La Réserve naturelle de Saint-Martin est une aire marine protégée de 30km2 située au nord-est de l’île de Saint-Martin. Créé en 1998, cet espace préserve les cinq principaux écosystèmes de l’île : récifs coralliens, mangroves, herbiers de phanérogames, étangs et forêt sèche littorale. La Réserve gère également les 14 étangs du Conservatoire du littoral et ses 11 km de rivages terrestres naturels.

The Reserve being introduced to the elected officials

La Réserve présentée aux élus
La Réserve présentée aux élus

On June 30th, the general assembly of the Management Association of the Nature Reserve was held at the Collectivité, and President Aline Hanson warmly congratulated the Reserve team for the sound information that was transmitted to the elected officials. All actions carried out by the Reserve in 2014 were presented, the 2013 budget was presented and approved, and the 2014 budget was also presented.

Firstly we must remember that the Reserve is now more than 15 years old, and has reached a certain maturity. It is no longer seen as the «troublemaker », as was the case in the beginning. The public appreciates what the Reserve represents, and the benefits that it brings to Saint-Martin, whose main economy is tourism which totally depends on the quality of the environment. On the subject of tourism, the director of the reserve, Nicolas Maslach, stressed that birdwatching is an ecotourism activity that is developing worldwide and that generates approximately $15 billion per year. Saint-Martin, although still fairly unknown for this activity, is an excellent birdwatching destination with large populations of diverse species, very few hunters, birds that are accustomed to human activities (airplanes, construction ...) and can easily be observed. The audience was shown a film about the artificial reef that the Reserve installed (see pages 10 and 11) and was able to visually follow the rapid development of wildlife, particularly the presence of numerous spiny lobsters. After the screening, Christophe Henocq, a member of the association, put forward the idea of installing this type of reef for fishermen outside the Reserve territory. He asked what the cost of such a project would be, and what the expectations were. Nicolas Maslach replied that the cost of installing about 100 modules in an appropriated zone would rise to about 150,000€. He noted that this project was initiated by the Reserve as an act of conservation, but that it could in fact open up new economic opportunities superior to those already in place. He added that thought should be given to an appropriate regulation and to the allocation of the AOT by the administrator, which would need to be defined. After the budget presentation, Bruno Lizé, a chartered accountant, stated that the Nature Reserve’s own resources are now sufficient to finance most of its actions. He added that the development of the Reserve’s financial resources is in line with its steadily growing development and activity, and that the Reserve is at the starting point of new environmental and economic challenges that match its ambitions.

All articles from: Newsletter-21

Environmental Communication And Education

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