Watershed under watch
July 22, 2005
Watershed under watch

Watershed Services received greater attention at the Third Meeting of the Caribbean Region Action Learning Group on Watershed Services and Improved livelihoods.

The three day workshop held under the auspices of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, the Integrated Forest Management and Development Programme and Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, Caribbean and international delegates focused on management and operation of watershed areas. {{more}}

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Girlyn Miguel noted that “watershed loss threatened key economic sectors.”

She highlighted dangers of erosion, landslides and flooding, caused by cultivation above water sheds. She pointed to destruction of crops, which has worsened farmers’ conditions.

Miguel categorized efforts to tackle the watershed problem as “commendable.”

Miguel, referred to “alternative sources of livelihood” by farmers and she noted a pattern of “young males gravitating towards the hills.”

She underlined the need to maintain wildlife as part of the approach to preserve the environment and referred to a charcoal project undertaken by farmers, which she said was helping the situation.

A Field Trip to the Colonarie Watershed Tuesday July 12 was part of the exercise. This saw the participation of Junior ‘Spirit’ Cottle, Senior Liaison Officer of the Integrated Forest Management and Development Programme

Cottle praised the efforts of forest users in the venture and praised the government’s input, and financial assistance from VINLEC, the country’s lone energy providers and the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA).

He referred to meetings organised with several sectors of the community. Cottle spoke of income generating projects and mentioned the charcoal production and packing for sale in supermarkets.

Cottle expressed satisfaction with the staging of the workshop and the impact it will have on Watershed management.