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The Sustainable Grenadines Project

Final achievements 2004 - 2010

 

The Sustainable Grenadines Project was committed to the conservation of the coastal and marine environment and sustainable livelihoods for the people of the Grenadines. This was approached through capacity building and increased awareness of the environment for nongovernmental organisations and community groups.

 

The Sustainable Grenadines Project was based on the idea that in the Grenadines, civil society partners are the least able to participate in bringing about change that is equitable and lasting. The project therefore focused on strengthening civil society so that it can better play its role. The project placed emphasis on the conservation of biological diversity especially through its associated project activities. The achievements of the project are highlighted below.

 

Core Activities

SusGren project implementation unit
SusGren provided training workshops
Miniprojects realized short term effects

Project Implementation Unit

The Project Implementation Unit was established with two staff in Union Island. Its purposes are: (1) to implement core activities and (2) to pursue funding for and facilitate implementation of associated projects.

 

Sector Planning Workshops

Sector planning workshops brought together stakeholders around a common interest or theme, to share their ideas and discuss the way forward. They have been a catalyst for the development of project proposals and associated projects.

  • There have been six workshops on — regattas, water taxis operators, green schools, green hotels, fishing, Grenadines as a World Heritage Site.
  • Over 100 participants from across the islands have taken part in these workshops.

 

Training Workshops

The numerous Grenadines non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and social groups are eager to make a difference but are uncertain what to do to ensure their organizations are functional and have an impact. SusGren provided training to help them.

  • There have been 12 training workshops with approximately 341 participants,
  • Training has been offered in — leadership, record keeping, office procedures, basic accounting, conflict management, negotiation skills, proposal writing, effective communication skills, team building, empowerment, strategic planning and visioning, plant identification.

 

Mini-projects

Mini-projects provided small NGOs, or groups of NGOs, the opportunity to implement a small project, valued at about US$2,000. This component was a means to achieve visible outputs in many islands while building the capacity of the groups in project implementation.

  • There have been 16 mini-projects in five of the Grenadine islands,
  • The projects focused on coastal/beach enhancement, fishing skills, community enhancement and spelling,
  • Four school clubs, nine NGOs/CBOs and one government agency implemented the projects.

Some mini-projects were pioneer efforts: The Petite Martinique Island/Village Signs Project provided the first signs on the island while follow-up to enhancement of Diablo Beach in Union Island aims at its designation as a National Park.

 

Attachments/Exchanges

Attachments and exchanges promoted learning-by-doing and exposed members of active NGOs to best practices in the region.

  • Seventeen persons from ten NGOs have benefited from attachments,
  • The attachments were — sailing instruction, heritage park development, water taxi association strengthening, nature trail development, MPA monitoring, NGO development, strengthening and NGO leadership, seamoss farming, processing and marketing and Reef Check eco-diver training.

 

Institutional Self-Assessments

The Project adapted The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) NGO Institutional Self-Assessment Tool (ISA) to the Grenadines. They have informed the strategic development of training workshops for capacity building. TNC was a primary supporter of this effort.

  • Institutional Self-Assessments have been completed for 11 NGOs.

 

Communications/Networking

SusGren fostered linkages among Grenadines stakeholders to increase awareness of the project and its aims.

  • There have been 21 quarterly newsletters.
  • The project’s e-group has a membership of 228 persons.
  • Project reports/publications are available at the project’s website.
  • The project has been promoted (radio, television, newspapers, magazines) in both countries.
  • Project awareness signs were erected.

Associated Projects and Activities

The Sustainable Grenadines Project has partnered with local, regional and international organizations to bring associated projects to the Grenadines and increase the total value of the Project beyond the funding provided by The Lighthouse Foundation. Over 10 projects have been initiated and most completed. SusGren’s role has ranged from full implementation to facilitating projects of other agencies.

