Integrating National Parks, Education and Community Development for the British Virgin Islands - Project completed (2000-03)
Supporting sustainable management of the botanical resources of BVI's National Parks
Surveying limestone vegetation on Anegada, BVI
Photo: Andrew McRobb
The overall aim of this Darwin funded project was to assist the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in meeting its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The specific objectives were to:
- Document the key components of the plant and animal diversity within a national park (Gorda Peak National Park on the island of Virgin Gorda) and a proposed protected area (Ramsar site on the island of Anegada covering the major wetland areas) in BVI
- Develop capacity, through on-site training, of National Parks Trust (NPT), Conservation and Fisheries and other relevant staff to carry out biodiversity inventory and monitoring in BVI
- Further develop the protected areas management planning expertise within NPT
- Enhance the role of National Parks in BVI as a national education resource through improved links between the NPT and national and community-based education groups
- Improve the socio-economic importance of National Parks in BVI by building a mutually advantageous collaboration with local community groups and the tourism sector
This project ran from 1998-2002 and was the first Darwin Initiative project to be led by a UK Overseas Territory Institution, rather than by the UK mainland Institution partner.
Major botanical accomplishments of this project were:
- Initial plant checklists for Virgin Gorda National Park (192 species) and the Ramsar site on Anegada (119 species)
- Initial species lists for the islands of Great Tobago and Jost van Dyke compiled
- Identification of island and regional endemic species found within Gorda Peak National Park (4 species) and Anegada Ramsar site (5 species) which resulted in the first plant Red Listing workshop and assessments for BVI and publication of distribution data. Initiation of monitoring programme for threatened species.
- Completion of six training workshops in botanical identification; inventory, monitoring and data analysis techniques, recovery planning, botanic garden management. Attendees were drawn from all BVI Departments involved at any level with biodiversity: NPT, Conservation and Fisheries, Agriculture, Town and Country Planning, Tourist Board, Community College, school teachers, community groups.
- Start of a re-development programme for the J.R. O'Neal Botanic Garden on Tortola to shift its focus to conservation and education. Production of a strategic development framework for the Garden.
- The identification of the importance of the biodiversity of Anegada and the imminent threats due to the pressure for development, particularly along the coast. This resulted in the successful application to the Darwin Initiative for a project focussing on this - Darwin Initiative Assessment of the Coastal Biodiversity of Anegada, BVI (2003-2006).
Project Partners and Collaborators
BVI National Parks Trust
Conservation and Fisheries Department, Government of BVI
Town and Country Planning Department, Government of BVI
H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
The Open University
Fauna and Flora International
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
The Darwin Initiative - Project No. 162/7/163
Clubbe, C., Gillman, M., Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Walker, R. (2004). Abundance, distribution and conservation significance of regionally endemic plant species on Anegada, British Virgin Islands. Oryx 38 (3): 342-346.
Conference Papers and Reports
Pollard, B.P. & Clubbe, C. (2003). Status Report for the British Virgin Islands Plant Species Red List. RBG Kew