The Island Resources Foundation, a non-government environmental leader in the Caribbean since 1972, has launched the second phase of its BVI Environmental Profile Programme. Research activities will commence in October for Virgin Gorda, to be followed in 2012 by similar efforts for Anegada. An earlier Environmental Profile, for the island of Jost Van Dyke, was prepared by the Foundation in 2009, in partnership with the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society.
The Foundation brings considerable experience to the current project, having previously prepared Environmental Profiles for eight Eastern Caribbean countries. According to IRF vice president, Judith Towle, environmental profiles have long served as an effective way of helping to ensure that environmental issues are included in development planning.
Environmental Profiles are not just another research study, stated Towle, many of which are species-specific, site-specific, or sector-specific and do not comprehensively address environmental issues and conflicts. Environmental Profiles provide not only inclusive environmental information, analysis and recommendations, but do this within a single, island-specific document that makes this information available for easy access and use by policy makers, resource managers, researchers, developers, students and the community at large.
BVI Government support was secured through a generous grant from the Office of the Premier. In meetings with IRF earlier this year, the Premier Ralph T. O’Neal, acknowledged the importance of having Environmental Profiles available in the Virgin Islands to help guide better-informed public policy decisions.