 

Water taxi operators were trained in environmental stewardship...
...and green boat operation

Water Taxi Project

The Water Taxi Project addressed aspects of the daily operation of water taxis and especially their potential to negatively impact the environment. It strengthened the capacity of water taxi operators to act as environmental stewards while earning a livelihood on the sea. The project was funded by The Global Environment Facility Small Grant Fund (GEF/SGF) and The European Union (through Counterpart Caribbean). It was implemented by the Carriacou Environmental Committee with the Southern Grenadines Water Taxi Association and the Carriacou and Petite Martinique Water Taxi Association.

  • Water taxi operators were trained in green boat operations, environmental stewardship and safety at sea.
  • Two water taxi associations were provided with office space and equipment.
  • Water taxi association members were trained in leadership, record keeping, office procedures and basic accounting, conflict management and negotiation skills.
  • About 362 persons received training.

 

Grenadines bibliography

Information on the environment, sustainable development, culture and anthropology of the Grenadine islands was widely scattered. Grenadine Islanders often found it difficult to access the information needed to make informed decisions about their own development. This project compiled this information to make it easily accessible to local community. The project was funded by CERMES and The Lighthouse Foundation.

  • ‘Annotated Bibliographic Information on the Grenadines’ was produced in booklet and CD form.
  • Version 4 of the bibliography has been produced.
Schools received leaflets on coral reef ecology
Local divers monitor the reef sites
A spatial database was installed
'Friends of Ashton Lagoon' workshop

People and Corals Project

This project promoted coral reef conservation throughout the Grenadine islands through the introduction coral reef conservation concepts and approaches in primary schools. The project was funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the UNEP Caribbean Environmental Programme, Jamaica.

  • Each of the 18 schools received 25 copies of the ‘People and Corals’ workbook.
  • Twenty-four teachers from across the Grenadines and the main islands were trained to use the workbook and were briefed about environmental education.

 

Reef Check Training and Monitoring

Reef Check is part of the global initiative to monitor the health of coral reefs in areas of limited economic resources. The reef sites in the Grenadines are monitored bi-annually. The project is funded by Reef Check.

  • Divers in St. Vincent, Mustique and Union Island were trained in Reef Check methodology.
  • Ten sites in the Grenadines are being monitored.

 

Grenadines Marine Resource and Space-use Information System (MarSIS)

The Grenadines Marine Resource and Space-use Information System (MarSIS) is a marine spatial mapping database that was created in order to provide a wider information base to allow for a more holistic and informed decision-making process between the countries of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This project has been undertaken by PhD student, Ms Kimberly Baldwin, and funded by UWI, Lighthouse/SusGren, TNC, PADI AWARE, Mustique Company. Some of the outputs include:

  • An inventory of various marine habitats, space-use patterns, resource users, coastal infrastructure, sensitive biological and heritage areas, areas of threat (all available in ARCGIS and Google Earth formats),
  • Project information can be found on the MarSIS website — www.grenadinesmarsis.com

 

Ashton Lagoon Restoration

The project aimed to restore and ensure sustainable use of the Ashton Lagoon area. Key stakeholders met at the Ashton Lagoon Restoration Project planning workshop to develop the ‘Ashton Lagoon Restoration and Union Island Sustainable Tourism Project‘ and an internet discussion group — the ‘Friends of Ashton Lagoon’. The project was implemented by the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) in collaboration with SusGren and CERMES.

  • Production and distribution of bird cards, mangrove booklets and SCSCB field guides,
  • Distribution of binoculars and bird watching books from SCSCB,
  • An awareness brochure on Ashton Lagoon.

 

MPA Management Effectiveness

This was part of a regional initiative of CERMES, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It evaluated marine protected area (MPA) management at three MPAs one of which was the Tobago Cays Marine Park (TCMP). Stakeholders at the 2005 workshop entitled ‘Enhancing the management effectiveness of the TCMP’ committed to implementing activities to improve the effectiveness of management. A follow-up activity was the adaptation of Negril MPA’s Junior Rangers Programme to the TCMP.

