Students viewing a display at the 2010 Sustainable Fishing Educational Expo. (FP)??

The Conset Bay Pilot Project, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) funded government initiative was launched last October and will end this month; however, the work to encourage sustainable environmental and fishing practices will carry on.

This assurance was given recently by the Environmental Education Officer with the Ministry of Environment, Donna King Brathwaite, who explained that the Ministry’s presence in the area dates back to the 1990s, with the Coastal Zone Management Unit’s Sea Moss Farming Project.?? That effort proposed the creation of additional, viable income generating options for the area.

Now, Mrs. King Brathwaite has emphasised that those efforts had endured and various Ministry agencies had remained dedicated to Conset Bay and its development.?? She noted that it was a special event which was hosted two years ago, that had led to the creation of the current Pilot Project.

"The Sustainable Fishing Educational Expo…was realised in June 2010… Fishermen and boat builders made presentations, schools were involved and the children visited the Expo to present, in various art forms, what they learned about Conset Bay and fishing as a sustainable tradition…," Mrs. King Brathwaite remarked.

The Environmental Education Officer revealed that it was during the Expo that a roundtable discussion with government agencies, fisher folk and the community was held; and it was there that a list of concerns was compiled.?? She added that in the 18 months since then, substantial work had been conducted to rectify some of the problems identified by Conset Bay residents.

Mrs. King Brathwaite also revealed that the Project was one of only two UNEP pilot projects for the Caribbean/Latin American region, and this, she believed, spoke to the relevance of sustainable consumption, production and livelihood.?? She observed that this thrust also "ties into our focus on the Green Economy to make the public more aware of consumption and how it impacts on the environment – and us."

The project, which is supported by a Cabinet-approved governance committee, was devised to improve the management and monitoring of nearshore marine and land natural resources; implement systems for project management, reporting and information dissemination; and enhance the capacity of the local fishing community to participate in sustainable fisheries.


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