The creation of a buffer zone around the Morne Trois Pitons National Park fits the country’s agenda of protecting the environment as it works to become the first climate resilient nation in the world.
The creation of this buffer zone forms part of a project currently being implemented by government entitled ‘Supporting Sustainable Ecosystems by Strengthening the Effectiveness of Dominica’s Protected Area Systems’.
As part of this project, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility granted token certificates for greenhouses and cash grants to one hundred people live in communities surrounding the Morne Trois Piton National Park and their livelihoods and businesses were impacted by Hurricane Maria.
The donation, which was made on Friday 8 June 2018 at the Ministry of Finance’s conference room at the Financial Centre in Roseau, totaled seven hundred and fifty-eight thousand, seven hundred EC dollars (EC$758, 700.00).
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stated that government appreciates the work of citizens who do their outmost to protect the environment.
“We are very grateful to people like yourselves, who are activists and advocates in your own right, in the protection of the environment,” he told the beneficiaries.
He acknowledged that sometimes the road can seem difficult, especially in their field and as such, government is willing to work with them.
“This is why we are here to work with you through these programs and through these projects to, in a sense not compensate you but, to assist you, to work with you and to meet you at some point; not at the full point because many of you the sums that you will receive, you may need more,” Mr. Skerrit noted.
However, he said, if used wisely, the funds can make “a huge difference” in what they do, and the returns they make.
“Because if we are not custodians of the environment, the question is who will? And therefore we need to be mindful of this. So the forests are there, the environment is there for us to benefit from it, but we must not destroy it,” he further noted.
Additionally, the Prime Minister indicated that this project, ‘Supporting Sustainable Ecosystems by Strengthening the Effectiveness of Dominica’s Protected Area Systems’, is in line with government’s vision of creating the world’s first climate resilient nation.
“Because part of that resilience is about sustainable livelihoods and making a living from what we have, so that we do not have to rely too heavily on imports,” Mr. Skerrit added.