Dominica receives funding from GEF for biodiversity protection project

He said that in addition to the preservation and conservation of Dominicans, biodiversity and natural environment, it is expected to produce economic benefits for local communities that will ultimately enhance the standard of living of persons, who reside near those protected landmarks. 

Dominica receives funding from GEF for biodiversity protection project
Dominica receives funding from GEF for biodiversity protection project

Roseau, Dominica: The government of Dominica, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy, and the Ministry of Environment, Rural Modernization and Kalinago Upliftment and Constituency Empowerment have received grand funding from the Global Environment Fund(GEF) for the implementation of the leverage eco- tourism for biodiversity protection project in Dominica. 

The project was launched on Friday. Day, April 21 2023, at the Cabrits National Park in Portsmouth. The grant funding from the global environment fund GEF totals 3.5 million US dollars with a project implementation period of five years running from January 20, 23 to June 20, 2027. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Sylvanie Burton, listed the overall objective of the project.

She said that the leveraging Ecotourism for biodiversity protection project is intended to improve the management of Dominica’ free national parks, namely the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, and Cabrits National Park. The project aims to transform tourism from a potential threat to an opportunity for biodiversity by strengthening the management of the protected areas and by expanding their sustainable ecotourism use in an inclusive manner. 

The permanent Secretary said that while the project is focused on the preservation and conservation of the country’s biodiversity, it is also concerned with promoting and supporting activities that improve the livelihoods of the population situated in the vicinity of the protected areas. 

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Blue and Green Economy Roland Royer says this launched in Max, another major milestone in the government’s quest to achieve long-term sustainability in the tourism sector. He added,” It gives me great pleasure to be part of this momentous occasion. This project is a direct benefit of the government of Dominica in emergency agriculture, livelihoods, and climate resilience project whose goal is to advance the government’s comprehensive socio-economic development policy of conserving our natural resources and safeguarding the Integrity of the ecosystem for the benefit of current and future generations.”

He said that in addition to the preservation and conservation of Dominicans, biodiversity and natural environment, it is expected to produce economic benefits for local communities that will ultimately enhance the standard of living of persons, who reside near those protected landmarks. 

This project has provided Dominica with an Avenue to reap economic benefits, which will be seen around the country. On this, Roland Royer asserted that this economic benefit will, of course, the experience nationally as the spending power of those directly impacted increases. These ecotourism, biodiversity project provides an innovative Avenue to maximize the environmental and economic benefit of ecotourism while minimizing ecological damage and disruptions of local communities. 

Outlining the aim of the project, Agriculture Minister said that its objective to improve the management of free of our treasured national parks, namely Morne Trois Pitons national park, a Cabrits National Park. In addition to the four components of the project, namely protected area planning, biodiversity sustainable nature-based tourism operations, sustainable livelihoods and project management, to, actually the overarching objective. 

“There are a few Concepts which must be integrated into the development framework, one practice that promotes sustainability, two the inclusion of local stakeholders in the process and three, the collaboration between government and non-governmental organizations. Collectively, these principles will not only help to maximize the economic returns but can only enhance the legitimacy and sustainability of this project, “Roland Royer added. 

Meanwhile, Minister of Environment Cozier Frederick says protecting the country’s biodiversity is critical if Dominica is to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation. 

“The long preparation process was critical in supporting Dominica in its goal of becoming the first climate resilient country and for our well-being, or generations to come and so conservative and protecting our unique biodiversity is a non-negotiable endeavour. If we are serious about achieving our climate-resilient goals,” said the minister.