The commitment is implemented through the following project financed through the Global Environment Facility and co-financing from the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and UNDP: CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY AND REDUCING HABITAT DEGRADATION IN PROTECTED AREAS AND THEIR BUFFER ZONES
PROJECT IN ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
The existing system of protected areas (PAs) in St. Kitts and Nevis is limited to 3 terrestrial PA units on St. Kitts. There are no terrestrial protected areas on Nevis, nor are there any marine protected areas anywhere in the country. In addition, apart from one historic site, there is no active management of protected areas in the country at either the system or site level. The proposed project will improve ecosystem representation in the PA system; establish/strengthen PA management operations at key sites; and strengthen institutional, policy, legal/regulatory, information, and financing frameworks at the PA system level. At the site level, the GEF investment will enable the legal establishment of five new PAs (two terrestrial and three marine) and the operationalization of these sites as well as the two existing terrestrial PAs that currently have no management. In so doing, the project will expand the PA system from two terrestrial sites totaling 5,260 hectares without any effective management, to four terrestrial sites totaling 8,810 hectares and three marine sites totaling 11,693 hectares, all of which will be actively managed.
On the marine side, the project will focus site-based activities in the marine environment on three proposed marine protected areas (MPAs): Sandy Point, Narrows and Keys Marine Parks. The proposed project will support the demarcation, zoning and boundary marking of the Sandy Point and Keys MPAs, as well as the development of management plans for those sites. MPA staff will be trained to undertake PA management functions and carry out priority management activities, including: monitoring and enforcement of PA regulations; visitor management and operation of fee systems; ecotourism development; public education and outreach, and conservation programs. MPA staff will also be trained to facilitate stakeholder involvement and to include fishermen, dive operators and other stakeholders in MPA planning decisions and conservation and monitoring programs. The project will also support programs at these MPA sites to address the invasive lionfish and to reorient fishing pressure away from inshore coral reef ecosystems to offshore fish aggregating devices.