PMA/UVM Part­ner­ship En­ters Third Year

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Staff at the Pi­tons Man­age­ment Area (PMA) of­fice of the De­part­ment of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment in Soufriere have been re­flect­ing on its three-year re­la­tion­ship with the Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont (UVM), United States of Amer­ica. The PMA of­fice is re­spon­si­ble for the con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­able man­age­ment of the PMA, which is Saint Lu­cia’s pre­mier pro­tected area and a UNESCO World Her­itage Site.

UVM’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the PMA of­fice com­menced in 2016 with a pro­gramme of re­search on pub­lic aware­ness and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment with re­spect to the PMA’s UNESCO World Her­itage sta­tus. This year’s re­search seeks to in­ves­ti­gate this topic in greater depth; and sur­veys are cur­rently be­ing con­ducted in Soufriere and Cas­tries.

Re­search pro­vides in­ter­est­ing in­sights into sus­tain­able man­age­ment, a view shared by the Min­is­ter for Education, In­no­va­tion, Gen­der Re­la­tions and Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, Dr. Gale Rigob­ert. She has ex­pressed her gratitude to the fac­ulty and stu­dents of UVM for the in­valu­able con­tri­bu­tion to the pro­gramme of work of the PMA of­fice and the De­part­ment of Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment.

This year also marks the 15th an­niver­sary of UVM’s work with the Saint Lu­cian govern­ment. The PMA of­fice high­lighted this mile­stone with a com­mu­nity fo­rum at the Leisure Inn Con­fer­ence Room, New De­vel­op­ment, Soufriere on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 9.

The fo­rum com­menced with brief in­tro­duc­tions from the PMA Man­ager and five-mem­ber fac­ulty and Student Re­search Team from UVM, fol­lowed by a pre­sen­ta­tion and dis­cus­sion ses­sion on pre­lim­i­nary re­search find­ings from this and pre­vi­ous years’ work.

Res­i­dents and other stake­hold­ers at the fo­rum were given an op­por­tu­nity to air their views re­gard­ing the PMA and World Her­itage Sta­tus.

The fo­rum also con­trib­uted to this year’s re­search re­port by pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional in­sights into is­sues re­gard­ing pub­lic aware­ness and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment within the site.

Soufriere res­i­dents as­sisted Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont Student re­search, con­tin­u­ing a 15-year trad­tion of shar­ing knowl­edge be­tween the com­mu­nity and stu­dents from the uni­ver­sity.

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