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Signal Hill faces deforestation threat, says WNR Chief Executive Director

Chief Executive Director of the Wallings Nature reserve Refica Attwood is warning that Signal Hill is under threat of deforestation.

Speaking to Pointe on De Streetz’s host, Vernon Springer earlier this week, Attwood informed that deliberately set fires are posing a serious threat to the park.

Most of [Signal Hill] was forest and it’s alarming that every year that hill was lit on fire because persons could not find the pathway and we are losing forest.

“So unless you’re on the ground working you would not understand the significant impact of the reforestation efforts that are being undertaken now by Wallings Nature Reserve.

“It’s to protect the island of Antigua and Barbuda, save some trees, plant new trees and think about the future generations that [are] coming behind of us,” she said.

Meanwhile, Attwood also disclosed that there is presently an exercise underway for which the Wallings Nature Reserve team will be calling on members of the public to contribute their views.

She explained that the management impact assessment of the Wallings Nature Reserve which will seek, with the public’s help, to determine how the management of the park can be strengthened, how the wider community can benefit from the work being undertaken by the reserve’s staff and strategise ways in which the Wallings Nature Reserve can continue to benefit the economy.

“Wallings Nature Reserve has significantly contributed to tourism growth and we would have shared this information with the Ministry of Tourism.

“They are our biggest supporters – the Ministry of Tourism, the Environment Department, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority – and other non-governmental organisations and ministries across the island. But I must say when we’re having any challenges, the Ministry of Tourism is right there along with the Environment Department,” said Attwood.

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