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St. Lucia conserving critical natural resource through OPAL

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Monday, January 10, 2005 - St. Lucia is among six islands in the region which have embarked on the OECS Protected Areas Associated Livelihood project (OPAL). The project places emphasis on conserving critical natural resources, while at the same time presenting opportunities for alternative livelihoods.

In St. Lucia, the project looks at the proposed Pointe Sab National Park in the south, consisting of some 250 hectors of land stretching from the Molechique Peninsula to Pręt de Caye in the north.

“It has a history and to some extent this gives us an advantage in St. Lucia where some four years ago we first conceive this project for the Point Sab area and after two years of negotiations the World Bank felt this was a very good idea that needed to be regionalized, said”, Darnley Laborne of the St. Lucia Natural Trust.

He added further: “We are not just saying conservation hey, we need to conserve but we need to recognize the fact that historically, people have survived on these resources. We want to look at creative ways in which we can facilitate people’s survival on an ongoing basis whilst recognizing the need to sustain the resource”.

The St. Lucia National Trust is the lead agency in the implementation of the OPAL Project, while technical support is being provided by the OECS Environment Sustainable Development Unit. The project will be overseen by the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing.

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