The Minister of Natural Resources, Vincent Wheatley said he is very pleased with the partnership that was built to protect and persevere the natural resources of the territory and noted it is continuing to produce results.
The ecosystem accounting partnership was established in 2019 and there are now plans in place to publish the 2020 ecosystem accounts to provide evidence to support environmental and economic management in the Virgin Islands
“The 2020 ecosystem accounts continue to build on the information gathered on the 2019 ecosystem accounts on the state of coastal, marine and terrestrial habitats and their direct benefits to several sectors of our economy,” Wheatley said.
“It is also crucial that we continue to build our local capacity to engage in ecosystem accounting. Local practitioners have the opportunity to take full advantage of the training that will take place while the team from EFTEC (Economics for The Environment Consultancy Limited) are in the territory, which will then improve our future capacity to update the national green accounts for the Territory,” the Natural Resources Minister said.
Meanwhile, a two-member team of Jake Kuyer and Sophie Neupauer from the EFTEC will visit the Virgin Islands
from Monday, February 21 to Friday, February 25 to observe key environmental sites, conduct ecosystem accounting training to the local technocrats and officially hand over the 2020 ecosystem accounts.
Kuyer said the team is excited to have the opportunity to visit the Virgin Islands
and experience the amazing natural setting and local culture that they have been looking into for the past years in support of developing the Virgin Islands
first national ecosystem account.
“In putting the account together, we have worked with the government to better understand the value that the environment provides to the Virgin Islands
, and how it can be managed alongside the economy to contribute sustainable prosperity to the people of the Virgin Islands
,” he added.
He noted the team looks forward to presenting the results and handing over the ecosystem accounts to government practitioners and meeting many of the people with who they have been working over the years.
The account was developed with financial support from the Darwin Initiative (funded by the UK government) and delivered through a partnership between EFTEC, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Ministry of Natural Resources as a part of the “Caribbean Overseas Territories Regional Natural Capital Accounting Programme”.
Support is also provided across five Caribbean Overseas Territories — Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Virgin Islands