Managing Director of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Tadzio Bervoets this week attended the United Nations Environment Program/ Caribbean Environment Program meeting on Ecosystem Based Management in Panama City, Panama. The United Nations’ Caribbean Environment Program (CEP) and Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) to the Cartagena Convention, have been aiming to promote and integrate the principles of ecosystem-based management approach throughout the insular Caribbean. Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is an environmental management approach that recognizes the variety of interactions within an ecosystem, including humans, rather than considering only single issues, species, or ecosystem services. An ecosystem-based management approach is key to maintaining viable healthy ecosystems and their associated goods and services to enhance livelihoods of vulnerable coastal populations across the Wider Caribbean Region. With the information gained at the workshop the Nature Foundation will be better equipped to manage the island’s natural resources and to communicate the importance of environmental protection to decision-makers.
“Given our experience managing the environment and trying to communicate the importance of an effective management of our natural resources to our decision makers, we were especially grateful to be invited to attend this workshop. It is important to include all factors that contribute to the effective protection of our resources, including the importance the ecosystem has in protecting our infrastructure and supporting our economy. Especially since we have experienced a very difficult hurricane season and now realize that we must holistically protect our resources to recover from Hurricanes in the future,both in terms of the Environment and our Economy, it is important that we approach the protection of our resources in terms of their importance to the ecosystem and to the economy of our country” commented Bervoets.
The Project “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean through Ecosystem Based Management (EBM-DSS)” currently being implemented by CEP is promoting the practice of EBM in the Caribbean with the support of the Government of Italy, Agenzia Italiana per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (AICS).