The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) was successful in securing a grant for $19,000 from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund) to assist with endangered plant conservation in the Virgin Islands.
The MBZ Fund is a philanthropic endowment that provides micro-grants to support conservation projects for the world's most threatened species. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic many conservation organisations worldwide are experiencing major funding gaps. In response to this situation the MBZ Fund offered a three month COVID-19 Relief Grant to help organizations avoid layoffs, cutbacks, or ceasing operations completely
The NPTVI grant will cover the salaries of two staff at the Joseph Reynold O'Neal Botanic Gardens so that they can continue to ensure the survival of four globally threatened plant species in the conservation nursery; it will also fund monthly field work to monitor these plant species at key sites on Tortola, Anegada and Virgin Gorda.
NPTVI Director, Dr. Cassander Titley-O’Neal stated, “The National Parks Trust relies solely on tourism to fund our conservation efforts, which has seen significant funding losses since March 2020. Our funding challenges have continued with the closing of the Territory’s borders due to Covid-19. As the Director, I would like to convey my sincerest gratitude to the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for the grant which will ensure the continued operations of the Trust.”
Since 2009, the MBZ Fund has supported more than 2,150 projects in over 180 countries, targeting more than 1,400 different species and subspecies.
About the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands: The National Parks Trust of The Virgin Islands (NPT) was established under the National Parks Ordinance of 1961 as a statutory body, mandated to preserve and manage legally designated natural and cultural areas in order to improve the quality of life in the Virgin Islands. Ensuring that the system of national parks and protected areas provide the full range of benefits to the current and future generations of BVIslanders require the cooperation and active participated of relevant public, private and civil society groups and institutions, and the entire Virgin Islands Community.