Sea Tales @ the Museum

 

The St. Kitts and Nevis’ marine environment was the focus of the St. Christopher National Trust Dasani-Harper’s Heritage House Children’s Storytelling Series “SEA TALES”.

The St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network’s Dr. Kimberley Stewart shared a Caribbean based story about the danger plastic creates for the turtles especially the Leatherback Turtle that nest within the Keys Beach area within the St. Kitts’ St. Mary Man and the Biophere.

The Sea Life Sea SKN project through the Anjolique Dance Company (ADC) partnered with the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) to present SKN ‘Sea Kingdom’. The vivid costumes depicting the marine creatures within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area and surrounding areas, were from ADC.

The Department of Marine Resources Marine Management Areas and Habitat Monitoring Officer Tricia Greaux accompanied by the Beach and Marine Conservation Officers; Tasia Jones, Ahisha Herbert, Ashadi Duncan, Sasha Kodi Edwards, Luciano Eddy and Locksley Edwards.

The SEA-MAZINGLY animated session featured the; Queen Triggerfish (locally known as Ole Wife), Octopus, Princess Parrotfish (Locally known as Thumb), Rainbow Runner (ocean pelagic/ deep sea fish species), and Lionfish (an alien/ invasive fish, not native to the Caribbean Sea).

 

 

 

 

 

Knowledge to Action – Management Effectiveness

BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) and University of the West Indies hosted a Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME) workshop in the Bougainvillea Conference Room at the Bay Gardens Hotel, Rodney Bay Village,  St. Lucia from the 25 – 28 June, 2018. The theme for this workshop was “From knowledge to action for a protected planet.” St. Kitts was represented at this IUCN workshop by Luciano Eddy – Beach Conservation Officer at the Department of Marine Resources alongside the representative for Nevis, Ryan Khadou – Statistical Officer, Statistics Department, Nevis Island Administration. (BIOPAMA) hosted this workshop in support of their aims to improve the long-term conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in protected areas and surrounding communities. It is an initiative of the ACP Group of States financed by the European Union’s 11th European Development Fund (EDF), jointly implemented in the Caribbean by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the University of the West Indies.

Day one (1) of this 3 day workshop, the official opening began with welcome remarks that was given by Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn – Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme followed by a review of the workshop’s agenda and objectives. Jose Courrau and Marc Hockings (IUCN) presented an overview of the Management Effectiveness Framework.

Day two (2) of this workshop consisted of a review of the last day results of the group work and this was discussed between the participants and the Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme – Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn. There was an introduction to the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas and the implementation of the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas in the world done by Marc Hockings (IUCN). He outlined the history of the Green list, the importance, etc. The IUCN (GLPCA) Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Programme (IUCN Green List Programme) aims to encourage, achieve, and promote effective, equitable and successful protected areas in all partner countries and jurisdictions.

On day (3) a field visit to the Pitons Management Area.

The Key components of the PMA include:

▪Pitons                                                            ▪ Nature Trails

▪Sulphur Springs                                         ▪ Endemic Species

▪Botanical Gardens                                     ▪ Unique dive and snorkel sites

▪Waterfalls

This field visit was a moment to test Green List Indicators to see if they were applicable to the PA’s in the participating countries of this workshop.

Disaster Risk Reduction for Agriculture

Sub regional training on Agriculture Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Monitoring of the Sendai framework and Sustainable Development Goals from 18th -21st June 2018 in Dominica facilitated by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO). Representatives from and St. Kitts and Nevis were present Yakima Daniel- Agricultural Planner, Policy and Planning Unit and Tricia Greaux- MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources. There were also representatives from other countries like Jamaica, and Antigua and Barbuda.

Opening ceremony was chaired by Mr Ricky Brumont- Director of Agriculture with remarks given by Mr. Ryan Anselm- FAO Project Coordinator, Mr. Daniele Barelli- FAO Sub Regional Emergency Focal Point and Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Reginald Thomas – Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Dominica.

Day one focused on the introduction of the training, methodology and process with presentations ranging from Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Risk Management and Damage and Loss methodology. Day two comprised of a step by step breakdown of Agricultural damage and loss needs assessment methodology. A methodology simulation exercise that was started during day two continued into day three and the culmination of the workshop zoned in on the Sendai Framework.

