ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (eTN) – Two senior government officials believes that the eco-friendly project to “green” the town of St. George’s that is being embarked upon by the Willie Redhead Foundation (WRF) will not only aid in improving the island’s tourism product but will also make the city one of cleanest in the Caribbean.
With a planning grant of US$3500 from the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grant Program, the WRF, which has now adopted the preservation of the natural environment as one its mandates, will be preparing the matrix for “greening the city” through a project called “Green Places Open Spaces.”
Junior Minister the Environment Sylvester Quallace, in endorsing the government’s approval for the project, said that such an initiative will not only impact the environment but the society positively. “It will play a positive role in a number of areas including in land degradation, decrease noise and water pollution, reef protection, providing cooling effect on the temperature as well as bringing some community ownership and civic pride,” he said.
“By endorsing this project, what we in Grenada is trying to do is not just for Grenada but it part of global initiative aimed at saving the world from the effects of climate change,” he stressed.
Describing the initiative as one that will have tremendous positive effects on the tourism industry, Tourism Minster Peter David, who is also Member of Parliament for the Town of St George, said that although from time to time there will be tension between development and the preservation of the environment, the eco-friendly long term plan of the project will make St George’s a special city when mixed with its Georgian heritage.
The Planning Grant will help the group to undertake research; begin a series of consultations and planning sessions; prepare Geographic Information Systems maps of the city; develop a plan of action; and prepare a full grant project proposal.
The project will focus on transforming the capital into a green city by developing and promoting the establishment of green spaces where trees are planted and by reducing carbon emissions from business through energy conservation initiatives. “It will also attempt to develop strategies for addressing the state of poor people in the city,” said the project committee chairman James Finlay.
He said that the WRF is planning to use a participatory process as means of developing consensus for action among all stakeholders. “In this regard we will be convening a series of town hall planning sessions to engage stakeholders in workshops. The group will develop a plan of action which will help to promote policies that will transform and maintain St. George’s as a green city,” he said at the launch of the project which was held at the Coyaba Conference room last Wednesday morning.