More than 150 persons  participate in Jems, PPL tour
April 30, 2009
More than 150 persons participate in Jems, PPL tour

Members of the St. Clair Dacon Environmental Club, the Young Leaders Groups from St. Joseph’s Convent and St. Vincent Grammar School, Southeast Development Inc and members of JEMS were among the more than 150 walkers who took part in the JEMS/PPL Enhams to Rawacou Environmental Tour on Saturday, April 25. The event was organized as an Earth Day activity to focus attention on the ecological importance and historical significance of the King’s Hill Forest Reserve.{{more}}

The walk commenced outside the JEMS office in Enhams, following remarks by JEMS President, Andrew Simmons, Cecil Ryan, Managing Director of Projects Promotion, Lansford Weekes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment, and Climate Change specialist Ottis Joselyn. “The purpose of the event,” said Simmons “is not only to be part of a global celebration of Earth Day, but to bring more awareness to St. Vincent’s historically significant King’s Hill Forest Reserve.”

Established in 1791, King’s Hill is among the oldest forest reserves in the Caribbean and Western Hemisphere. King’s Hill was declared a wildlife reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1987 and as such provides a habitat for protected wildlife, including iguanas, manicou and the common black hawk.

A cloudburst just as the tour was ready to set off from Enhams was a strong reminder that the King’s Hill Forest attracts clouds and rain, enabling the areas of Enhams, McCarthy, Carapan, Diamond, Glamorgan and Rivulet to enjoy an abundant rainfall.

Highlights of the environmental tour included a stop at the old water catchment above Dembar and multiple views of the King’s Hill Forest Reserve. The tour group paused near St. Clair Dacon Secondary School for remarks from Fitzgerald Providence, Senior Forestry Officer of the Forest Division of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and manager of the Integrated Forestry Management Project. The participants were warmly greeted by the music of the Southeast Youth Steel Orchestra, barbecue and beverages when they arrived at the destination point at Rawacou Development Park.

The activity was organised by JEMS and Projects Promotion. Both organizations are in the process of implementing a logo competition on the King’s Hill Forest Reserve in primary and secondary schools throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines as part of the Protecting the Eastern Caribbean Region Biodiversity (PERB) project funded by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and USAID, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Environment. Other supporting entities were the Southeast Development Organisation and Digicel.