The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) has received a three-month COVID-19 relief grant from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund).
The grant totals $19,000, and according to the National Parks, the funds will assist with the operational costs that facilitate the protection of endangered plant conservation in the BVI.
“The NPTVI grant will cover the salaries of two staff at the Joseph Reynold O’Neal Botanic Gardens so that they can continue to ensure the survival of four globally threatened plant species in the conservation nursery. It will also fund monthly field work to monitor these plant species at key sites on Tortola, Anegada and Virgin Gorda,” the NPTVI stated in a recent media release.
Director of the National Parks, Dr Cassander Titley-O’Neal expressed gratitude towards the entity for contributing to the NPTVI during this very critical COVID-19 period.
“The National Parks Trust relies solely on tourism to fund our conservation efforts, which has seen significant funding losses since March 2020. Our funding challenges have continued with the closing of the territory’s borders due to COVID-19,” she stated.
“As the Director, I would like to convey my sincerest gratitude to the Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for the grant which will ensure the continued operations of the Trust,” Dr Titley-O’Neal further said.
The MBZ Fund is a philanthropic endowment that provides micro-grants to support conservation projects for the world’s most threatened species.
As a result of many conservation organisations experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MBZ Fund decided to offer a three-month COVID-19 relief grant to help organisations avoid layoffs, cutbacks, or ceasing operations completely.
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