Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Officials from the United Kingdom’s National Oceanography Centre have arrived in the Territory to deliver vital training in marine survey mapping to various departments of Government and Non-Governmental Organisations.
The team which includes Tim LeBas, James Strong and Catherine Wardell were formally introduced and welcomed by Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley, Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Mr. Joseph Smith-Abbott, representatives from the Ministry, National Parks Trust, and the Recovery and Development Agency at the Department of Disaster Management Conference room on June 25.
Honourable Wheatley explained the vital importance of the survey to the development of the blue economy of the Virgin Islands.
He said, “This survey will deepen our understanding and appreciation of our waters and lay the foundation for a new economic zone. I wish you safe passage through our BVI waters, I look forward to your findings and I hope that you all have fun while completing the Marine Survey.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Smith-Abbott outlined that the exercise builds on previous marine survey exercises previously conducted.
He said, “I am very excited to work with the team at the National Oceanography Centre and various departments of Government and the NGO community interested in the conservation of marine resources.”
The Marine Survey was made possible by the financial support of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the partnership between the Ministry of Natural Resources,Labour and Immigration and the Recovery and Development Agency.
The team will spend approximately five (5) days at sea where they will be conducting capacity building exercises with local officials from the departments of Survey and Disaster Management, the National Parks Trust, the Environment Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. On completion of the project, it is expected that the local staff will be able to carry out future works of that magnitude.
Officials from the Recovery and Development Agency are also pleased to partner with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in delivering the marine survey capacity building project which aligns with the agency’s mandate.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration is responsible for the effective management of the natural resources of the British Virgin Islands, as well as the keen regulation of the supply of labour in the Territory, ensuring that supply meets demand. These functions are carried out through the various departments and statutory bodies in the ministry’s portfolio.
Photo 1: Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley.
Photo 2: Honourable Wheatley and James Strong of the National Oceanography Centre.
Photo 3: Honourable Wheatley and the representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Recovery and Development Agency, and the National Parks Trust.