September 16, 2011
Agreement signed to protect national bird Amazona Guildingi

Fri, Sept 16. 2011

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (ACTP) have entered into an agreement for the protection of SVG’s flagship species, the national bird Amazona Guildingi.{{more}}

This agreement between the Government and the ACTP was signed on September 9 at the Ministry of Agriculture Conference Room by ACTP Director Martin Suth, other ACTP representatives, and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation Montgomery Daniel and other senior personnel within the ministry. The ACTP has donated an initial sum of 250,000 euros to assist with the project.

Forestry Supervisor Cornelius Richards who was present at the signing ceremony said the signing marks a very important day in the history of the Forestry Department, where conservation and wildlife management is concerned. He said the government has taken a bold step in the right direction regarding the protection of SVG’s national flagship specie – the Amazona Guildingi.

Richards noted that over the years, the SVG parrot continues to be threatened in its natural habitat from various influences. He noted that over the years, they have made attempts to protect the bird both in and out of its natural habitat, with limited success, mainly because of the resource capability to do so.

Richards noted that four years ago, the ACTP approached the Government to enter into a technical cooperation to conserve the national bird, both in and out of its natural habitat, for the purpose of maintaining the genetic diversity of the species. He said they have toiled relentlessly to reach to the point of signing this agreement to mark the start of this technical cooperation between ACTP and the Government of SVG.

He said efforts have been made to strengthen the institution of the ACTP organization to take on board the many challenges as it relates to the conservation of the species. He added that he is happy that they have now moved another step forward in doing so.

Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel said it took a while before the signing of this agreement, but they had to ensure that governance and principles were well intact. He noted that since Hurrican Tomas and the flash floods, the forest has been devastated, with some $50 million in damage. He noted that because of this, they will have to find ways and means of replenishing the parrot habitat as well as seek assistance from all its partners so that the forest can restore wildlife.

Daniel said the 250,000 Euro contribution by the ACTP will immediately help to put things in place so that the Forestry Department can start doing work. He said Forestry has to ensure that there is water in every home and that the wildlife is protected. He added that Forestry is very important, even though its figures are not shown in the GDP. Daniel said he is very happy and is looking forward to working with ACTP in the project.

The Ministry of Agriculture is also looking at securing a breeding loan agreement with ACTP for the purpose of developing a capture stock outside of SVG. The capture stock will be done purely on a scientific basis, and specifically with the aim of maintaining the genetic integrity of the wild population away from its wild habitat.(API)