ANGUILLA - Conservation Priorities

Conservation Infrastructure
Anguilla National Trust
The Anguilla National Trust opened its fully commissioned office in January 1996 with start-up funding from the United Kingdom Government administered by WWF UK. The arrangement included the provision of a full-time Executive Officer for a project period of two years with an Anguillian understudy appointed as Associate Executive Director and one additional member of staff hired as an Administrative Assistant. The project was extended by an additional year with the two Anguillian staff salaries met by an annual subvention provided by the Government of Anguilla and with the promotion of the Associate Executive Director to the post of Executive Director. The Government subvention has continued but has not yet extended to the provision of a third salary in response to the Trust's lobbying for this for at least two years. In September 2000, the former Administrative Assistant returned to the office after successfully completing a M.Sc. in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent at Canterbury. His studies were funded through the receipt of a Chevening Award obtained by the Trust through the Governor's Office. At the time of writing the Trust has advertised for the position of Administrative Manager.
Government of Anguilla

The Government of Anguilla has appointed a Director of the Environment within the Parliamentary Secretary's Office and is seeking to establish a fully developed Department of Environment there. The organisational structure of this new entity is being developed with the assistance of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Natural Resource Management Unit (OECS-NRMU), which has also completed a participatory workshop to develop a National Environmental Management Strategy. During the workshop, inputs designed to resolve conservation issues were introduced by representatives from the Trust, including the consultant from the ongoing Darwin Initiative project, the purpose of which is to strengthen Anguilla's capacity to engage in biodiversity conservation. One draft recommendation is for the proposed government department to be accountable to an Environmental Advisory Council which in turn will be accountable to the island's Executive Council. The Executive Council, which meets weekly, comprises the four Ministers of Government, the Deputy Governor and the Attorney General and is the body responsible for making the day-to-day decisions that govern the island.

There is still, however, an element of scattered responsibility for conservation in Anguilla and this is affected by changes in Ministerial portfolios that are likely to occur when there are changes in government and/or the promotion of relevant technocrats. The current Ministries and their portfolios are reflected below. [to be added]

The Trust liaises with the Government of Anguilla through the office of the Parliamentary Secretary (Environment), which is located in the office of the Chief Minister. It is through this office that the Trust plays its advisory role to the government. In 1998 an Environmental Officer was appointed within the Department of Physical Planning. This resulted in a strengthening of the working relationship between government and the Trust. A period of political instability during 1998-1999 resulted in the dormancy or informal dissolution of the National Environmental Advisory Committee that had been chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary (Environment). The agenda of this Committee was set by the Parliamentary Secretary and based on issues of the day, but the Committee had neither autonomy nor authority to influence conservation policy and practice. With the election of a new Government of Anguilla in March 2000, the Manifesto of the United Front coalition comprising the Anguilla National Alliance and the Anguilla Democratic Party, became the government's official policy document endorsed by the Government of the United Kingdom.

United Front Manifesto
In this policy document under the heading Marine Resources Management and Development, it is written, "The marine resources of Anguilla need to be sustainably managed for the benefit of present and future generations. This strategy will focus on:..." item (d) reads, "continuing protection measures to improve the position of species on the endangered list."

Under the section entitled Environmental Management and Sustainability, "Some of the issues to be addressed are:..." and the first two of six bulleted points are: "protection and conservation of endangered terrestrial and marine flora and fauna; Anguilla's response to global warming, climate change and the rise in sea level"

Objective (vi) of the section on Land Management and Development is also worthy of note. It reads, "strengthen the capacity of the land use and physical planning institution to regulate and facilitate economic and social development and environmental sustainability". (Updated October 2000)

Conservation Policy
It is expected that Anguilla's conservation policy will be determined by the proposed Environmental Advisory Council working with the proposed Department of Environment when these entities are fully established. The National Trust will encourage wide participation in the policy development processes.

While Anguilla has not yet requested the extension of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the SPAW Protocol and other multi-lateral environmental agreements (MEAs), the Anguilla National Trust incorporates the obligations of these agreements in its conservation work so that in some instances good practice is put into place even before the relevant policy is established. It is obvious that the Government of Anguilla may not yet be committed to or may not yet be able to take ownership for some of the practices promoted by the Trust.

