The government has received a €927,980 (approximately US$933,189) grant funded through the European Union (EU) to improve the territory’s water quality testing capabilities.
The grant, which was implemented by Expertise France, was announced during a press briefing yesterday December 13 by Natural Resources and Labour Minister Melvin Turnbull.
Expertise France is the development cooperation agency of the Government of France and it supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) including the BVI.
Turnbull said the grant builds on the support received from the European Union to assist with environmental management activities in the BVI and was given through the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme (RESEMBID).
Prior efforts at environment management activities, the minister explained, centred on the implementation of the Global Climate Change Alliance Project.
RESEMBID seeks to address the limitations that exist within the territory’s water quality monitoring programme through institutional strengthening, capacity building, equipment, hardware and software acquisition, and the establishment of a baseline for new priority areas and water quality parameters.
Turnbull said the project would further create a strong scientific evidence base that will further support and enhance environmental legislation, marine spatial planning, and decision-making that will contribute to the increased resilience of the territory’s coastal and marine waters and biodiversity.
This is expected to further reduce the impact of extreme and recurrent natural events in the Virgin Islands
The RESEMBID project is expected to be conducted for 14 months in collaboration with the H Lavity Stoutt Community College’s (HLSCC) Centre for Applied Marine Sciences, where the water quality laboratory is located.
“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the European Union, Expertise France, and our colleagues at RESEMBID for the financial resources required to take action and protect our marine resources. Our lives depend on a clean and healthy natural environment and this project will significantly assist the territory to achieve its sustainable development goals for the conservation of our precious natural resources,” Minister Turnbull said.