27 November 2018
The monthly meetings of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee and the Highways Authority were held on Thursday, 15 November 2018.
During this meeting it was noted that 51 applications had been received for funding from the current Community & District Roads fund. Due to the number of applications received the Committee will finalise this at a separate meeting to be held shortly.
The Roads Manager explained the reasons why roads ‘bleed’ in hot weather and some of the methods which are used to correct this. The Chairman reported that a business case has been prepared to address the roads issues as the funding available in the recurrent budget will only address maintenance issues. It was noted that the majority of our roads are in need of serious rehabilitation.
Professor Helen Roy of the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), UK, and Dr Niall Moore, Head of the Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS), together with the Head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Division, Darren Duncan, provided an update to the Committee on the mid-Atlantic biosecurity horizon scanning visit/workshops that was being undertaken on the Island from 12-16 November 2018, for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, under the Overseas Territories Horizon Scanning Project. The visiting taxonomic team consisted of plant, vertebrate, invertebrate, and marine specialists, to support the St Helena teams. The workshop focused on establishing a list of key species that could arrive on St Helena over the next ten years and cause harm to St Helena’s environment, economy, and the health of the community.
A list of 50 species was established across the taxonomic groups with potential to arrive on-Island, with a list of 20 priority species established within this list. Through discussions on species pathway action planning, the workshop also provided further management measures and actions that can be considered and implemented by St Helena to reduce the risk of the listed species from arriving on-Island. Our biosecurity stakeholders will use this list and the additional expert advice and support systems generated from the workshop to continue to work together to reduce the biosecurity risks for St Helena.
An updated policy for the collection, propagation, and distribution of endemic/ native plants was approved at this meeting. This Policy provides the basis for a licensing system for the collection, propagation, distribution, and sale of endemic and native plants protected under the Environmental Protection Ordinance, 2016. The updated Policy now distinguishes between licences for conservation purposes and licences for commercial growing. A training element has also been included as a pre-requisite for the issuing of licences. General publicity and public awareness of the Policy and training for those interested in applying for licences will commence in 2019.
The Draft Building Regulations have been amended since going out for public consultation and will be presented to Executive Council.
Approval of Government Landlord House designs was granted and tenders are now being sought for the construction of a Pilot House in Half Tree Hollow.
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27 November 2018