The impact of both natural and man-made disaster continues to be a major threat to the environment and CIBC First Caribbean is lending its hand to protect the ecosystem and wildlife.
The financial institution last week Friday presented a cheque for $37,800.00 to Seacology Field Representative for Grenada, Tyrone Buckmire to assist the organisation in preserving Grenada’s mangroves and wildlife.
Two representatives from the Woburn Woodlands Development Organisation (WWDO) were on hand to witness the presentation during a brief ceremony held at the Woburn, Mangrove Reserve Viewing Platform.
In 2004, Hurricanes Ivan destroyed a large section of mangroves lining the Woburn/Woodlands shores.
Despite a massive replanting of more then 1000 mangroves, the areas continued to pose a challenge for the survival of the plants due to the excess waste material from the Grenada Distillers Limited (formerly Grenada Sugar Factory).
Today the mid-section of the mangrove remains barren with the exception of a few seedlings striving to survive.
According to Buckmire, his organisation will soon make another attempt to replant mangroves, but this time on elevated beds.
In addressing members of the media on the issue, CIBC’s Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre disclosed that Seacology and CIBC FirstCaribbean were brought together by their mutual goal of advancing knowledge and understanding of environmental issues affecting the Caribbean.
He believes that Seacology’s grassroots environmental programme provides a synergistic match for CIBC FirstCaribbean’s objectives.
“In turn, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s support of Seacology’s critical environmental projects offers an efficient and meaningful way to promote and enhance its image as the community bank of the Caribbean”, he said.
Ollivierre is confident that with its experience and resources, Seacology is poised to bring about critically needed support to wildlife and ecosystems throughout the Caribbean, where CIBC FirstCaribbean has expressed an interest in supporting island conservation.
He said that Seacology’s infrastructure and expertise provide CIBC FirstCaribbean with the means to achieve this goal, and the bank’s underwriting of the eco-system organisation’s projects ensures additional island communities will receive fundamental assistance with the environmental challenges they face.
Woburn Clarke’s Court Bay Marine Protected Area, and the adjacent Calivigny Bay Mangroves in southern Grenada boast the largest intact mangrove ecosystem in the country.
Despite some storm-related impacts from Hurricane Ivan in 2004, fringing red mangroves have rebounded and currently buffer the shores of the MPA, providing critical habitat and erosion protection over three miles of coastline.
The area was declared an MPA in 2001 due to its importance as a nursery for commercial fish species and as a nesting, roosting and feeding area for resident and migratory bird species.
The support requested from Seacology, is for the construction of two viewing platforms, the design, production and installation of four species identification panels and two general informational signs.
This support is requested in exchange for protection of three miles of mangrove-covered coastline, and over 30 wildlife species, in perpetuity.
Seacology is the world’s only non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose sole focus is to preserve island ecosystems.