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St Helena : Stewardship of the Nation’s Heritage: considering National Protected Areas
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 22.10.2011 (Article Archived on 05.11.2011)

This week’s article regarding the Land Development Control Plan (LDCP) considers the network of National Protected Areas.

Stewardship of the Nation’s Heritage: considering National Protected Areas


 


This week’s article regarding the Land Development Control Plan (LDCP) considers the network of National Protected Areas.


 


What are protected areas?


These are areas identified to safeguard particular features or values: attractive landscapes, specific plants, animals and geology, historic buildings and cultural associations or places for recreation and amenity. They are places and values that need to be protected on the island for the quality of St Helenian life and for their contribution to tourism and the economy.


With the worldwide increase in rates of extinction of animals and plants, deforestation and loss of fish populations, protected areas are a high priority internationally. Increasingly, protected areas are seen as a natural solution to some of the global challenges – including climate change. History has shown that unless important features are deliberately looked after they tend to be lost over time as human development – particularly Western style development – progresses.






 


St Helena has been establishing National Protected Areas for many years. A milestone in 2005 was the establishment of the Diana's Peak National Park and 14 National Protected Areas were included in the existing Land Development Control; Plan. These have been carried forward in the draft revised Plan with additions.


What types of area and how managed?


St Helena has within its 47 sq. miles extraordinary diversity of landscape, history and nature. Add to these riches Saint culture which has used resourcefully so much of the land for generations that we have something unique. National Protected Areas appropriately managed under the stewardship of communities can support living and working landscapes that protect critical aspects, including the more intangible parts of cultural heritage, while allowing communities to evolve and develop. We wish to promote an approach to managing the areas based on 'inclusion'; the sustainable use of land and the fair sharing of costs and benefits with management delegated away from government to community groups, charities and societies. There can also be partnerships between communities, government, the private sector and civil society.


Where are they?










Lot


The National Protected Areas are to be found across the island. Under the proposal the area covered is extensive, around 25% of the island, but this is because each of the protected areas will do a slightly different job. The Diana's Peak National Park and proposed South West National Park are mainly focussed on maintaining landscape values and the endemic species within them; others are smaller and focus on specific values to be safeguarded.


The draft LDCP contains our current outline proposals for National Protected Areas. We are currently working with a National Protected Areas Advisor, Rob Wild, and the National Protected Areas Working Group to refine these and develop detailed proposals.


Will I or my community be affected?


The National Protected Areas are intended to be a long-term asset for St Helena and will be given legal protection as well as being included in the LDCP. They are predominantly on Crown Land although some areas of private land are included. This, however, does not generally mean that the land cannot be developed: for most of the protected areas there will not be restrictions on development beyond those in the current LDCP proposals. The LDCP provides the principles and primary policies that guide what development is appropriate in the different zones around the island.


A management plan will be prepared for each protected area that will provide a more detailed level of guidance that will sit under the policies in the LDCP. Some key parts are expected to be designated for no development while others will be promoted for wise use and appropriate development, all within the umbrella of stewardship for the future.


Private land currently considered in the protected areas is being identified and landowners contacted for consultation; but individuals, landowners, businesses and special interest groups who are interested are encouraged to contact Rob Wild at ANRD on tel.4724 or robgwild@gmail.com . Further information is also available at the Consultation Suite at Essex House.


A quick note on the LDCP Consultation


The following public meetings are planned over the next 3 weeks:

























Venue


Date/Time


Harford Community Centre


Monday, 24th October at 7pm


Blue Hill Community Centre


Monday, 31st October at 7pm


Kingshurst Community Centre


Wednesday, 2nd November at 7pm


Half Tree Hollow Community Centre


Thursday, 3rd November at 7pm


Silver Hill Bar


Monday, 7th November at 7pm


Jamestown Community Centre


Tuesday, 8th November at 7pm

 

This article is the Property and Copyright of Saint Helena Herald.

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