The significance of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve to St. Kitts and Nevis and the inhabitants of the communities forming the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserves, will be focal points over the next few weeks in St. Kitts. Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. St. Mary’s Biosphere got this designation by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme in 2011. The focus now would be to improve the visibility and branding of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve while highlighting its importance to its immediate residents.
Markysa O’Loughlin National MAB Coordinator (St. Kitts and Nevis) recently attended a Training Course for Coastal and Island Biosphere Reserve Managers on Jeju Island in South Korea. She now seeks to impart the knowledge gained there to St. Kitts and Nevis, particularity the communities forming part of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve. “The St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve is a part of the world network of island and coastal biosphere reserve. That meeting was a very fruitful one. Some key themes discussed were climate change and how it affects biosphere reserves as well as sustainable development practices such as eco-tourism, eco education. Climate change matters were discussed as well as marketing and branding for island and coastal; biosphere reserves.
But what comprises the St. Mary’s Reserve? “St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve is a part of the world network of biosphere reserves that is a part of the UNESCO flagship programme, which is called the Man and the Biosphere programme. The Man and the Biospheres Programme is a simple concept. It’s a way that man or human beings can live peacefully or cohabitate in union and in balance with our natural environment,” O’ Loughlin explained.
Meanwhile, Ms. O’Loughlin further explained what will be happening in St. Kitts and Nevis over the next few weeks as it relates this project. “Going forward, similar to some of the very same themes that were discussed at the 6th annual training course for coastal and island biosphere reserve, we are going to do some of the same initiatives and this is all in an effort to increase branding marketing and awareness of the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve, as well as empower our people and the residents of the St. Mary’s Biopshere Reserves,” O’loughlin said. “These are people within the areas of Cayon, Keys, Canada Estate and Ottley’s Village. We are going engage them in several capacity building programs including craft, how to be tour guides and giving them a better understanding and appreciation of the area in which they inhabit,” she added.
St. Mary’s is one of the first biosphere reserves of the Caribbean island countries and serves as an example of village participation in efforts to preserve the outstanding mosaic of natural and cultural landscape values. The programme locally is coordinated
Photo caption: National MAB Coordinator (St. Kitts and Nevis) Markysa O’Loughlin making a presentation at a training course for Coastal and Island Biosphere Reserve Managers on Jeju Island in South Korea earlier this month.
IMPORTANCE OF ST MARY’S BIOSPHERE REPORT.mp4