Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 24, 2016 (SKNIS): Governor General of St. Kitts and Nevis, His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton has identified that the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) is a system that will coordinate efforts toward the preservation of indigenous forests.

Sir Tapley noted this during the brief visit of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, also known as Prince Harry, who is taking a tour of the Caribbean Region on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“It’s an opportunity for the Commonwealth family to unite to save our forests,” Sir Tapley said. “So there will be created a pan-Commonwealth network of forest conservation networks, marking Her Majesty the Queen’s service to the Commonwealth and her preserving indigenous forests for future generations.”

The QCC was launched at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta in 2015 and St. Kitts and Nevis officially joined the initiative in September 2016.

The Governor General read the letter signaling St. Kitts and Nevis’ desire to be part of the QCC, which was written by Minister of Environment, Honourable Eugene Hamilton. It mentioned the Act through which much of the preservation of forests in the Federation takes place.

“The Government has consistently sought to promote forest conservation in St. Christopher and Nevis, and in the Caribbean pioneered initiatives through the enactment of the National Conservation and Environmental Protection Act in 1987, and is presently updating this legislation by way of a comprehensive management enactment. The government therefore is fully supportive of and applauds this programme.”

The Central Forest Reserve National Park had been chosen as the QCC Project. It was designated on October 23, 2006, as the first national park for the specific purpose of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

It was further outlined that the park contains the last remaining area of tropical forest in St. Kitts and its ecosystem is a functioning watershed providing a reserve of readily renewable water.

The brief ceremony at the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park included the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the QCC.