Over twenty-five (25) communities are projected to benefit directly from an upcoming project according to the Department of Sustainable Development.
The Department of Sustainable Development is currently undertaking two Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant-funded projects on the North and South East Coast of Saint Lucia. The projects, the Natural Resource Management of the North East Coast and the Integrated Ecosystems Management and Restoration of Forests on the South East Coast, which are valued at EC$15 million, are focused on maintaining healthy ecosystems and improving the lives and livelihoods of the people who live within the project area.
This will be initiated through protection, conservation and sustainable use and management of the abundant natural resources of marine and terrestrial ecosystems found in the various communities that form part of the project areas. Over twenty-five (25) communities within the project area will directly benefit from on the ground activities. Monchy, Babonneau, Desbarras, Micoud, Praslin, Ans Ger, Mon Repos and Laborie are just a few of these communities.
More than 200 residents are expected to benefit financially through sustainable livelihood initiatives over the next year, from responsible tourism, beekeeping, agro-processing, nursery establishment, farmer assistance programmes, agro-forestry, access to renewable energy technologies. Residents will also benefit from capacity building and training of some eighty (80) agri-entrepreneurs, through the establishment of an incubator for agro-businesses. Additional employment will be created with rehabilitation works to be undertaken throughout the project area to restore degraded forest areas on private and crown lands.
Saint Lucians in the project area, can look forward to accessing these exciting economic opportunities in tourism and agriculture, which will help bring relief to their lives and to the lives of their families.