Residents of Anegada were informed and included in the Government’s plans for Proposed Protected Areas at a public meeting held in Anegada last week.
Deputy Secretary within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott said that he was pleased with the turn out and the level of engagement.
“Many residents came and expressed their concerns surrounding the plan and we were able to answer several questions and queries.” Mr. Smith-Abbot said.
He added, “In embarking on protecting areas of significant value to these islands this is an important and key step in the process and we do hope that we have provided an idea of the benefits of the plan.”
Mr. Smith-Abbott said that this meeting was the final of four public meetings on protected areas and that the minutes, suggestions and outcomes will be sent to Cabinet and finalised through that office in due course.
The five broad areas identified for protection in the Virgin Islands are; (1) the Western Salt Ponds/North Coast of Anegada; (2) the Pomato and Rufflin Points; (3) the Anegada Horseshoe Reef/ Anegada Channel Fisheries; (4) the Greater Baths and Taylors Bay of Virgin Gorda and (5) the Northern Cays and Eastern Jost Van Dyke area.
Persons are encouraged to submit their final comment in writing addressed to the Director of the National Parks Trust by Friday, February 28. They may submit comments electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the offices of the Ministry of the Natural Resources and Labour, National Parks Trust or Conservation and Fisheries Department. Persons from sister islands may also submit comments to the designated district offices.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour seeks to ensure that the environment is well managed, protected and preserved to maintain the unique ecological features and natural beauty of the Virgin Islands.