The South Coast Marine Conservation Area will become a Marine Park by 2015. The National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry, and the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture on this project.
The objective of this project is to take inventory and map the existing resources, develop an effective monitoring programme and propose a marine zoning design and management structure for the South Coast Marine Management Area in St. Vincent. To do this effectively, a collaborative approach amongst the relevant sectors, government agencies, marine resource users and the general public is required. This approach can be of use not only to educate relevant stakeholders of the importance of managing marine resources sustainably, but to gather comprehensive ecosystem-based information in order to develop an equitable and acceptable marine zoning design to be developed as St. Vincent and the Grenadines next Marine Protect Area (MPA).
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is committed to implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Program of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) and more recently has committed to implementing the Caribbean Challenge to conserve 20% of near shore marine areas by 2020. The recently completed National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA) 2010-2014 Protected Areas System Plan proposes the development of a number of new marine parks in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. One of these is the South Coast Marine Conservation Area on the mainland of St.Vincent.
The proposed development of the South Coast Marine Conservation Area (SCMCA) of St. Vincent encompasses the coastal and marine areas of three major bays (Indian Bay, Calliaqua Bay and Blue Lagoon) and includes five communities (Canash, Ratho Mill, Calliaqua, Rose Cottage and Villa).The SCMCA contains extensive coral reef and seagrass habitats and is heavily exploited for diving, snorkeling and other recreational uses. The SCMCA contains significant expanses of coral reef and sea grass habitats and its waters are home to a great variety of marine organisms including: various reef fish, a number of nearshore pelagic fish species, sea turtles, sea eggs and a variety of crustaceans. Four beaches are located within the confines of the SCMCA which provide turtle nesting habitat. Also, three watercourses flow through the area providing fluvial and estuarine habitats which are home to various waterfowl and fish species. The Blue Lagoon area is a natural lagoon which provides nursery habitat for fish and other marine organism, adding to the diversity of ecosystems in the area. Along with these natural resources, the SCMCA is also home to some historical and cultural resources including: the Calliaqua Fisheries Centre, Fort Duvernette and the petroglyph site at Ratho Mill.
Caribbean Aqua - Terrestrial Solutions project
The Caribbean Aqua - Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) project aims to ensure that the South Coast Marine Park is well managed, which includes sustainable financing, gender considerations, climate change integration and alignment with the Regional Marine Park Area Management Guidelines.
You can read the concept note here (PDF)