3 September 2020
At the monthly Highways Authority meeting members discussed the Roads Works Programme. The Programme prioritises the evaluation of the Island’s roads network to ensure the limited resources allocated to its upkeep are directed to identified problem areas. Members endorsed this approach and thanked the Roads Team for the works thus far during the challenging winter period.
At the Environment & Natural Resources Committee monthly meeting the following topics were discussed:
The New St Helena Map
Members approved the sale price of the new St Helena Map at £10 each and £30 for a larger map made up of four sections. The maps are anticipated to arrive on the October call of the MV Helena and will be available for sale from the Post & Customer Services Centre.
The new map was developed by the Geographic Information System (GIS) team of the Infrastructure & Transport Directorate following extensive public consultation earlier this year. Notable changes are the construction of the Airport, the Airport Access Road and developments in Rupert’s. The revision exercise has also enabled the position of two of the three peaks on the central ridge to be corrected. National Conservation Areas have also been added.
Dark Skies Legislation
Members were asked to consider an amendment to the Environmental Protection Ordinance to make provision for the regulation of the use of artificial light at night for the protection of the natural environment and the night sky and for the reduction of energy waste and carbon emissions.
The Committee recognised St Helena’s history of Astronomy and agreed in principle to the proposed changes subject to certain exemptions to provide assurance that certain activities would not be adversely affected by this initiative. Topics of discussion included night-time sporting activities, nightclubs and the requirement for Port and Security lighting.
It was felt that the zoning of particular areas should have input from the wider Council and that such provision should be included in the Ordinance rather than Regulations.
Members supported the drive towards reduced energy consumption which contributes to the Island’s Green and Blue agenda.
Update on fisheries/science programmes
The Marine team presented an overview of the latest scientific data surrounding fisheries conservation topics which included:
- Data obtained to inform management of Grouper species e.g. spawning behaviour
- A more focused approach to Ground Species in general which informs individual assessments
- Data collection on Bait Species including biological sampling as well as tagging to add to existing data
- The Darwin Plus Lobster Project continues which will inform legislative changes
- Fishermen themselves will be involved in the actual tagging of fish and sampling of water quality in James Bay will continue
- All relevant data collected is to be incorporated into the Marine Management Plan.
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3 September 2020