The GEF-IWEco St. Kitts and Nevis national sub-Project was launched on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre, St. Kitts.

The project entitled, “Addressing Impacts of Acute Land Degradation in the College Street Ghaut in St. Kitts and Quarries and Sand Mining Hotspots on Nevis”aims to strengthen the institutional capacity, improve the policy framework and facilitate pilot projects within the College Street Ghaut watershed in St. Kitts and key quarry sites and nearby wetlands and coral reefs in Nevis that are earmarked for rehabilitation.

Dr. Halla Sahely was retained as the nationalproject coordinator on January 1, 2019. Over thirty  persons attendedthe project launch. Participants represented various departments of government in bothSt. Kitts and Nevis as well as non-governmental organizations, statutory bodies, civilsociety, private sector and the media.

Mr. Eavin Parry, Environmental Scientist of the Department of Environment (DOE) wasthe chairperson for the workshop. After the invocation, Ms. June Hughes, SeniorEnvironment Officer and national focal point for the GEF-IWEco project gave briefopening remarks. Ms. Hughes clearly gave contextto the project within the mandate and activities of the Department of Environment andnoted the importance of this project as it was the first GEF funded project to focus on landdegradation in the Federation.

Next, Mr. Jan Betlem, Regional GEF-IWEco Project Coordinator, gave an overview of theregional project. He provided a detailed narrative on the institutional roles, responsibilitiesand coordinating actions of project related partners on the regional level. Following Mr. Betlem, Dr. HallaSahely, GEFIWEcoSKN Project Coordinator, highlighted the national sub-project and describedplanned project activities, budget and timeline. She provided a clear understanding ofthe project and detailed the role and responsibilities of various local partners. Finally, the permanent secretary Mr. Alistair Edwards gave closing remarks while fullyendorsing and officially launching the project. Before the closing of the workshop, the Anjolique Dance Company performed a climate change themed dance choreography tothe delight of the participants.

Excerpted from the IWEco St. Kitts & Nevis Inception Report - prepared by Dr. Halla Sahely