The Environment & Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) held a meeting on Thursday, 15 February 2018, to discuss a number of items.

Actions arising from the minutes of 18 January 2018 were discussed and minutes accepted.

With regards to the Jamestown Run, members felt this was too big a project for one entity and it was suggested that a letter be sent to the St Helena National Trust, the Heritage Society, Enterprise St Helena, St Helena Tourism and to include the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD). The letter would outline the problems with the safety, maintenance, and upkeep of The Run. The benefit of having all organisations involved is to ascertain how The Run, as part of our history as well as being a tourist attraction, fits into the bigger picture for St Helena.

During the Heritage report, it was noted that St Helena’s historical buildings are one of the major assets on-Island. It was agreed that funding should be sourced for maintenance and to support/develop a strategic plan.

ENRD’s Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters, gave an in-depth review on the National Conservation Areas that are listed within the Environmental Protection Ordinance – the pros and cons of these areas and the implementation of the management plans. This goes hand-in-hand with the enforcement, which also considers having Conservation Wardens put in place. There is no management or development plan for our Terrestrial Zones as of yet and a working group will need to be set up to deal with these issues. There is also a need to manage the National Protected Areas.

A request from the Air Access Management Team to erect Aerodrome Boundary Signage and a road closure barrier on the Access Road to St Helena Airport, in the vicinity of Mole Hill, was discussed. This would allow the Aerodrome Area to be closed to the public when not operational. This request was supported by members as it would now define the areas and would therefore be better controlled. This is the norm with Aerodrome Boundaries and properties throughout the world.

The Community & District Roads Project has finally been given the green light in terms of funding availability and the successful applicants will be notified as soon as possible.

In the Directors report, he advised that funding worth £343,038 had been secured from the Darwin Initiative to support two Darwin Plus Projects. One approved for the Sustainable Development Plan involved cray/lobster stock populations. The other is a Biosecurity project that will see the development of Pest Risk Assessment procedures and building capacity to use them on St Helena.

It was also noted that under the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) Fisheries Management Plan, a survey vessel will soon arrive at St Helena to assist in the fisheries science work on-Island as well as provide local people with training in implementing our National Marine Protected Areas which were passed in principle a year ago.

The meeting concluded at 12.50pm.

#StHelena #EnvironmentAndNaturalResourcesCommittee #ENRC

19 February 2018

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