A REGIONAL MANGO BIO-DIVERSITY PROJECT, LED BY THE OECS, HAS THREE MAIN OBJECTIVES.
Food security, and climate resilience, is the target of an OECS mango bio-diversity project, funded by the European Union.
The project has three main objectives.
The first, is to create a model watershed, said Nicole LaForce-Haynes, Environmental Education Officer at the Department of Forestry.
“There are various aspects to this mango bio-diversity project. One aspect is where we will be looking at creating a model watershed. The Corinth/Bois d’Orange watershed was identified, so mango trees will be planted along the riverbanks for stabilization, and public awareness will be created. Because we visited many areas along that river and one of the main issues we identified was the improper disposal of garbage, of solid waste.”
The second is a reforestation initiative.
“Another aspect of this project is where about 6000 mango plants will be planted in vulnerable areas, and vulnerable areas have been identified in terms of vulnerable slopes where we’ve had landslides, and also along certain river banks that are at risk, because it has been realized because of the deep tap root system of the mango plant, that they are very good at holding the soil together, preventing erosion and stabilizing these areas. In many of the places we visited where land slippage did not occur, a lot of the crop there was mango. So it has shown that it can be resilient and stand the test of time.”
The third objective aims to sensitize the public about the project, and about the value of the fruit.
“The fruit was also assessed with regard to its economic value, nutritional benefits and potential to aid food security. So it’s a very large, and very interesting project.”
The Mango Biodiversity Project in Saint Lucia will end in Nov. 2018.