Roseau, Dominica – September 9, 2008…… Project Manager of the Waitukubuli National Trail Project (WNTP), Mrs. Yvanette Baron-George has outlined the objectives of the project.
The Waitukubuli National Trail is a long distance trail estimated at 184km or 115 miles which is expected to traverse the country in a north-south direction. The trail comprises fourteen (14) discontinued segments.
Speaking at the first Community Sensitisation workshop in the Village of Cottage last month, Mrs. Baron-George outlined the objectives of the project as well as the tremendous opportunities its successful implementation will provide. The objectives of the project are:
· To enhance and transform Dominica’s tourism product;
· To promote and support rural development in partnership with agencies such as the Discover Dominica Authority, the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association (DHTA), the private sector, community groups and individuals who are interested in providing accommodation for visitors and other facilities;
· Provide an opportunity to showcase Dominica’s culture and heritage and the involvement of local communities to develop tours near their homes and showcase traditional cooking and farming techniques for example;
· To provide support to economic diversification through the development of alternative economic activities and infrastructural investment;
· Provide opportunities for the participation of NGOs and community-based organisations in the sustainable management of the trail;
· To encourage and promote environmental conservation, historical and cultural preservation and sustainable development at all levels.
The workshop took place in Cottage which is within close proximity of two trail segments under construction, namely the Penville to Capuchin segment (14) and the Capuchin to Portsmouth segment 13).
The community sensitisation workshop was attended by staff from the Programme Management Unit of the WNTP, officials from the Forestry Wildlife and Parks Division, Dr. Lennox Honychurch of the WNTP Steering Committee, Ms. Lolita Raffoul from the Discover Dominica Authority, representatives of the Cottage youth group, Penville village council group, Capuchin tourism and fisheries group and a disaster preparedness group from Savanne Paille as well as villagers from the neighbouring communities.
The theme for the workshop was: Community Involvement- Integral to the success of the Waitukubuli National Trail.
The workshop, the first of many planned by the WNTP Programme Management Unit gave participants the opportunity to learn more about the Waitukubuli National Trail and the WNTP. The participants made suggestions, received clarification on issues and got a better sense of their role in this major development initiative.
The Waitukubuli National Trail project is being implemented by the Government of Dominica, through the Ministry of Agriculture (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division and its partner the Regional Council of Martinique with funding from the European Union under the Special Framework of Assistance (SFA2003) at a cost of (14 million ECD).