The OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods Project (OPAAL) comes to an end
‘As the world continues to place increased importance on conservation and protection, so too have the islands of the OECS grown in increasing awareness of their own rich and unique biodiversity’.
That’s the confirmation coming from the Communications Specialist of the OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods Project (OPAAL), Tecla Fontenard, during her review of the project which will be concluded in December of 2011.
The OPAAL project is a five-year developmental initiative that seeks to conserve the rich biodiversity endowment of six OECS member states.
According to Fontenard, these islands do not only boast of relatively high rates of endemism, but also provide vital habitat and nesting sites for migratory animals, turtles and birds.
During the life of the project, emphasis have been placed on securing meaningful partnerships with both the region’s civil society and the private sector, in order to guarantee the success of the island’s ecological conservation.
Fontenard says OPAAL anticipates that such partnerships will produce more effective planning and management of these protected areas and facilitate long-lasting use of their resources.
She added that under this project, they also provide infrastructure to the protected areas such as interpretation centers and signs.
Just last week, Fontenard was in Dominica partnering with the OECS Secretariat in convening a two-day seminar for media workers on protected areas.