The Island Biodiversity Institute is given the go-ahead

Schéma d’intention de l’Institut caribéen de la biodiversité insulaire
Schéma d’intention de l’Institut caribéen de la biodiversité insulaire

It’s official! The Nature Reserve is creating the caribbean Island Biodiversity Institute that will further reinforce their effectiveness in Saint- Martin. This major and innovative project was given the go-ahead at the end of July upon signature of a financing agreement that forms part of the Development Contract existing between the Collectivité and the State. A feasibility study begins in September, but the official inauguration will only take place in 2017 when the establishment is finished being built. This ambitious project will offer a Center for Excellence in research, environment and ecotourism. Its main objective will be to improve knowledge about our island’s different ecosystems, and their potential, by increasing the level of activities carried out by the scientific department at the Reserve, and by increasing exchanges with the universities within the Caribbean and elsewhere. It will be innovative in terms of ecosystem management, create channels for economic development focused on fishing, aquaculture and agriculture, and set up training courses that are related to the environment: ecotourism tour guides (on land and at sea), nature police, marine related professions, optimization of ecotourism projects… The institute will be located on a prime site oriented towards the sea and the salt ponds, in a natural setting that is consistent with the Reserve’s actions. The Reserve will have their offices there, but above all it will be a living museum with a tropical garden, an aquarium, a walkway and even a care center for injured animals. The idea is to teach the public (schools, island residents, tourists) the importance of all the ecosystems on the island. The building itself will blend into its natural environment and preference will be given to the most innovative sustainable building techniques.

5.4 million euros have been allotted to this project under the Collectivité - State Contract Plan. The creation of ten new posts is envisaged and the Reserve plans to auto finance a large part of the operation by opening their doors to the public, having permanent and temporary exhibitions, and an auditorium for the use of conferences.

All articles from: Newsletter-21

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