Caribbean Environmental Educators introduced to a Toolkit to Monitor & Protect Natural Resources
Minchinton Burton, Director of the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry welcomed participants from twelve Caribbean countries to a Community Based Resource Assessment (CBRA) Toolkit Train-the-Trainers Workshop which takes place over three days.
He described Dominica’s relatively pristine environment – beautiful forests and rivers, and acknowledged that they are increasingly being subjected to different threats. He stressed the value of a tool which can help communities better understand, monitor and protect land and water resources.
Representatives of both government and non-governmental organizations throughout the Caribbean are engaged in the Workshop taking place at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau, 12th to 14th April 2011.
The CBRA Toolkit has been developed to help communities and other groups understand the need for integrated watershed and coastal areas management, and empower them to solve problems affecting precious land and water resources.
The tool was developed by the Global Environment Facility-funded Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF-IWCAM) Project¹, in collaboration with the Sand Watch and River Care Programmes. Dominica is one of thirteen countries participating in this project.
Vincent Sweeney, Regional Project Coordinator of GEF-IWCAM, in introducing the CBRA Toolkit said: “We must not believe that water management is the responsibility of others. The management of water is everybody’s responsibility. In the Caribbean context, farmers are good examples of resource managers.
Their farming practices (such as slash and burn or overuse of pesticides), in the upper reaches of watersheds, unless properly managed (by these same farmers), can compromise the quality and quantity of water. They are however only one of the many qroups which would be considered resource users, and by extension, resource managers.”
On Thursday 14th April, Workshop participants will visit Palm Grove in the Roseau Watershed to put some of these approaches into practice.
With the assistance of representatives of DOWASCO and the Forestry Division, they will identify examples of land degradation and sustainable land practices and measure water quality. In July 2009, the Roseau Watershed was identified as a critical area or “hot spot” in need of integrated watershed management approaches.
The GEF-IWCAM Project has also been collaborating with the Government of Dominica in developing an integrated management plan and identifying and implementing key interventions.