Saint Lucia: Travel and Tourism moving forward on conservation and biodiversity
Since its incorporation in 2016, the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) has committed to creating a network of organizations dedicated to building capacity, promoting conservation, and encouraging restoration of culturally-important and biologically-significant ecosystems and species. All of their work will benefit Saint Lucia as a whole and Travel and Tourism in the long run.
The SLUNCF sent representatives to attend an annual assembly of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) that took place from June 15-20, 2019 in St. John’s Antigua. SLUNCF is the national partner of the CBF and is the centerpiece of the CCI’s Sustainable Financing Goal.
Representing SLUNCF at the assembly was Chairman Noorani Azeez (also CEO of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association), Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vasantha Chase, and Director Sarita Peter. They, along with other representatives and observers from similar Trust Funds across the region, participated in this important meeting.
Those in attendance gathered to assess their accomplishments in meeting the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) goal of conserving and managing at least 20% of the marine and coastal environment by 2020 and to explore strategies for establishing sustainable financing to manage these environments.
“Catalyzing and supporting conservation, restoration and effective management of Saint Lucia’s biodiversity and natural resources are the core mission of the SLUNCF and collaboration with various national and international actors is critical to sustainably accomplishing this mission,” said SLUNCF Chairman Noorani Azeez.
Mr. Azeez assumed the Chairmanship of the SLUNCF a few months ago after the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (SLHTA/TEF) committed over half a million dollars towards the conservation efforts of the SLUNCF over the next 2 years.
The Board of Directors of the SLUNCF is a public private sector partnership and is made up of representatives from the Department of Economic Development, Department of Sustainable Development, Department of Fisheries, and Ministry of Equity. Other Directors come from the Caribbean Environmental Youth Network. Saint Lucia Bar Association, Credit Union League, and The Nature Conservancy. The founding directors are from the SLHTA, St. Lucia National Trust, and the Department of Economic Development.