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Youth Poverty Alleviation Programmes for Dennery

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, May 19, 2003 - The Youth Poverty Alleviation through Tourism and Heritage Project launched on Sunday, May 18, 2003, in Dennery, signals a new era in sustainable development and economic diversification for the Mabouya Valley.

The project spearheaded by the St. Lucia Nature Heritage Tourism Programme and the Ministry of Tourism, is meant to spur the young people of the Valley, to use the natural attributes of the area to develop a unique tourism product that will provide them with employment.

Co-ordinator of the St. Lucia Nature Heritage Tourism Programme Sylvester Clauzel, explained that the programme involving the communities of Des Barras and the Mabouya Valley aims to develop many touristic activities.

“With respect to the Mabouya Valley specifically, we think there are opportunities for people to do some kayaking on the river, and we think that that can be a very important additional activity, not just for visitors but locals as well, to kayak along the river in the Mabouya Valley. In fact there is a mangrove system within that area which is unique to that particular area and it is perhaps the last remaining type of buttress root mangroves in St. Lucia.”

Parliamentary Representative for Dennery South Honourable Damian Greaves called on the Mabouya Valley Development Project and the community’s environmental groups to make the project a success as the valley possesses gold mines of natural attributes which is yet to be tapped into.

“Apart from the employment opportunity it is even more critical that this project is going to give you a sense of history, self esteem and identity because this valley where we are has a rich history that is yet to be explored, yet to be explained, yet to be published, yet to be known and discovered by the people of the valley and by extension by people of St. Lucia.”

The Youth Poverty Alleviation through Tourism and Heritage Project is funded by UNESCO and plans to train 25 young persons in development and documentation of touristic sites and in managing tourism activities.

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