Anse Boileau launches body to protect environment


07-April-2009

 
Hon. Pool launching the association in the presence of Minister Meriton and other guests

The Anse Boileau Environmental Protection and Coastal Rehabilitation Association (AEPCA) was launched at the weekend by the National Assembly member for the district, Andre Pool.

The event, at the district’s community centre, was part of activities to mark Districts Day.
The launch took place in the presence of Minister for Community Development, Youth, Sports and Culture Vincent Meriton, principal secretary for Community Development Olsen Vidot, the mayor of Victoria, Marie-Antoinette Alexis, district officials, representatives from neighbouring districts, sponsors and members of the community.

The association is chaired by Louis Loizeau, with Neville Dick as vice-chairperson, Paul Bonnelame treasurer and Nimhan Senaratne secretary and technical adviser. It has three other members.

Mr Loizeau said the idea for the association came about after a group of concerned people decided to come together to do something for the coastal environment of their district.

Anse Boileau, like many other districts, suffers from the major challenge of coastal erosion, which was made much worse by the tsunami of 2004.

They had already identified several key projects that needed immediate action – among them the first phase of the erosion mitigation and costal rehabilitation project – when they submitted the concept of the association to the Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones of the Indian Ocean Countries (Recomap) for funding early last year.

Guests viewing the exhibition put up to mark Districts Day at Anse Boileau

Recomap is an Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) project that receives its funding from the European Union to help countries protect and preserve their coastal environment and exploit their coastal resources at a sustainable rate.

The AEPCA was among very few non-governmental organisations whose projects were selected for a full submission, and in September last year its bid was successful.

Mr Loizeau said carrying out this project is very important for Anse Boileau because, as well as people’s homes, all the key buildings such as the school, health centre, police station and Cable & Wireless exchange station are on the coast.

During the launch of the association, Mr Senaratne gave a detailed presentation of the first phase of the project, which is expected to start in the coming months once all the necessary material has been compiled.

The project will begin opposite the police station, going up to the grotto of the Virgin Mary (Kap Mari).
Mr Pool said the project is a long-term one with other phases to be implemented later and will be the pride of the district in terms of coastal protection.

He thanked everyone who has, in one way or another, contributed to setting it up.
People in the district are being encouraged to start raising seedlings of coastal plants, which will be needed to replant the area once the project is completed.

Meanwhile the main activity of Anse Boileau’s Districts Day – an exhibition showcasing its achievements over the past year and featuring the coastal project – remains open to the public until later this week.

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