NIA Environment Minister hopeful for UNDP assistance for environmental projects
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 27, 2019) — Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Environment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is hopeful that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would assist with the planned restoration of Fort Charles at Bath Village and the Coastal Protection Mechanism the administration hopes to implement in the same area.
The minister expressed that sentiment when he visited the site recently with Mr. Magdy Martinez Soliman, Resident Representative of the UNDP in Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for a first-hand look at the area.
“We are here to look at the Fort Charles property and to see how we can go about seeking some funding in the first instance and how we can approach the restoration project, and also the coastal protection mechanism that we want to undertake here at Fort Charles.
“It is well documented that we are seeing the continuous erosion and this property continues to be under threat, and we are delighted today to have Mr. Martinez here to actually have a physical look at the site, to see how we can go about initiating this project. We are hoping that we can be able to access some funds in the very near future to undertake this project,” he said.
Mr. Brand stated that their discussions also included a number of other coastal protection mechanisms along the southern coast of Nevis, and the approach that will be taken regarding the banning of plastics in Nevis and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The minister stated that he believes the visit to Fort Charles was a good day for the environment and for restoration work on Nevis.
Meantime, Mr. Soliman described the visit to the site as a valuable experience.
“I thought it was worth-the-while stopping and see how the fort is being threatened by the waves and how they are eating away the lands obviously. Against the coastal erosion, a quick strategy needs to be implemented and we are going to look into possibilities to become a partner with the minister in this venture.
“Obviously the place is splendid, and could be a very nice asset for your tourists to visit and also for the local population to enjoy, so we are going to look into those possibilities,” he said.
Also present were Dr. Ernie Stapleton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment; Mr. Denzil Stanley, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Environment; Mr. Joel Williams, Director in the Department of Physical Planning and Environment; Mr. Sebastian Manners, Physical Planning Officer in the Department of Physical Planning and Environment; Mrs. Claudia Drew, Project Co-coordinator Conserving Biodiversity Project, UNDP; and Mr. Wentworth Smithen and Mr. Sylvester Powell, Park Rangers.