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Regional Search and Rescue Course to boost disaster readiness
By Andrea Downer, Writer
Bridgetown, Barbados,, January 5, 2009, (Panos) - A regional search and rescue course will be held in Montserrat from February 15th to 24th 2009 to help boost the Caribbean ’s preparation for coping with natural disasters.
Developing capacity for agricultural sector policy formulation
August 30 2008
An effective agricultural development strategy is critical for identifying the key issues and opportunities facing the agriculture sector, and developing operationally sound programmes to promote pro-poor growth.
Strategies must provide a “vision” for the future role of the sector, and set forth a policy framework and the investment priorities needed to achieve this vision.
Key areas for support include building the human and institutional capacity for strategic analysis and planning and establishing a participatory consultative process to articulate an agricultural development strategy that can result in real progress for the sector.
Attached are the photos of the various types of Bird Sighting attraction at the Mckinnon Pond during the nesting season.
It's More Than Just a Pond
By Onika Campbell
Set in the temperature region of Antigua and Barbuda, located below sea level is the magnificent McKinnon Pond, at Dickenson Bay. A beautiful area of environmental wonders, including the Wetland Bird nesting, it is just the sort of place you imagine would be covered with camera-toting bird enthusiasts.
Enjoying the migratory bird species in summer season, the area is fast becoming a tourist destination for all seasons.
In 2005, the Environment Division began an extensive rehabilitation project on the area that has been subjected to severe degradation due to unplanned development and pollution by sewage and other pollutants.
Antigua-Barbuda-Redonda Bird Species of Special Conservation Concern
(Rare, Vulnerable or Endangered; and/or Endemic)
Puffinus iherminieri Widespread breeder in Eastern Caribbean, but Redonda is only nesting site in the Country.
Red Billed Tropic Bird
Phaethon aethereus Uncommon, Vulnerable due to threats to nesting habitat in North Sound
Sula dactylatra Redonda is 1 of only 2 known nesting sites in the Caribbean.
Sula leucogaster Redonda is one of the few nesting sites in the Caribbean.
Red Footed Booby
sula sula Redonda is 1 of 3 nesting sites in the Lesser Antilles
The beaches of Antigua and Barbuda are perhaps the most valuable physical asset the country possesses. They are a major barrier to the constant force of coastal erosion which eats away at our land base, this measure of protection is particularly important to Barbuda considering the low lying nature of its topography.
Sand Dunes occur just behind the beach and they are an amalgamation of sand particles. They originate from intertidal beaches where sand gets blown inland and accumulates to form dunes. Dunes support a variety of specialized animals and vegetation adapted to survive in saline, dry, low nutrient, mobile sediment in the area. The vegetation such as a seaside grape (Cocoloba uvifeia) is important in the formation of dunes and the stabilization of the sand. The vegetation increases the surface area for the accumulation of sand particle it also increases the resistance to sand grains being blown by the wind
There are extensive areas of sea grass beds in the shallow waters around the coasts of Antigua and Barbuda. Sea grass communities are generally found in waters up to 20 meters deep. Species lists for the coastal flora and fauna are not available, but there are three main sea grass species found in the islands' shallow waters.
o Turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum),
o Manatee grass (Syringodium filiforme)
o Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii).
o Sea grass beds are important in helping to stabilize loose sand thereby retarding coastal erosion.
1. Antiguan ground snake (Alsophis antillensis antiguae) (Great Bird Island)
2. Dwarf Woodslave (Sphaerodactylus elegantulus) (Antigua and Barbuda)
3. Green lizard (Anolis bimaculatus leachi) (Antigua and Barbuda)
4. Lizard (Anolis wattsi wattsi) (Antigua)
5. Lizard (Anolis nubilus) (Redonda)
6. Ground lizard (Ameiva griswoldi) (Antigua and Barbuda)
7. Ground lizard (Ameiva pluvianotata atrata) (Redonda)
1. Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus insulicola) (Antigua)
2. Adelaide’s Warbler (Dendroica adelaidae) (Barbuda)
1. Pig-faced or Rat Bat (Brachyphylla cavernarum) (Antigua)
What Are Coral Reefs?
Coral reefs are massive deposits of calcareous material found only in clear, shallow, warm (more that 21ºC) water, where there is enough light for photosynthesis. A complex and highly productive reef ecosystem includes stony and soft corals, anemones, sea fans and sea whips. Stony corals are the most important for reef-building. The reef acts physically like a rock shore in providing anchorage for algae and sessile animals, and a great variety of fish and swimming invertebrates shelter within the reef's crevices.
Types of reefs
There are four main types of coral reefs found around Antigua and Barbuda - Barrier, Bank Barrier, Patch and Fringing Reefs.
A watershed is a topographically defined area having a common drainage system. Watersheds are used as fundamental units for assessing hydrological budgets and processes such as erosion and to provide for land use planning and management.
Antigua's 86 watersheds recognized by the Halcrow study (Halcrow 1977) were grouped by McMillan (1985) into are 13 larger watershed groups. The two largest watersheds (1 Potworks, and 2 Big Creek) drain the northern slopes of the south west volcanic region and the main parts of the Central Plain to the east and west respectively. Fitches Creek drains into North Sound. Christian Valley, Parham and Bethesda are also important watershed groups. These six watersheds occupy 43 percent of the land area and contain 80 percent of the groundwater supplies and 90 percent of surface water storage. Within these watersheds are found 50 percent of the island's forest land, 90 percent of its crop production, 60 percent of livestock production and 70 percent of the population (Fernandez 1990).