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Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

Location of the Project
Location of the Project

Title of IWEco National sub-Project

Addressing Land Degradation in the Georgetown Watershed, Saint Vincent

Introduction

The Georgetown Watershed management area on Saint Vincentencompasses some 5,750 ha (22.2 square miles), including the drainage basins ofseveral rivers. It is a national biodiversity hotspot, which is home to several rare and threatened species, most significantly,the endemic St Vincent Parrot (Amazonaguildingii), a national flagship species for conservation in the country, and five endemic reptiles.

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

The community was severely impacted by Hurricane Tomas in October 2010, by destructive floods associated with an extreme rain event in April 2011, and by a series of trough systems in December 2013, 2015 and 2016. The watershed has also been undergoing gradual degradation, mainly associated with agricultural development. In the upper-most reaches of the watershed the illicit cultivation of marijuana is contributing to the problem.

The St. Vincent & the Grenadines National sub-Project, mainly under the land degradation focal area, will target reforestation and conservation forestry interventions over at least 7.5 hectares within upland areas where landslides have occurred and along some 1.8 kms of riverbank that continue to actively erode. At least 2 hectares of the most severely degraded area will be reclaimed using a range of soil stabilization and forest management techniques. This area will be used to demonstrate best practices and as a learning centre for sustainable land management practices. A sub-component of the Project will carry out thinning in Hibiscus elastus (Blue Mahoe) and Swieteniamahagoni (Mahagony) forest plantations located at Perseverance over approximately 5 hectares. This intervention will also improve stability of the existing forest plantation and enhance the diversity of the forest, through natural regeneration of indigenous forest tree species. This will further increase the habitat of the endemic St. Vincent Parrot, resulting in increase of the population.

Enrichment planting of naturalized species will be done on approximately 2 hectares of the 7.5 hectares to stabilize the already unstable soil, as well as to increase the biodiversity within the secondary forest. The Project will assist with the rehabilitation of the access road allowing access to workers to carry out silvicultural interventions in the watershed to further promote soil and water conservation in the area.

The Project will also target the reduction of direct discharges of pig effluent into the environment through the employment of dry manure techniques. It will contribute to the development of the Jennings Bird Watching Trail which has the potential to be a significant revenue earner for the community, given the avian diversity and uniqueness in the upper watershed as well as the outstanding aesthetic appeal of the environment. The GEF Small Grants Programme will support at least one community group in the Georgetown area to take advantage of the economic potential associated with implementation of the project.

While the direct project interventions in sustainable land and forestry management will be over approximately 15 hectares, the entire watershed over 5,750 hectares will be managed as a unit within the scope of the project. Fifty hectares of the forest protected will directly benefit ecotourism. It is expected that the active SLM interventions to reduce the rate of upland degradation and restore the integrity of riparian ecosystems will lead to benefits within the wider watershed through in-situ conservation. Through on-site land and forest cover investments within 15 hectares over the target watershed areas, it is expected that an estimated 1,403.3 equivalent tonnes of CO2 over the life of the project, or an average of 280.7 tCO2eqv/year will be sequestered.

The Project will also carry out a census of the St. Vincent parrot (Amazonaguildingii), endemic to the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and one of the rarest and most magnificent parrot species globally. Despite the increasing populations, due to limited size of its home island, human impacts on the habitat and natural disasters, the Amazonaguildingiiretains its status as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List.

Status of Project

The National Project Document and budget have been revised and finalised. The Project Cooperation Agreement has been signed and initial disbursement is being awaited.

Project Objectives and Impact

Project Objectives and Impact

St. Vincent & the Grenadines National sub-Project Background

Please click here to download the Saint Vincent & the Grenadines National sub-Project Background document.

Progress and updates on St. Vincent & the Grenadines National sub-Project

National Focal Point

Fitzgerald Providence
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry and Fisheries
email: fitzpro@yahoo.com

National Project Coordinator

D’André De Freitas
Project Coordinator
UNDP Ridge to Reef SVG & UNEP IWEco Project
email: dandre.defreitas@undp.org

Snapshots of Biodiversity in St. Vincent and the Grenadines:St. Vincent & the Grenadines Snapshots of Biodiversity poster

Poster Introduction and Featured Species

download the poster

St. Vincent & the Grenadines is an archipelagic state.  The main island, St. Vincent, is located to the north, and the Grenadines, a chain of 32 smaller islands and cays, lie to the south.

