The Environment & Natural Resources Committee met on Thursday, 16 November 2017, to discuss a number of issues.

One of the issues discussed, arising from the minutes of 19 October, was the Glass Recycling Project operated by CNSKB at the Horse Point Landfill Site. As a result of the discussions, a contractual agreement was drawn up between CNSKB and Waste Management Services to allow CNSKB to continue to use the Waste Management facility at Horse Point Landfill, but on a slightly smaller footprint. This will accommodate CNSKB’s glass crushing equipment, and will allow operators to continue their work indoors.

There were no other matters arising, therefore the minutes were approved and signed with two minor amendments.

Isabel Peters continued her presentation of the Environmental Protection Ordinance (EPO). Part 8 of the EPO covers the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of wild flora and fauna. CITES is an international agreement between governments that was established in 1973 to protect wild populations of species (plants and animals) under threat from over exploitation from international trade. CITES was extended to St Helena in 1976.

Jonathan the Tortoise is a CITES appendix II listed species. Some of the marine species found in our waters, including dolphins, sharks and whales, are also CITES listed.

There is a requirement for all CITES parties to have a CITES compliant legislation in place.  Part 8 of the EPO was drafted to achieve this for St Helena. The EPO was reviewed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the CITES Secretariat, and St Helena was awarded provisional category 1 status – provisional until a Scientific Authority is appointed for St Helena.

Locally CITES is implemented by a Management Authority – for St Helena this is the Chief Environmental Officer. The Management Authority grants import and export permits, and is supported by a Scientific Authority, who provides technical and scientific advice. We have a provisional agreement from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) (for animals) and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (for plants), to serve as our Scientific Authorities, with MoUs currently being drafted. A small annual retainer and fee for each application will be charged. The Scientific Authorities will be appointed by HE Governor Lisa Phillips.

The Darwin Plus projects – DPLUS051, DPLUS052 and DPLUS070 – were then discussed by members from the Darwin Plus Project and visiting personnel.

Ben Sansom, who many on the Island will know, has returned for a short while to assist with works on the DPLUS051 Project. Following last year’s drought, DPLUS051 (Water Security & Sustainable Cloud Forest Restoration) continues to collect mist, water and climate data within the Peaks and surrounding areas of interest to help understand the significance of mist interception on the Island’s water supply. The project is due to report its findings in June 2018.

New Marine Biologist, Alison Small, led discussions on the DPLUS070 project. The DPLUS070 project is investigating the open water ecosystem around St Helena. Starting with the environmental conditions and the algae that float and grow in the water and working up the food chain, to the big fish and sea birds. This project will run until June 2019 and will enable us to understand our Pelagic Ecosystem.

GIS Team Leader, Sam Cherrett, and Andrew Detheridge, who is visiting from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales for three weeks, discussed the DPLUS052 project. The DPLUS052 project (Mapping St Helena’s Biodiversity & Natural Environment) aims to create a baseline for the Island-wide habitat, soil and ecosystems services maps. Following habitat field work in February, they are currently undertaking intensive soil sampling field work across the Island with a view to provide maps and data around mid-June 2018.

Under Any Other Business, an application from Creative St Helena for the renovation and use of the lower part of the Duke of Edinburgh playground to be reinstated back to a play area was deliberated.

In addition, the Roads Management team with support from Technical Services considered locations and designs for additional parking throughout Jamestown. This was a good discussion which will be processed in time with the Parking Review Programme for the Jamestown area.

The approval for funding from the District & Community Roads Project was also discussed, however in light of the number of applications, it was agreed to have a special meeting to address this. A meeting will be held at the earliest convenience to allow the successful applicants sufficient time to secure funding before this financial year comes to a close.

Thursday, 14 December, was agreed as the date for the next meeting.

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SHG
20 November 2017

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