NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 04, 2022) – – The Nevis Peak National Park Interpretation Center has been officially opened in Hard Times, Gingerland.
The Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) hosted an opening ceremony on March 31, during which Mr. Raoul Pemberton Director of Physical Planning and Environment explained that establishing the centre formed part of a wider environmental monitoring and protection project.
“The Conserving Biodiversity and Reducing Habitat Degradation in Protected Areas and their Buffer Zones Project in St. Kitts and Nevis had an overarching aim to improve ecosystem representation in the country’s protected area system, to establish or to strengthen protected area management at key sites.
“Two notable outputs were the proposed declaration for the Nevis Peak National Park and the Camps River Spring as protected areas; and the establishment of an Interpretation Center to assist with the proper management of the said protected areas as well sharing of information with the general public. To date, the proposed declaration has been submitted to the Cabinet of the Nevis Island Administration and I am confident that this will be accepted in short order. The second, is the opening of the Nevis Peak National Park Interpretation Center, Hardtimes, Gingerland, which comes equipped with, among other things, two well-trained park rangers,” he said.
Hon. Spencer Brand, NIA Minister with responsibility for Planning and the Environment thanked the Director and his team, as well as the Project Management Division for coordinating the project to fruition on Nevis. He also thanked the Federal Government, NIA Cabinet, and one of the NIA’s strategic partners, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environmental Facility (GEF), for financing the building and outfitting of the centre. This Center, he said, establishes a protected area system to monitor and manage the biodiversity, habitats, and the environmental and natural resources of Nevis.
“I am reliably advised that a number of persons received training, two of whom are Mr. Wentworth Smithen and Mr. Sylvetser Powell as Protected Areas Park Rangers,who are working within the Ministry of Planning and Environment but based at the Interpretation Center. Furthermore a vehicle was also donated by GEF which is used by the Park Rangers in discharging their functions.
“I want to thank all the stakeholders for contributing to our ability to manage these protected areas that contain ecological, biological, and natural resources to sustain life and a healthy environment. I appeal to the general public to support and become watchdogs and partner with the Department of Planning and the Environment, at our national parks, at Nevis Peak and the Camps River Watershed…to ensure that Nevis stays environmentally healthy, secure and sustainable.”
Hon. Eric Evelyn, Federal Minister of Environment and area representative for St. George, Gingerland cut the ribbon with Hon. Brand to officially commission the Center. Deputy Governor General for Nevis Her Honour Hyleta Liburd unveiled the donor plaque of recognition, demonstrating the appreciation of the people of Nevis for the assistance of the Global Environmental Facility.
Several members of the NIA Cabinet, staff from the Federal Ministry of Environment, officials and other staff from the NIA Department of Planning and the Environment, were in attendance at the ceremony.
The Nevis Peak National Park Interpretation Center houses an array of flora and fauna exhibits, and maps of scenic rainforest trails among other things to enhance the visitor experience.
The Conserving Biodiversity and Reducing Habitat Degradation in Protected Areas and their Buffer Zones Project on Nevis, including the Interpretation Center, was funded by the NIA, the Federal Government, and the Global Environmental Facility.