The Eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) consists of the main island of St. Vincent (345 km2), and the Grenadines (44 km2) which includes the islands of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, Petit St. Vincent, and 28 uninhabited islets.
SVG boasts a diverse collection of biological resources. St. Vincent is rugged and mountainous with steep slopes and fertile yellow earth, volcanic ash and alluvial soils. The country has about 12,700 ha of tropical forests, including primary and secondary rainforest, palm brakes, elfin woodland, littoral woodland, dry scrub woodlands and mangrove forest. The significant tropical forests provide natural habitat for wildlife including the St. Vincent parrot and other endemic species. The Grenadines, in contrast, consists of low dry islands surrounded by extensive coral reefs and seagrass beds.
The National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPA) is a statutory government body that protects the rich natural, cultural and historic heritage of SVG. This is done through a protected area system. A protected area is an area of land or water that is managed for the protection and maintenance of its ecological systems, biological diversity and or specific natural, cultural and aesthetic resources.
The SVG Protected Areas System embraces principles and aims agreed by the international community for the management of protected areas. These include scientific research, wilderness protection and landscape maintenance, preservation of species and genetic diversity, maintenance of environmental services, protection of specific natural features, promotion of recreation and tourism, education, sustainable use of natural ecosystems and maintenance of cultural and traditional attributes. Specifically, the SVG Protected Areas System is managed to achieve the following objectives:
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The mission of the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority: To protect the rich natural, cultural and historic heritage resources of the country by fully involving all relevant community groups and stakeholders in promoting and managing their use to optimize and sustain social and economic benefits now and in the future.
The Authority's mandate (from the National Parks Act): To preserve, protect, manage and develop the natural, physical and ecological resources and historical and cultural heritage of SVG and connected matters In order to achieve our mission and mandate, the Authority has the goal to establish and manage a national protected areas system that will provide for the sustainability of biodiversity and other ecosystem services and support socio-economic growth and sustainable development. To read more about the roles and function of the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority, please see the National Parks and Protected Areas System Plan and the National Parks Act.
The National Parks Board The Board has the following powers and functions (from the National Parks Act 2002):
- to advise the Ministry on policy with respects to preserving, protecting and managing national parks and protected areas
- to monitor and discuss the conditions of national parks and protected areas and to advise the Ministry accordingly
- to advise the Ministry as to the provision and improvement of facilities for persons visiting nationals parks and protected areas in so far as it appears desirable to the Board,
- to encourage and advise the carrying out of such work as may be necessary to facilitate the use of the sea within certain marine parks for sailing, boating, diving, baiting, or fishing to collaborate with the Ministry in the preparation and implementation of a terrestrial national park and protected areas development plan
- to fix, charge and receive fees and charges for a facility or other services or amenities provided by the Authority and to reduce, waive or refund such fees and charge so fixed, generally or in any particular case or class of case
- Mr Gideon Nash – Chairman
- CEO of SVG Tourism Authority - Mr Glen Beache - Deputy Chairman
- Director General of Finance and Planning, or nominee
- Representative from the SVG National Trust
- Medical Officer of Health
- Commissioner of Police, or nominee
- Chamber of Industry and Commerce
- NGO Representative
- Director of Forestry - Mr Fitzgerald Providence
- Head of Physical Planning Department or Nominee
- Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture, or nominee
National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority organisational chart The National Parks Board The Board has the following powers and functions (from the National Parks Act 2002):
National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority organisational chart There are currently 121 staff employed by the NPA, across all our sites and in our head office. Our technical and administrative staff work from our head office in Kingstown.There are currently 121 staff employed by the NPA, across all our sites and in our head office. Our technical and administrative staff work from our head office in Kingstown.
- 2001 Interim National Park Unit within the Ministry of Tourism
- 2002 National Parks Act passed
- 2003-2004 Ivor Jackson and Associates prepare the Master Plan for a System of Protected Areas and Heritage Sites
- 2007 National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority formally established
- 2007-2009 Implementation of the European Union Tourism Development Project
- 2010 National Parks Act amended
- 2010 Cabinet approves SVG Protected Area System Plan
The logoIn 2007 the National Parks Authority ran a competition to design a logo for the new organisation. The competition was open to teenagers and children, with first prize of $500. The winner of the logo competition was Afeno Haynes. The logo features a whale, bird and leaf surrounding a petroglyph figure, all held up by a hand. It shows the interconnectedness of nature, history and society, and the need for us to care for our environment and heritage
- Office of the Prime Minister
- Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture
- Ministry of Agriculture, Industry, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation
- Ministry of Transport, Works, Urban Development And Local Government
- Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment
- Ministry of Housing, Informal Human Settlements, Land and Surveys and Physical Planning
- Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Hotel and Tourism Association
- SVG Tourism Authority
- Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Project
- The World Bank
- Global Environment Facility
- European Development Fund
- Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
- Global Island Partnership
- Caribbean Marine Protected Area Management