Documentary Based On OPAAL Sites
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 17, 2009 (SKNIS)
St. Kitts and Nevis is the first Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) territory to be part of the OPAAL video documentary filming.
The OECS Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods project (OPAAL) is an initiative by which participating countries have made significant commitments to protecting their countries’ resources by signing on to international conventions and through policy statements, recent environmental programs and the like.
At present, video material is being collected by All Biz Ltd., a film company based in St. Lucia, which will create the documentary based on OPAAL sites and other protected areas. The Federation’s OPAAL Demonstration Site is the Central Forest Reserve National Park which is the mountain above the 1,000 feet contour in the centre of St. Kitts. It encompasses the range of hills from Mount Liamigua in the northwest through Verchild’s Mountain in the middle range to Olivees Mountain in the southeast. It is 50 km² which is just under a quarter of the landmass of the island.
All Biz Ltd. visited St. Kitts during the week of December 07 and filmed the uses and activities in the protected area, interactions between users, livelihoods and community benefits, biodiversity values, and negative human interference to the environment.
Similar footage will be collected by All Biz from the rest of the six OECS Territories that participate in the OPAAL initiative. As such, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia are included in the regional filming tour. In addition to the full video documentary which All Biz is contracted by the OECS Secretariat to produce by March 2010, a shorter version will be prepared for airing on the St. Kitts Visitor Channel.
The work of the film crew falls under the OPAAL project objectives which include: harmonization at the national levels of the international, policy, and legal frameworks as well as identification and development of sustainable financing mechanisms. Promotion of collaborative management of protected areas, adoption of a strategy for conservation interventions and increasing institutional capacity in the region to manage and conserve biodiversity are additional objectives.
Also during the week of December 07, two Protected Areas Development Interns from the OECS Secretariat were assigned to provide support for the completion of the Central Forest Reserve National Park Sustainable Livelihoods Project Proposal. Activities during their visit included conducting interviews for a Central Forest Reserve National Park Site Coordinator.
The OPAAL project is being funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction (the World Bank) as an acting agency of GEF; the Fonds Francais pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM) of the Government of France; and the Organization of American States (OAS).