LEVERA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ECOTOURISM
LEVERA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ECOTOURISM
The Greater Sauteurs Local Area Plan, (GSLAP, 2009)4 describes the
environmental diversity, cultural and historical richness of that area of St.
Patrick’s. However, there is limited knowledge and awareness of environment
and sustainable livelihood issues among the members of the communities of the
Parish of St. Patrick’s, the northernmost parish in Grenada. In addition, a low
level of education among many people of the surrounding communities’ results in
limited opportunities for employment. St. Patrick’s is furthest from the capital, St.
George’s, and was identified in a national study on poverty5 as having the
highest number of unemployed youth. At the same time development of
ecotourism opportunities in St. Patrick’s can translate into jobs and a higher
standard of living for the people of the Parish. The Government of Grenada’s
Ministry responsible for Fisheries initially had informal meetings with the local
communities bordering the Levera Beach to discuss the issues related to the
protection of turtles. In addition, the protection of leatherback turtles has gained
impetus because of the work of the Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Spirits, a
foreign owned company. (See www.oceanspirits.org).

Levera Beach in the Parish of St. Patrick’s, has been the centre of Leatherback
Turtle research undertaken by Ocean Spirits for the last nine (9) years. Research
is undertaken from March to August. The potential for the expansion of the
environmental protection of the turtles and turtle watching at night as a tourist
attraction, as well as an opportunity for local students to get involved in the
research, and employment opportunities for community members, was identified
by SPECTO. This led to planning for environmental education of the people of
the community as well as training for employment as tour guides to contribute to
sustainable development of communities in the parish.

The leatherback turtle meat and eggs were a source of income for fisher folk in
the parish and this leads to poaching and slaughtering of the now protected turtles and destruction of the nest by people and animals. The challenge is the
continuous protection of the Leatherback Turtles, while replacing the income
generated for fisher folk through their consumption in the past; The Ministry
responsible for Fisheries, which has the primary responsibility for the
management and protection of the entire marine environment across Grenada,
Carriacou and Petite Martinique, mandated SPECTO the primary managers of
the Levera Beach Leatherback Turtle Tour Guiding eco-tourism activity in St.
Patrick’s (See Appendix 3).

Given the success of the SPECTO’s work in connecting conservation to ecotourism
economic activities and supporting the expansion of alternative livelihood
for fishermen and the unemployed, there is great potential to scale up SPECTO’s
work to support long term sustainable development, conservation and climate
change adaptation in Grenada. With rural areas accounting for the highest
numbers of Grenada’s impoverished, SPECTO as a community group and
environmental leader also has the opportunity to continue its work to assist in
poverty eradication.

SPECTO’s long-term plan for St. Patrick’s is the protection and development of
the environmental, cultural and historical heritage of the Parish through
restoration, maintenance, economic development and education which is
accordance with the national and regional priorities of Caribbean islands given
their vulnerability to climate change, the need for improved policies and
implementation of ecosystem based adaptation to deal with the problem of
decreasing biodiversity and unsustainability and the Caribbean’s struggle to
develop economically especially in tourism as a result of increased competition
globally.

SPECTO will continue to work with government authorities to formally adopt the
Levera Pond Protected Area (LPPA) and other heritage and environmental
projects proposed in the GSLAP to connect the community back to sustainable
resource management and at the same time create economic opportunities for
the undeserved and rural communities without a voice.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
St. Patrick's Environmental & Community Tourism Organisation
Country:
Grenada
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
CapDev
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 19,098.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 30,779.00
Project Number:
GRD/SGP/OP5/Y4/CORE/CD/14/03
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Consultations were carried out by SPECTO in each of the communities of St. Patrick’s. The SPECTO members who represent each of the communities of the Parish, worked with the members responsible for the project development during weekly meetings. Based on community consultations and assessment by SPECTO members, key priority areas in need of aggressive development were identified. Community members will participate fully during project implementation coordinated by the project committees with SPECTO acting as the project coordinator since the project is focused on enhancing community participation in the creation of eco-tourism opportunities. A large part of the project will involve communication campaigns and outreach strategies to encourage community participation and increase awareness on both environmental issues and eco-tourism opportunities.
Policy Impact
St Patrick Environmental Community Tourism Organisation, (SPECTO) has collaborated with the Government of Grenada to continue the development of eco-tourism opportunities related to endangered leatherback conservation in Levera. The Ministry responsible for Fisheries have mandated SPECTO the primary group to provide certified Tour Guides for Turtle Watching on Levera Beach and this co management approach has proven successful with the opportunity to scale up
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Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator
 

Address

Levera PO Box 2966
Sauteurs , St. Patrick's ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Kadijah Paula Edwards
Phone:
14734201540
Email:
Ms Akarda Ventour
Email:

Address

P.O. Box 3486
St. George's