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National park ‘major priority’


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A NATIONAL PARK stretching from  Archer’s Bay, St Lucy,  to Consett Bay, St John,  is being undertaken  by Government.
This was announced yesterday by Minister responsible for the Environment, Dr Denis Lowe, during the opening ceremony of the Consett Bay Sustainable Fishing Educational Exposition.
Lowe told the gathering, which included Government officials from the environment and agricultural ministries, that the park was a major priority of government.
“The proposed national park will seek to ensure that developmental activities in the environmentally sensitive Scotland District utilise sustainable land management approaches while at the same time ensuring that the residents enjoy a high quality of life. Accordingly, communities will be encouraged to boost their livelihoods in a way that is not detrimental  to the local ecology through the employment  of a number  of policy measures”,  he stated.
He said the Soil Conservation Unit and the Natural Heritage Department which was based in his ministry were involved in the implementation of the National Park System  for Barbados.
Lowe praised the Consett Bay fishing community, calling  it a model for other communities to emulate.
“The Consett Bay community and its neighbours have for generations operated  as a cohesive, strong, proud entity, using its vibrant fishing heritage  as a successful economic base . . . It is our wish that other communities across our island seek to emulate this level of enterprise and entrepreneurship, while being mindful of the delicate balance that  must be maintained between socio-economic advancement and environmental sustainability”.
He also called on stakeholders in the industry to continue to enhance the infrastructure of the fishing industry.
He stated: “In the face of climate variability and diminishing fishing stocks, we must improve our relationships with all our stakeholders and employ available modern technologies in this sector, to meet the challenges which lie ahead.” (MB)