Planning conference participants.
ANGUILLA–Minister Curtis Richardson welcomed over twenty environmentalists from St. Eustatius, St. Barths, Dominica, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe and Anguilla on Monday, March 5, to a week-long working conference hosted by the Anguilla National Trust (ANT).
Funded by the European Commission’s (EC’s) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in European Overseas Territories BEST 2.0 grant, the conference is part of the European Union’s (EU’s) Biodiversity for Life B4Life flagship initiative, which provides funding for small and medium-scale field actions in EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to promote the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services.
The conference’s objective is for the above countries to work together to create a sub-regional conservation five-year action plan designed to protect and save the native Lesser Antillean iguana population. Workshop facilitators include Jenny Daltry from Flora and Fauna International in the United Kingdom; and Matt Morton of St. Lucia and Matt Goetz of Jersey, the Channel Islands – both attached to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Throughout the week-long conference, strategies will be developed to address and protect the respective islands’ dwindling iguana population from invasive species of non-native iguanas as well as other predators, and variables such as habitat loss. The conference’s outcome will be a finalised, approved strategic plan for implementation.