Expected outcomes include improving the data collection that would affect policy planning and development within the agricultural sector as well as the marine environment including the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA).  These strengthen the national goal of improving food security in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Certificate presented to Yakima Daniel- Agricultural Planner, Policy and Planning Unit

Certificate presented to Tricia Greaux- MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer, Department of Marine Resources

SKN to Beat Marine Litter and Micro Plastics Pollution

The first meeting of the Ad hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Micro plastics established by the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya was conducted from Tuesday 29th – Thursday 31st May 2018. The representative from St. Kitts and Nevis was Tricia Greaux, MMA and Habitat Monitoring Officer -Department of Marine Resources.

Tuesday 29 May, the Permanent Mission of Mexico to UNEP currently chairs the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC) also met to determine which country would serve as the representative of the GRULAC. Columbia received an overwhelming vote to be selected as the Co-Chair of the Ad hoc Open-ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Micro plastics.

The #BeatPlasticPollution campaign that was also promoted during the conference. Delegates were encouraged to use their social media platforms, personal and professional, to promote the message of reducing single use plastic.

The delegate would lend her expertise to the organizing of the 2nd annual St. Kitts and Nevis Plastic Free July month of activities to further spread the message #BeatPlasticPollution on a national level.

Exert from the position paper presented from St. Kitts and Nevis’ delegate

St. Kitts and Nevis should be described as a large oceanic state as its marine space exceeds the land mass by a significant acreage. Therefore, pollutants within the marine environment are of dire concern to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
As the Officer responsible for Marine Management Area and Habitat Monitoring, I have observed a number of major barriers to combating marine litter and micro plastics include the lack of access to recycling plants on a national, regional or international level and the need for a national level ban on plastic with an effective transition and implementation process that will ensure nationwide buy in and compliance. Also the lack of proper legislation, regulations, policies and enforcement of issues surrounding marine litter and micro plastics as well as high tariffs on imported sustainable alternatives to plastics. There is also a noted lack of awareness of what marine litter and micro plastics are and the effects of their presence within the seas and oceans.

SKN CONDUCTS MARINE ECOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT

The Department of Environment (DoE) and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Conserving Biodiversity Project will be conducting a marine ecological assessment.  This will take place within the St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA) at the conservation zones in Keys, Sandy Point and the Narrows from 13th to 24th June and 1st to 18th August 2018.

 

The overall task is to conduct a biodiversity and ecological assessment to expand on the existing baseline data that would be used to further support current and future coastal and marine resource management decision-making in and around St. Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area (SKN MMA).  Knowledge sharing is key; therefore local expert knowledge will be integrated into this experience as Marine and Beach Conservation Officers (DMR), staff from St. Kitts Physical Planning and Department of Fisheries Nevis  will be working  along with the team of ecological inventory experts from ENVISION MAPPING.

 

The data collected will aid greatly in strengthening the management of the SKN MMA. There are other positive spinoffs for example with increased awareness leading to behavioral change then locals can assist in reducing habitat destruction in areas of influence for the conservation zones.

The DoE and DMR seeks the continued cooperation of persons living in these areas and the public in general. Remember when it involves #SKNMarineResources to #Use #Protect #Conserve to support #SKNbiodiversity!

For more information kindly contact; Claudia Drew, Project Coordinator, Department of Environment, 869-466-8535 .

 

Off-Shore Fisheries Collaboration for Small Vessels

The St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Marine Resources (DMR) collaborated with fishers to examine the practicality of promoting the off-shore and pelagic fisheries in the Federation. This involved preliminary work in 2017, harvesting Diamondback Squid. Following the successful capture of squid in 2017, the efforts have now shifted towards assessing the use of small open vessels for the harvesting of these resources, and other off-shore resources, to promote a reduction in fishing effort on the near-shore fisheries, while securing and enhancing fishers’ livelihoods.

Mitch Lay, Antiguan fisher and facilitator of the training exercise indicated “This is a great opportunity for fishers in St. Kitts and Nevis to experiment with new techniques so we can all ensure continued fisher livelihood. The equipment used for this training is suitable for small fishing vessels, we have to look out for all fishers.”

