The Pitons Management Area (PMA) celebrates its 18th anniversary as a World Heritage Site on June 30th, 2022, under the theme, “The Pitons Management Area – Protecting our Property for our Prosperity and Posterity!”
The PMA, located in the southwest of Saint Lucia, is a multiple-use conservation and management area of 1,134 hectares of land and 875 hectares of sea, respectively, totaling 2,909 hectares. It comprises the majestic Pitons, the Sulphur Springs, and a vast diversity of marine and terrestrial flora and fauna. The Government of Saint Lucia became a signatory to the World Heritage Conve-
ntion on October 14th, 1991. Subsequently, the PMA became a World Heritage Site on June 30th, 2004 under Criteria vii and viii of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre Operational Guidelines, which present precise criteria for the inscription of properties on the World Heritage List. Additionally, the PMA was declared an Environmental Protected Area in 2003 and a Special Enforcement Area in 2011.
The PMA Office bears the responsibility of managing our World Heritage Site. Established in 2006, the Office has the vision to “achieve a well- managed area in which the natural and cultural assets and landscape quality are protected through a participatory management approach which is guided by the principles of sustainability, equity, and participation and in which benefits are generated for individuals, the community, and the state”. Key areas of focus include the conservation of natural, cultural, and historical resources, landscape management, monitoring and reporting, public education and awareness, research, surveillance and enforcement and marketing and promotion.
To commemorate this momentous occasion, the PMA Office has planned a series of activities from June 27th – 30th, 2022, including a Jingle Competition, Open-House Days, a panel discussion and radio interviews, PSAs, and the launching of the PMA Did You Know Series. The main goal of these events is to create an awareness of, and a deep appreciation for the PMA.
The Government of Saint Lucia remains committed to maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the Pitons Management Area. The Government continues to work with all stakeholders including the Soufriere Marine Management Agency (SMMA) and the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation
(SRDF), to ensure that it remains in compliance with the obligations of the World Heritage Committee. Ongoing initiatives include plans to delineate and demarcate the boundaries of the PMA, incorporation of disaster risk reduction into the PMA Management Plan, reforestation using the endemic pencil cedar and removal of the invasive plant species, Wandering Jew, on the Gros Piton Nature Trail.
It is important to remember that the Pitons Management Area does not just belong to the residents of Soufriere, but to the people of Saint Lucia, and the rest of the world. Let us each continue to play our part faithfully, in protecting our natural and cultural heritage, not just for ourselves but for our children.