 

Union Island Environmental Attackers (UIEA)
New signs indicate Sandy Island Oyster Bed MPA

GEF/SGP Capacity Strengthening Programme for the Union Island Environmental Attackers (UIEA)

This project strengthened the capacity of the UIEA to undertake conservation and sustainable development projects through participatory approaches, increase public awareness and build consensus for action in addressing solid waste pollution from yachts and improve the management of marine environment by significantly reducing pollution from yachts.

  • Development and completion of the SocMon survey,
  • Completion of an ISA of UIEA using TNC methodology,
  • Water quality testing
  • A two-day strategic planning workshop,
  • Four workshops on effective communication, leadership, conflict management and human resource management,
  • Four radio programmes with We FM station in St. Vincent,
  • Quarterly clean-ups on Clifton Waterfront and various areas across the island,
  • Completion of a management plan for Clifton Harbour and Union Island.

 

Establishment of Sandy Island Oyster Bed (SIOB) MPA

Carriacou officially launched the SIOB MPA on July 31st 2010. The 787 hectares park contains an extensive reef system with many types of corals, mangroves and seagrass beds. It also encompasses Sandy Island, a cultural landmark for the people of Carriacou and an important tourism amenity. The SIOB MPA will be managed by the SIOBMPA Co-Management Committee comprising key stakeholders. SusGren played an active and important role in developing the contracts, liaising with local groups, evaluating proposals and coordinating meetings.

 

OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods Project (OPAAL)

The OPAAL project seeks to conserve biodiversity of global importance by removing barriers to effective management of protected areas, and increasing civil society and private sector involvement in the planning, management and sustainable use of these areas. The OPAAL project for St. Vincent and the Grenadines focused on establishing the Tobago Cays Marine Park. SusGren has been a key facilitator through improving the operation and management structure of TCMP. The staff were involved in many of the activities, workshops and project developments. During the OPAAL project, TCMP was re-launched with a new vibrant management structure on December 2nd 2006. The TCMP can soon boast of its Interpretive Centre which will showcase aquaria with marine life found in the Cays.

 

Seamoss farming provides additional income
Young helpers screening seamoss harvest
The project will help Grenadines fishers to represent themselves

Seamoss farming

This project provided an opportunity for sustainable local livelihoods through seamoss mariculture and processing. It was funded by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and implemented by the Young Help Striders 4-H Club (Ashton, Union Island), SusGren and CERMES. The main outputs of this project were:

  • Training in seeding and establishment of two plots
  • Community engagement in Ashton to sensitize the residents about seamoss farming,
  • Liaison with SVG Fisheries Department for project support,
  • Over 40 kg of dry seamoss was accumulated for sale at EC$ 1,320.00. Sale of live seamoss grossed EC$ 100.00,
  • Two seamoss plots currently established with Bayaleau Development Committee in Carriacou where over 25 kg dry weight of seamoss were harvested,
  • Young Help Striders trials with seamoss products including seamoss ice cream, jam, and pudding,
  • Establishment of Ashton Multipurpose Cooperative (AMCO) - registered on December 9th 2010.

 

Strengthening of the Fisher Folk Collaboration in the Grenadines

SusGren obtained a CERMES MarGov project small grant to establish governance arrangements through which fisher folk collaboration can be strengthened in the Grenadines at a multi-island, transboundary (across islands and two nations) scale to address shared fisheries issues. Overall, the project will increase fisher capacity. It will enable Grenadines fishers to represent themselves at regional meetings and to gain skills through attachment with an established fisher folk organization. The project runs from November 2009 to October 2010.

  • Preliminary assessments of interests were conducted in Petit Martinique, Union Island, Canouan and Mayreau.
  • Two meetings facilitated with the Union Island Fisher Folk Committee.