The diverse physical features and climatic conditions of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have resulted in a variety of ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, which harbour and sustain high biodiversity and contribute to human well-being. These ecosystems are increasingly under threat from a variety of sources – natural and man-made.

The country has recorded some 14 endemic animals, 19 endemic plants and 29 regionally endemic tree species. In addition to the endemics, there are over 1,150 species of plants and 163 species of ferns, including 15 endemic flowering plants and 4 ferns. The faunal diversity includes all five groups of faunal vertebrates including 7 species of amphibians, over 20 species of reptiles, 170 species of birds, 22 species of mammals, and 516 species of marine biodiversity.

1. Saint Vincent Parrot

Scientific name: Amazona guildingii

Photo credit: St. Vincent & the Grenadines Forestry Department

Location: St. Vincent

Brief description: The Saint Vincent Parrot is a large, approximately 40 cm long, multi-colored amazon parrot with a yellowish white, blue and green head, greenish-bronze upperparts plumage, and violet blue-green wings.  Here it is seen perched in a Spanish Ash or Pois Deaux (Inga ignoides) tree in the central mountains of St Vincent. This beautiful mult-coloured parrot has two colour morphs - a green and a brown. The parrot, affectionately called ‘Vinci’, is the national bird and a flagship species for conservation of the forests on St. Vincent. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, nuts, flowers and seeds. It is threatened by deforestation, the expansion of banana cultivation, charcoal production, the loss of nesting-trees felled by trappers seeking young birds for trade, and natural events such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. 

The IWEco.SVG Project is conducting a census of the St. Vincent Parrot.

2. Tibouchina

Scientific name: Tibouchina cistoides

Photo credit: St. Vincent & the Grenadines Forestry Department

Location: St. Vincent

Brief description:  Tibouchina cistoides, is locally called the Soufriere flower. It is a high elevation shrub that belongs to the widely dispersed tropical Melastome family of plants. This species, which is endemic only to St. Vincent, grows at elevations above 500 metres above sea level. Observations before the 2021 eruptions showed its range on the slopes of the volcano extended from the Palm Brake to the elfin woodland and above. Photo taken in 2008.

3. Saint Vincent Anole

Scientific name: Anolis trinitatus

Photo credit: Jan Louis Betlem

Location: St. Vincent

Brief description: The Green Lizard (Anolis trinitatus) is one of two endemic Anole lizards found on mainland St Vincent. This lizard is an arboreal species but can be found around homes and in the forest of the island. It is one of the resilient species seen soon after to recent (April 2021) eruptions of the volcano. The specific name Trinitatus was said to have come from the discovery of the species in Trinidad, this was a result of the transportation of the species on the boats that moved between the islands.

4. Grenada Tree Boa

Scientific name: Corallus grenadensis

Photo credit: St. Vincent & the Grenadines Forestry Department (provided by Fr. Mark Dasilva)

Location: The Grenadines

Brief description: The Grenada Tree Boa, also known as the Grenada bank tree boa, is a non-venomous snake which is endemic to the Grenada bank of which the Grenadines islands are a part. It is found on almost all of the larger Grenadine islands.  This tree dwelling snake comes in a variety of colours, red, yellow and grey and is found in a variety of habitats.

5. Union Island Gecko

Scientific name: Gonatodes daudini

Photo credit: Jeremy Holden

Location: Union Island, the Grenadines

Brief description: The Union Island gecko is a tiny lizard distinguished by jewel-like markings. The only known population of this rare gecko is confined to a 50-hectare stretch of forested slopes above Chatham Bay on Union Island in the Grenadines.  This tiny lizard is vulnerable to habitat degradation and poaching for the illegal pet trade.  It is listed as Critically Endangered. Its minuscule size makes the Union Island gecko very vulnerable to desiccation, so it lives mainly in moist crevices or under logs and rocks to avoid drying out. This species occupies intact secondary forests, which is characterised by tropical dry forest with rocky areas. They are found near rocky outcroppings of large boulders. Individuals have also been found associated with insulating cover such as leaf litter, rock piles and other debris. Individuals are most active during the early morning, when temperatures under cover are higher than ambient air temperatures.

Sources: https://www.fauna-flora.org/species/union-island-gecko/

http://www.edgeofexistence.org/species/union-island-gecko/

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