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Gros Piton to Benefit from ENCORE

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Contact: Richmond Felix

June 22, 1998 - The Environmental and Coastal Resources Project (ENCORE), has has the mandate to promote partnerships among government, the private sector and communities.  This has proven to be quite an effective recipe for its latest project in the Gros Piton area.

In January, ENCORE began work on providing amenities for villagers at the base of the mountain.  Already the task of providing modern toilet facilities has been completed and the upgrading of a nature trail at Gros Piton is in its advanced stages.

According to Chrispin d'Auvergne ENCORE's National Coordinator, "Quite a number of persons visit the Gros Piton area and climb to the top of the mountain.  So we're trying to make the trail a little more visitor friendly by leveling certain sections, putting in safety measures like ropes to grip onto to make the climb easier and safer."

Agencies like the Department of Forest and Lands, the National Trust, the Tourist Board and the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation have made invaluable contributions to the project. ENCORE endeavors to encourage community participation and residents from around Gros Piton have volunteered to play their part.

D'Auvergne told GIS, "The actual work is being carried out by the residents of the Fond Jen Lib community which is at the base of Gros Piton." He added that, "the tour guides for the trail will come from the community.  The actual work in terms of maintenance on a day to day basis will be the responsibility of the community with assistance from the Forestry and Lands Department."

The Gros Piton project is expected to be completed by October after other components like the construction of an interpretation centre and ticketing booth, and training for tour guides have been dealt with.

Recently, ENCORE met with farmers and agencies involved with another project in Fond Se Jaques, to discuss its final stages and bring it to its logical conclusion.

ENCORE is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and implemented through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, with assistance from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

 

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