The OECS celebrates International Day of Forests with a focus on innovation and sustainability

The OECS Celebrates International Day of Forests with a Focus on Innovation and Sustainability

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) joins the global community in commemorating the International Day of Forests, 2024. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Forests and Innovation for a Sustainable Future,” underscores the critical role of forests in climate change mitigation, water and food security, and as habitats for threatened and endangered species. The significance of forests in the Eastern Caribbean is magnified due to their vital environmental and socio-economic contributions.

In alignment with this year’s theme, the OECS is excited to announce the release of a documentary detailing the restoration journey of the Woburn and Woodlands mangrove area in Grenada. Devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the area has witnessed monumental restoration efforts.

Building on this momentum, the OECS, through the EU-funded BioSPACE Project, is providing assistance in Flood Mitigation Measures within the Woburn and Woodlands Marine Protected Area and its surrounding community. This initiative responds to the urgent needs of farmers, fishermen, and the broader community, who face challenges from frequent flooding, erosion, and pollution—adversely affecting ecosystems, livelihoods, and infrastructure.

The project seeks to achieve the following:

  1. Enhancing water flow by 90% from the watershed to the sea in three months.
  2. Establishing two main soakaways to reduce runoff into the sea by 50% during heavy rainfall in six months.
  3. Doubling the mangrove population within the Marine Protected Area in one year.

These objectives were crafted with the input of the community, reflecting the needs and insights of business owners, farmers, and residents alike. The Woburn and Woodlands Development Organisation (WWDO) plays a crucial role, with members from diverse professional backgrounds contributing to the project’s success based on their expertise and local knowledge. The initiative is funded by the European Union through the BioSPACE Project.

The documentary not only showcases the efforts of Woburn residents and international support but also highlights the ongoing commitment of the European Union to enhance the lives and livelihoods of the OECS community.

As we celebrate the International Day of Forests, the OECS remains dedicated to fostering innovation and sustainable practices that conserve the region’s forests and ensure a resilient future for our planet and its inhabitants.

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