 

Reducing Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean: Developing and Implementing Best Waste Management Practices

The objective of this project is to reduce the amount of marine litter released into waters of the Caribbean region in and around several high profile areas managed for ecosystem values. The project will take place in five countries: Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The grant for each island is US$20,000. Three of the recommendations of the UNEP-CEP report “Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean: A Regional Overview and Action Plan” will be put into action by using regional and local resources to train local community groups to implement education campaigns, establish litter warden programs, and share regional best litter management practices in the respective communities. The project began in August 26th, 2009 and is expected to end in July 31st, 2011. It is funded by UNEP/CEP.

 

Relationships among stakeholders were examined using social network analysis (SNA)

Social Network Analysis

To better understand the stakeholder environment as a precursor to undertaking efforts at enhancing social capital, relationships among stakeholder organisations were examined using social network analysis (SNA). SNA was used at the beginning of the Sustainable Grenadines Project (2005) to analyse the relationships among stakeholder organisations such as the government agencies, non-governmental organisations, schools and businesses within St. Vincent, Grenada and the seven inhabited Grenadine islands (Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Petit Martinique and Carriacou). A reassessment survey was conducted at the end of the project to determine changes.

 

Environmental awareness/socio-economic monitoring

The social and economic conditions and environmental awareness of people in the Grenadines was assessed at the beginning of the Project and has recently been reassessed. The aim of this survey was to ascertain the extent of the people’s awareness and knowledge about the environment within the seven selected Grenadine Islands and to see what changes had taken place during the life of SusGren.

 

Internships with SusGren

SusGren has past and internships commitments with various organisations (national and international).

  • Ms. Julia Naundorf worked with SusGren to develop a beach and coastal clean-up programme across the Grenadines. Julia’s internship which began in 2006 was arranged through The Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany.
  • Ms. Patrice Forget is currently working as an Administrative Assistant at the Sustainable Grenadines Project’s Office. She is attached to SusGren through the YES programme of St. Vincent. Patrice’s internship began in September 2008.

 

The Canadian Youth Internship Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has placed a number of interns with SusGren and is committed to continuing this for the next two years:

  • Ms. Tara Sawatsky worked as a MPA Management Plan Assistant in Carriacou. She assisted with reviving the Carriacou Environmental Committee and advancing the development of the SIOBMPA. Tara’s internship which began in September 2008 was arranged through the Marine Affairs Programme, Dalhousie University, Canada.
  • Ms. Krista Kavanaugh worked closely with the 4H club in Union Island and also assisted in the preparation of the NGO operational manual. Krista’s internship which began in July 2008 was arranged through the Coady International Institute.
  • Mr. Rob Rankin is currently working as a Sustainability Development and Livelihoods Facilitator in Union Island. He is working with organizations to increase their organizational capacity for environmental sustainability, assisting groups with transitioning of their livelihood initiatives into businesses and assisting with the facilitation of awareness programs and international environmental day initiatives in the Grenadines. Rob’s internship was arranged through the Coady International Institute.
  • Mr. Neil Ladell is working as MPA Facilitator in Carriacou. He is assisting partner organizations with implementing the priority management plan actions for the SIOBMPA. He will assist in the coordination, networking and implementation of the plan. Neil’s internship was arranged through the Coady International Institute.
  • Ms. Robin Ramdeen is currently working as a Sustainable Development and Livelihoods Facilitator with SusGren, NGOs and Community Groups to implement procedures and policies for greater efficiency in all functional managerial, accounting and administrative areas of NGO organisations. Robin’s internship which began in June 2008 was arranged through the Marine Affairs Programme, Dalhousie University.
  • Ms. Katherine Card is working as a Capacity Development Officer with SusGren, NGOs and NGOs and Community Groups to develop procedures and policies for greater efficiency in all functional areas in organisations such as meetings, financial accounting and reporting, and interpersonal and public relations. Katherine’s internship which began in July 2010 was arranged through the Marine Affairs Programme, Dalhousie University.