(Updated October 2000)

Legislation pertaining to biodiversity conservation was reveiwed along with all other environmental legislation in meeting the Darwin Initiative project objective of developing a new package of environmental legislation for Anguilla. Some guidelines have been developed and, with assistance of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, draft Bills will be prepared for submission to the Attorney General's Office before the end of the project period in 2001.
(Updated October 2000)
Protected Areas
One major objective of the Darwin Initiative Capacity Building project is the establishment of a system of parks and protected areas as device for biodiversity conservation. One recommendation arising from the Wilton Park Conference at which the Darwin Consultant represented the Trust in April 2000 is that prospective developers be required to acquire additional lands, i.e. more than the acreage required for their projects, and that these lands be set aside for conservation purposes. The Trust continues to put forward this recommendation for consideration by appropriate authorities.

Protected Areas

Marine Park - needs management plan

Big Spring -

Road Point (National Park) -

The Fountain Cavern (National Park) - Feasibility study for its development has been conducted and the consultants' report is currently being reviewed.

(Updated October 2000)

Biodiversity (Species)
Sea Turtles
For almost five years the Anguilla National Trust has spearheaded programmes and activities for the protection of four species of sea turtles: hawksbills, leatherbacks, loggerheads and green turtles. WIDECAST and the STRAP
End of moratorium on harvesting in March 2000.
Need for Science to provide rationale for national conservation action

The Lesser Antillean iguana Iguana delicatissima is being targetted from threats posed by the arrival of the green iguana Iguana iguana that arrived on logs by sea during Hurricane Luis in 1995. With the assistance of Flora and Fauna International (FFI) and the Durell Wildlife Conservation Trust, a draft conservation plan for Iguana delicatissima has been developed and is currently being reviewed for implementation in 2001. Activities carried out to date with technical assistance from FFI include

- iguana surveys counts and tagging
- environmental education, training & curriculum development, the creation of environmental education materials - Iggy Iguana booklet and the Great Race for Survival Board Game.

Snake survey - FFI


Ellen Censky's assessment of the Sombrero black lizard Ameiva corvina after Hurricane Luis in 1995. Jenny Daltry's Report (2000) on Ameiva corvina following the Rapid Conservation Assessment of the cay in November 1999.

Karim Hodge (Anguilla NT) assisted by Daryl Stoddard (Government of Anguilla) conservation assessment of the endemic ground lizard Ameiva corax of Little Scrub Cay

Bird database - assistance from RSPB (2000).

There have been no sightings of the West Indian Whistling Duck on Anguilla and duck-shooting seems to have been a thing of the past.

Species identified by Mike Ivie during the Rapid Conservation Assessment of Sombrero. This was the first time that the insects of Anguilla became the objects of scientific attention. There is need for such work to be conducted on the mainland.

(Updated October 2000)

Biodiversity (Habitats)
Risks posed by development
Loss due to natural disasters

Coastal and Marine
Destruction of sand dunes - sand mining and tourism development - 17 protected beaches - inadequate monitoring.

August 2000 - work done by Reef Check Monitoring - Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and Government of Anguilla Environmental Offier

Offshore Cays
Rapid Conservation Assessment of Sombrero

Assessment conducted in November 1999. Report by Jenny Daltry of FFI (2000) on Ameiva corvina following the Rapid Conservation Assessment of the cay in November 1999.

In 1996-7 a study of Anguilla's Wetlands was conducted by UN Volunteer, Judy Dudley. Her findings formed the basis of A Field Guide to Anguilla's Wetlands published by the Anguilla National Trust. The Field Guide highlights the bird life surrounding Anguilla's salt ponds and also includes a list of flora found around the ponds.

Some information about mangroves is contained in the Field Guide but most of Anguilla's mangroves suffered severe damage during Hurricane Luis in 1995 and a proposal for Mangrove Rehabilitation is currently being considered by the OECS-NRMU.

(Updated October 2000)