Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley has stated that he plans to introduce legislation for certain species in the BVI to receive a higher degree of protection.
Honourable Wheatley in a statement titled “Mangroves Replanting Efforts Throughout the Territory” during the Seventh Sitting of the Third Session of the Fourth House of Assembly pledged to follow through on the Government of Virgin Islands’ agenda which was listed in the Speech from the Throne.
Honourable Wheatley said, “I pledge that one of the first species to be listed, once the legislation is passed, will be mangroves. This resource must be protected from further loss and to that effect, Government will put in place measures to ensure its long-term survivability.”
The minister said the initial plan to plant 1000 mangroves in 1000 days was not only completed, but has been surpassed. “This however, does not mean that we will relent in our efforts,” he said, adding, “We will redouble them by expanding the list of areas that will be replanted over the next months. The replanting of mangroves cannot replace the loss of healthy mangrove communities that are destroyed with unauthorised reclamation projects and other activities.”
Honourable Wheatley commended the collective efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration along with various community groups and community minded individuals stating that it represents a united approach to ensure that mangrove habitats are restored throughout the Territory.
He said, “Their [mangroves] importance in ensuring coastline stability and to act as habitat for biodiversity and fisheries cannot be overstated. We will all benefit from restored and fully vibrant mangrove communities that will benefit our communities and provide shoreline protection, food security, biodiversity, conservation and aesthetic values to all of us.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration will continue to manage the natural resources of the Territory in a manner than ensures long term sustainability.
Link to full statement: http://bvi.gov.vg/media-centre/statement-honourable-vincent-o-wheatley-minister-natural-resources-labour-immigration-2