Community News
A meeting under the th
A meeting under the th
The President of the Community, Aline Hanson, received Mr. François Gauthiez, Deputy Director of the Marigot Marine Protected Areas Agency, 18 February 2014


Subject: press release

A meeting under the theme of protection of the marine environment
On Monday 17 February in the Community, President Aline Hanson received François Gauthiez, deputy director of the Agency for Marine Protected Areas visiting the Northern Islands, and Romain Renoux, in charge of regional cooperation for the Reserve Natural, and corresponding to St Martin of the sanctuary of marine mammals AGOA.
Based in Brest, the "Marine Protected Areas and Marine Parks" Agency was created in 2007, a public institution whose mission is to manage French marine parks. In addition to managing these parks, the Agency's mission is to implement policies to develop marine protected areas, such as those already existing in metropolitan France and overseas, in the Marquesas Islands or in New Caledonia by example. François Gauthiez carried out this first pedagogical visit to our islands in order to inform local officials about the actions of the Agency of Marine Protected Areas.
In the Caribbean, the marine mammal sanctuary AGOA, created in 2010 and extending from Martinique to the northern islands, is a very valuable protection tool for marine mammals. Mr Gauthiez wished to make the President of the Territorial Council aware of the importance of protecting the marine environment and its riches, in particular through structures such as AGOA. An issue that our Community is fully aware of, since it is already involved on the board of directors of the Saint Martin Nature Reserve and the French Shore Council of America, whose respective objectives Of our environment.
François Gauthiez recalled the missions of the AGOA structure which aims to create around the protection of marine mammals in our region a platform for consultation and a dynamic around the knowledge of these animals. Moreover, regular scientific exchanges take place throughout the year around these themes.
Towards the creation of an AGOA Management Committee
Mr. Gauthiez proposed to the President that an AGOA Management Committee be established, representing the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and the communities of St Barthelemy and St Martin. This management committee, which would be set up in the summer 2014, would bring together the local institutions (state, community, tourist office) and the main socio-economic actors of the four islands, to federate them around the dynamics of protection of marine mammals . Awareness-raising projects (for example, among schoolchildren), guided by a pre-established charter and work program, could then be set up. An idea enthusiastically welcomed by President Aline Hanson, who wished to introduce in this project the issue of integration and the possibility of creating jobs for young Saint-Martin.
The protection of our marine environment is booming in our region, where many initiatives of the AGOA type in the French West Indies have emerged in the Dominican Republic, Saba and St Eustache. Regional cooperation in the protection of marine fauna and flora is therefore a reality to be taken into account. To this end, France is planning to set up a national Mer & Littoral committee in the very near future, with a declination in the ultra-marine territories which would become the "Maritime Committee for the West Indies Basin".
Aware of the environmental issues of these 50 next years and the unique asset that the sea represents for our tourists, the Collectivité of Saint-Martin fervently supports this dynamic.

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