Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
A section of Long Bay, Beef Island is earmarked to become a Protected Area and Marine Park in accordance with the National Parks Act, 2006 s. 15(b).
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour will be seeking the public’s feedback on this decision to maintain this protected area and marine park through three main areas; namely Conservation, Economic Development, and Education and Community Engagement.
Under Conservation, the goals are to preserve the natural and historical heritage of the Virgin Islands and to protect natural areas that are important for the production of important species of flora and fauna.
In the area of Economic Development, the goals are to expand and diversify the role of the natural resource base in the economy of the Virgin Islands by improving and sustaining the livelihoods of residents, by protecting and increasing their earning capacity. The ministry will also be seeking to protect the supply and quality of the natural resources that support economic activities and promote resource harvesting and land management practices that maintain the integrity of the natural resource base.
The goals under Education and Community Engagement are to improve understanding of the life supporting processes and other benefits provided by natural ecosystems by preserving natural ecosystems and providing opportunities for ecological and other scientific research. Another goal is to demonstrate that protected areas generate improved livelihoods and other social benefits for local communities.
A National/Marine Park is a natural area of land and/or sea containing a representative sample of major natural regions, features, or scenery, or where wildlife, habitats, or surface features are of special significance and are not materially altered by current human occupation or exploitation, to be maintained in perpetuity with conservation and management objectives.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour seeks to continue to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long term sustainability, and to ensure that the supply of labour is commensurate with the level of development in all sectors of the economy under working conditions which preserve the individuals' health, safety, and welfare.