. This can be achieved through appropriate initiatives and interventions as has been achieved in other countries.
We need to support the 2010-2020 vision/plans of the Trust firstly through local commitment while we explore targeted and directed external involvement and funding.
I congratulate the Trust for significant actions in the achievement of our general aims and objectives and wish our management further success in facing the challenges related to the execution of our obligations.
* Former: Senior Research Fellow, University of the West Indies;
Senator, Government of Saint Lucia; Ambassador of Saint Lucia to the UN,
OAS, and US; and Member of the Executive Board of UNESCO.
Patron and Founding member, National Research and Development
Marine areas, particularly coastal marine areas provide crucial ecosystem services to, especially, small island developing states (SIDS). Marine areas are important sources of food for human beings but also for birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians. These areas also help protect our coastline from rough waves and subsequent beach erosion, stabilize coastal climates and provide the right environment for the reproduction of a wide range of species, most notably coastal birds, marine turtles, iguanas, many frogs, insects, and many fish and non-fish species including dolphins, porpoises, sea urchins, lobsters, crabs, sea grasses and corals.
Join us for “Our History” on Choice TV (channel 39 on Lime, 50 on Flow and 6 on Spectra). The programme will be aired on Sundays at 11:25 a.m. and 6:55 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7:25 p.m. “Our History” is a five minute production of the Saint Lucia National Trust and it delves into the interesting history of various sites. So tune in to find out which site we will explore next!
During the months of July through to October the Saint Lucia National Trust and the Department of Fisheries, in collaboration with PCI Media Impact, and with support of The Nature Conservancy through its ECMMAN (Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network) Project will be running a campaign to promote the conservation and management of marine areas. The campaign is centred on the understanding that marine natural resources are important to the lives of a wide range of persons and so must be conserved.
The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) in collaboration with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Durrell) and the Forestry Department conducted a Whiptail lizard Training and Survey during the last two weeks of April into the first week of May, 2015. The training was done by Saphira Hunt of SLNT, Matthew Morton of Durrell and Stephen Lesmond of Forestry Department. The aim of the survey was to establish a population estimate of Whiptail Lizards on Maria Major which was led by Ms. Hunt who utilized a Capture, Mark and Recapture method to conduct the survey. Each whiptail has individual patterns of white dots along their flank and so the left flank was focused on and photographed for marking. These photographs were then used in a software called Wild ID which recognizes individual patterns on animals.
The Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) staged three events in observance of International Earth Day 2015 under the theme “It’s Our Turn to Lead”. Sòlèy Kouché was held on April 22nd at the Pigeon Island National Landmark (PINL) and in Soufriere while a beach cleanup was undertaken on April 25th within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area in Vieux Fort.
Sòlèy Kouché at Pigeon Island National Landmark
Over 100 patrons gathered at PINL for the observance. The theme was skillfully depicted through poetry, song and dance as well as with speeches by the Chairman of the Saint Lucia National Trust, Dr. Vasantha Chase; Ms. Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist in the Social and Sustainable Development Division of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Commission and the Minister with responsibility for Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Senator the Honourable Dr. James Fletcher. The event, which was held on the Saddle, the area between the Fort
Rodney and Signal Peak provided the perfect ambience to view the sun set ‘sòlèy kouché’.
Present were the Governor General of Saint Lucia and Patron of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT), Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, government officials, Councilors, Members and staff of the Trust, Ms. Earth Saint Lucia – Francillia Austin, representatives of the Babonneau Youth Synergy among other guests.
You may access the speeches, collages and an article on our Earth Day events at the links below.
Following increased seismic activity associated with Kick-em-Jenny, the information below on how to respond was shared by UNDP. Please take note and be guided accordingly. You are encouraged to share this information with others.
Southern Members met on Saturday, July 4th on the lawns of the Maria Islands Interpretation Centre to receive updates on various Trust projects particularly those being undertaken in the South. A few participants also went to Mankote Mangrove to observe the die back of this important ecosystem and learn about what must be done to remedy the situation overtime.