Kharim Saddler, Assistant Fisheries Officer at the Department of Marine Resources – “This demonstration included a rig for deep slope snapper fishing and continuing Diamondback Squid Fishing techniques. The Krystal reel proved to be very efficient and versatile. It is particularly suitable for small vessels.”

Director of DMR, Marc Williams – “Continued collaboration in harvesting, value addition and marketing may prove useful in promoting the Diamondback Squid fishery. St. Kitts and Nevis could spearhead a concerted effort to promote this underutilized species for food security and nutrition purposes.”

 

Below are images showing the process for preparing the equipment to be used. Pictured are Mitch Lay-Fisher and Captain  Petulah Huggins – DMR staff;

Protected Areas & Conservation Management Training

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) sponsored Conserving Biodiversity Project in St. Kitts and Nevis hosted in collaboration with the Department of Environment, St. Kitts the Protected Areas & Conservation Management Training from April 16-25, 2018.

Marine Conservation Officers; Locksley Edwards, Ahisha Herbert and Ashadi Duncan, Beach Conservation Officers; Luciano Eddy and Sasha (Kodi) Edwards, and Boat Captain and Conservation Officer; Conse Skeete participated in this training. These individuals are stationed at the Department of Marine Resources (DMR).

Facilitation of the training was done by Global Parks representatives; Kathy Chopik, Brion Fitzgerald and Doug Konkin. Local experts including; Thema Ward- Department of Physical Planning and Environment, Diannille Taylor-Williams- Ministry of Tourism and Dr. Kimberly Stewart- St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network presented at this training.

This training had three deliverables:

  • Interview staff to determine current skills and knowledge, goals for future training (capacity needs assessment)
  • Based on the interviews and previous work, prepare and deliver a dedicated training program
  • Create a capacity development plan for the overall effective management of the PA’s and conservation areas.

 

Protected Areas, Conservation, Management and staff capacity needs assessment activities included a wide range of priority training areas that were covered:

  • Protected areas planning processes and tools
  • Business and financial planning
  • Conservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystem
  • UN conservation commitments
  • Ecological monitoring and data collection
  • Use of decision-making support tools and database management tools
  • Synergies between ecotourism development and protected areas management
  • Building partnerships and network
  • EIA reports review

Some of the challenges that were recognized and assessed were

  • Lack of public communication of the work of the Park Rangers
  • The need for effective communication with the public
  • Lack of equipment necessary to complete the jobs/tasks effectively
  • Effective organizational communications
  • Lack of training opportunities
  • Lack of enforcement to support daily job completion

The training outcome was prioritization exercises of the training needs linking to the performance expectations in the job description and department mandates.

 

Tasia Jones is a MPA Manager

The 13th Training of Trainers on Marine Protected Area Management was held at The University of West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados from the 16th – 26th April 2018 representing St. Kitts and Nevis was Ms. Tasia Jones, a Marine Conservation Officer at the Department of Marine Resources. This training was organized by the Caribbean MPA Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM) with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) as the local organizing partner for this year’s course.

Sessions were held that explored the biophysical characteristics and interaction of the Caribbean coastal habitats evaluating their ecological services, and identifying local, regional and global threats to their resilience.  Failing to understand the value of marine ecosystems can result in poor planning decision making. Therefore ecological and socio-economic research and monitoring and its application were discussed to improve marine area management.

The need to integrate, analyze and spatially understand a variety of types of information relating to the environment and its uses has increased reliance of the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through marine spatial planning and participatory GIS. Ecosystem Based Management recognizes the full array of interactions within an ecosystem, including humans, rather than considering single issues, species, or ecosystems services in isolation.

Stakeholder engagement in MPA governance at site and national system levels were considered.

Stakeholders are people and groups whose interests, resources, power or authority result in them being likely to help, hinder, or be impacted by, an intervention or the lack of it. Co-management is a combination of negotiation and action taken by stakeholders with responsibility and authority who agree to share power.

The typical best practice based Daily Operations of an MPA Manager was outlined in order to give the standard by which functionality can occur. A comparative analysis was used to Weakness of Current Management Arrangement. A field day was also included in this course work primarily to compare and assess the marine environment within Barbados and that of the respective country participating.

Tasia Jones -St. Kitts and Nevis is a certified MPA Manager.

Biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring presentation by Steve Nimrod (St. Georges’ University, Grenada)