Blues get grant of over half million euros

| 18/01/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Blue Iguana Recovery Programme(CNS): The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme (BIRP) has been given a $646,000 (€550,000) by the European Union to help with the goal of returning a viable population of the critically endangered species to the wild. According to government information services, the grant from the EU was brokered through the Cabinet Office and made to the National Trust’s blue iguana project as part of a regional EU programme to help countries sustainably manage their protected areas. EU Representative Marlene Lamonth, who toured the blue iguana captive breeding site during the EU delegation’s visit earlier this month, met with BIRP Director, Fred Burton, to discuss key aspects of the project.

“The grant focuses on developing sustainable and low-impact tourism products that can be combined with education,” she said. “During our visit we aimed to meet with those who will execute the project to talk about how they will achieve agreed project goals. We especially focused on what should be done in the first year of implementation."

The iguana relocation project took off last year after the previous administration committed to protecting almost 200 acres of Crown land in Grand Cayman’s eastern interior, via a 99-year peppercorn lease to the National Trust.

“Securing the grant is the culmination of much hard work, and we are excited to start work on the project,” said the Cabinet Office’s Christina Rowlandson.

Currently located in the Botanic Park, the entire iguana breeding programme will eventually be relocated to the leased area. And according to Burton, plans also include building an interactive visitor centre and trail system.

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  1. Pat Shipman says:

    Congratulations to Fred Burton and the entire Blue Iguana Recovery Project team! This vital support will enable them to carry on their wonderful work saving the Blue Iguana.  Now, isn’t it time to recognize that the Sister islands Rock Iguana which lives on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac also needs saving?  Let’s expand the work to save all of our precious and unique Caymanian iguanas.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now if we could only come up with a plan to get rid of the annoying green iguanas that are taking over the island.

  3. anonymous says:

    Imagine the local and international bursaries, donations, sponsors, and endowments that might be made available if actual Marine Turtle conservation were part of Boatswain’s mandate….hmmmm. 

  4. J. L. Ebanks says:

    Congratulations to Fred and the entire Blue Iguana teams who have worked so hard to ensure that the Blue Iguanas do not go extinct in the wild.  No doubt this funding will be a huge benefit as they work toward their goals.

  5. Beer Drinker says:

    That’s how the money is funneled, via the FCO and locally through the Cabinet Office.

    Last year the FCO managed to get forty thousand pounds for The Cayman Institute to develop an Energy Policy to be presented to the Cabinet. I haven’t heard anything about that in the last year.

    I’m thinking of applying for a grant of ten thousand dollars to study the effects of drinking ten beers a day for one entire year.

    I’m estatic that money has been made available for something so well deserving as the Blue Iguana program, but just wanted to take the opportunity to pass a small comment on how money is sometimes handed out without any accountability.

  6. NSS says:

    This is good news, indeed.  While on island had a chance to do the Blue Igauna Safari at the Botanic Park.  Great trek, very informative and good money spent to support a worthy cause.  Now if we could just get the laws changed to differentiate between the native Blues and those pesky greens!

    • Anonymous says:

      Great news-but what the heck does the Cabinet Office have to do with this? There are FAR more important things for them to do (leaving the iguanas to Gina, Fred etc) which simply are not being done because they have no idea whatsoever of what a Cabinet Office in the British system should be doing.