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Friday 13 December 2019
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THA eyes 140-acre eco-park

Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer  -
Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer -

THA Secretary of Food Production, Forestry and Fisheries Hayden Spencer said plans are being made for the creation of the wildlife nature park in Goldsborough at the Lure Estate.

H e said this would boost Tobago’s thrust in tourism as well as ensuring conservation of the environment.

Spencer made the announcement at last Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing at the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation in Scarborough.

He said the feasibility study is currently ongoing and is being undertaken by a consortium of contractors, among them: Catalyst Solutions Ltd of Trinidad and Tobago, Caripo consultants of Costa Rica and Greenluck Consulting Group Inc of Panama.

“This project is a first class eco-product that utilises the natural features of indigenous wildlife, waterfalls, rivers and landscape. This park will occupy 140 acres of the Lure Estate located in Goldsborough, Tobago.

“The work to date is as follows: inventory and evaluation of flora and fauna as well as qualitative water and quality data collecting. The initial assessment has been done and an outlined report is being prepared. The approach taken to address the issues of uncertainty around the site boundaries was to cover a wider area than initially proposed... this has become necessary for us to establish the boundaries of the site.”

He said work is also being done on a benchmarking exercise identifying case studies from Costa Rica, Panama, the Caribbean and Australia.

This project, he said is to increase biodiversity conservation and make wise use of wildlife and natural resources of Tobago, while providing additional revenue directly to the economy and generating new employment opportunities via six cross sector linkages; agro tourism, adventure tourism, bio-diversity conservation, eco-tourism, cultural heritage tourism and research tourism.

“Against this background, the expected output would be a world class nature park, the only facility of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. The project has an estimated lifeline of three to five years,” he said.

The secretary also provided an update on the farmers irrigation programme, indicating that work is currently ongoing in the Goldsborough area; Pig Farm Road and Cow Farm Road.

He said: “The feasibility study is ongoing. We would have contracted Udecott as the project manager, who would have engaged Wells Caribbean Services Limited to carry out that project. However, the project is being done in phases – the feasibility study is going on which encompasses hydro geological survey, structural geological mapping of the area, a borehole well testing to check the quality of water in each hole, the production potential and recharge capacity, interviewing of farmers as to their farming habits.”

These he said was during the week of November 11 and is expected to be completed in the first week of December, in an effort to start the second phase of the actual project.

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