Biodiversity has never been so hot on the agenda.
Further to our blog on the Cayman Sea Sense initiative – Conservation of Cayman’s rich environmental diversity received a further hefty boost last week with the official launch of the Cayman Islands Darwin Project.
The UK Government are funding the project with a US $300,000 grant – Cayman’s bid for this was successful in the face of global competition.
The Caymanian Compass covered this story and Monday’s edition outlined the plans;
which include the creation of satellite imagery maps of the Islands’ physical features that will be used as baseline information.
In addition to the satellite mapping, it seems the other two main components of the CI Darwin project are:
1) to aid the development of a biodiversity action plan for the Cayman Islands outlining a specific set of actions that need to be taken to preserve the extraordinary diversity of species on the Islands.
According to the Caymanian Compass, the plans will focus on habitats and species of both ecological and commercial significance, such as conch and lobster; indigenous species unique to the Cayman Islands, such as the silver thatch; and threatened and endangered species, such as the Grand Cayman Blue iguana and the Nassau grouper.
2) Funding from the Darwin Project will be used in providing public education on preserving biodiversity. Workshops and activities will be planned around practical conservation projects.
One such project is the proposed native tree nursery at the QEII Botanic Park in the hope of establishing a nursery as a self-financing sourse of native plant material to encourage the use of native plants in landscaping.
A website has been set up called caymanbiodiversity.com – the site is currently ‘under construction’ but I’m sure we’ll be telling you more about this project as it continues.