 

Activities facilitated or supported

  • CEHI water conservation and harvesting
  • UNESCO indigenous plant inventory and training workshop
  • The Vincy Nature Show
  • West Indian Whistling Duck and Wetlands Conservation Project (WIWD/WCP)

 

Supporting Research

Nine CERMES students have conducted their MSc research in the Grenadines between 2005 and 2010 adding to the knowledge base available for sustainable development:

  • Water taxi livelihoods (Alexcia Cooke, 2005),
  • Environmentally friendly boat practices (Dominique Lizama, 2005),
  • TCMP co-management (Bertha Simmons, 2005),
  • Environmental legislation (Indira Mattai, 2006),
  • Environmental practices in the accommodation sector (Christine George, 2006),
  • Fisheries livelihoods (Tanya Staskiewicz, 2006),
  • Fisheries socio-economic profiling (David Gill, 2006),
  • Land-based sources of pollution (Eugene Williams, 2006),
  • Vulnerability and Adaptation Capacity to Climate Change Impact on livelihoods in Union Island (Michelle Fernandez - 2010)

The way forward

The Sustainable Grenadines Project (SusGren) has succeeded in its aim of strengthening the capacity of civil society in the Grenadines to contribute to sustainable development. This has been done with an emphasis on conservation of the marine environment as the basis for development and livelihoods. After functioning successfully since 2002, core funding for the project, provided by The Lighthouse Foundation, has come to an end.

 

As with all projects, the sustainability of the initiative after the end of the project was a concern. To address this, SusGren has worked towards the continuation of its efforts by establishing a transboundary NGO - Sustainable Grenadines Inc— which is registered in both Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

SusGren as an NGO will continue to support regional and international obligations such as The St. George's Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the OECS countries, the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and the Systems Plan for Protected Areas of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It will be structured in such a way as to continue to facilitate the growth and development of Grenadines NGOs and their role in sustainable development and to build capacity at the level of the individual, the organisation and strategically at the level of the Grenadine Islands.

 

SusGren will continue to be a supportive body for the Grenadines. It will have four internships over the next two years and several projects are on-going (e.g. OPAAL, Strengthening of the Fisher Folk Collaboration in the Grenadines, Seamoss Farming and Reducing Marine Litter in the Wider Caribbean). SusGren has also attracted international funding for the following future projects.

 

Strengthening Reef Management in the Grenada Bank

The project will be carried out in collaboration with the MPAs of the Grenada Bank. It aims to build reef management capacity by strengthening networking, monitoring and evaluation and decision-making MPAs. Regional management structures will be strengthened by networking and will provide better conservation of coral reef habitats. The countries of the south eastern Caribbean will be assisted in working towards the MDGs and implementing their CBD obligations. The project is funded by National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and will run from September 2010– January 2012.

 

Developing a Framework for a Comprehensive Marine Multiuse Zoning Plan for the Grenadine Islands

The project will build on existing initiatives in the Grenadine Islands by SusGren, MarSIS Project and Protected Area Systems Plans developed by both countries to increase marine protected areas through the development of a multiuse zoning plan for the Grenadines. The project will result in a marine protected area network integrated with the other important uses of the marine environment. The project is funded by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and will run from September 2010-January 2012.

 

Building benefits for birds and people: Ashton Lagoon restoration, Phase II

This project aims to restore Ashton Lagoon and the critical ecosystem functions and values it once provided, as well as economic and community-based benefits that are linked to such a dynamic and complex ecosystem. This project is funded by National Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and will run from September 2010– September 2012.

 

 

Project partners

The Sustainable Grenadines Project is implemented through collaboration among:

• The Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES), UWI, Barbados

• The Carriacou Environmental Committee, Grenada

• Projects Promotion Lt., St. Vincent and the Grenadines

• The Caribbean Conservation Association, Barbados

• The Governments of Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines

• Numerous Grenadines NGOs.

 

The Sustainable Grenadines Project is funded by The Lighthouse Foundation, Germany

The Project office is located in Clifton, Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Tel. 784-485-8779

Email: susgrenpm(ad)vincysurf.com

 

 

 

 

The Grenadines are a Caribbean island chain of over 600 islands in the Windward Islands. They are divided between the island nations of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.