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Emancipation Day Dialogue In Soufriere

emancipationTHE community of Fond Gens Libres, located at the base of the Gros Piton Nature Trail (GPNT) in Soufriere hosted a pre-Emancipation Day community dialogue and live entertainment session yesterday.

The purpose of the activity was to sensitize and engage Fond Gens Libres residents in the conservation of resources within their community, which is an important part of the Pitons Management Area (PMA).

The survival of many members of the Fond Gens Libres community depends on the sustainable management of the PMA and more specifically the GPNT, and it is therefore pivotal that community members appreciate their critical role in safeguarding the source of their livelihoods, a spokesman for the community said.

The idea for the activity was developed in February 2015 by a multi-agency stakeholder committee coordinated by the PMA Office and comprising the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF), and sister agencies such as the Forestry Department, the Biodiversity Unit and the Soufriere Marine Management Authority (SMMA).

Laurent Jean Pierre, Historical Secretary of the Saint Lucia Archeological and Historical Society was scheduled to deliver a brief reflective and historical narrative on Fond Gens Libres at yesterdayโ€™s dialogue. This was expected to be followed by video presentations and dialogues on the PMAโ€™s Unique Biodiversity, the threat of Invasive Species, Ridge to Reef Conservation, and Sustainable Livelihoods; the Significance, Safeguarding and Challenges of our UNESCO World Heritage Status; and the Sustainable Management of the Gros Piton Nature Trail.

Other notable facilitators included Barbara Pyle of the Barbara Pyle Foundation and Kirk Elliot of Saint Lucia by Kirk.

Organizers also used this opportunity to recognize community stalwarts who have been associated with the work on the GPNT from the 1990s.

The activity culminated with refreshments and light entertainment from local artistes such as SelwynaMcketney, MantiusCazaubon and SOUFRICAN.

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