Montserrat Projects Win Darwin Local Funding

Several agencies and individuals were successful this year in winning funding under the new Darwin Plus Local scheme.

Launched in 2022, the Darwin Local allows for community groups and agencies to submit projects of up to £50,000, while individuals can submit projects up to £20,000.

Projects funded in Round 1 are:

  • The Department of Environment was successful with its Green Space Creation on Montserrat project to the tune of £18,500.00. It is expected to run from April 1, 2023, to March 29, 2024.
  • Strengthening Montserrat’s Marine Ecosystem through Coral Restoration Implementation and Training by Island Solutions Incorporated (£48,024.00) from May 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024.
  • The Montserrat National Trust’s MNT- Pipers Lot Outdoor Educational Facility & Nature Trail (£49,896.00) from April 1, 2023, to March 31,2024, enables the development of a nature trail with an environmental education and emersion area highlighting Montserrat’s unique biodiversity and natural heritage for the benefit of Montserrat’s young people and other visitors. A key role for some parts of the area will be biological surveying opportunities for students – for their training and for progressive benefit of the information base for the site. An onsite farming area will allow for teaching farming techniques and the production of medicinal plants. In 2021, the Trust was gifted with almost 13 acres of land in the Friths area by the Piper’s Family.
  • Establishing a Video Survey Library Program for Montserrat’s Coral Reefs (£38,741.00) by Island Solutions Incorporated. The project which runs until March 31, 2024, builds on other work being undertaken with the island’s coral reefs. This project will establish Montserrat’s baseline video survey library for coral reef assessment and train the government dive team on these techniques.
  • Developing conservation practitioners to enable mountain chicken restoration in Montserrat (£49,998.00) is a project by the Montserrat National Trust. The project will build capacity in Montserrat to enable the intensive management of a semi-wild population of Critically Endangered Mountain chicken frogs, threatened by the fungal disease which drove them to near-extinction. It will test interventions designed to re-establish the species across its former range, while equipping staff and volunteers to address endangered species management more generally and increase regional expertise. Through internships and outreach events, we will raise awareness of our unique biodiversity and improve engagement in conservation activities.
  • Nature-based solutions to treat SCTLD – Montserrat – Pilot Program (£39,127.00) by Island Solutions Incorporated runs until March 31, 2024 Read more about the coral reef probiotics pilot project here.

In Round 2 – Demonstrating Adaptation and Sustainability at the Montserrat National Trust’s Botanical Gardens (£44,988.00) is focused on bringing together the community to empower itself through the demonstration of irrigation systems based on climate adaptation techniques with the introduction of interpretation boards, and appropriate descriptions and labelling of plant fauna throughout the Botanical Garden. It also aims to increase local knowledge of the island’s flora and adaptation to the changing environment.

Montserrat, like other British Overseas Territories benefits from the Darwin Initiative annually. Since 2013, Montserrat has benefited from over £4,000,000 in local and joint UKOTs biodiversity and environment-related projects.

The application period is now open for new Darwin Plus Local projects as noted below:

  • Darwin Plus Local Round 3 – now open – deadline 29 November 2023
  • Darwin Plus Local Round 4 – scheduled to open in April 2024 (subject to change and confirmation)

View all approved Darwin Plus projects in Montserrat.

Click here to apply.