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Cayman Islands Government

Iguana Funds Boosted

Blue Iguana Recovery Programme Director Fred Burton introduces EU Representative Marlene Lamonth to Peter - one of the breeding programme's blue iguanas. With them is Cabinet Office's Christina Rowlandson.

The dream of returning a viable blue iguana population to the wild has been boosted by the signing of a European Union (EU) grant contract of over $646,000 (550,000 Euros).

Brokered through the Cabinet Office, the award was made to the National Trust's blue iguana project as part of a regional EU programme to help countries sustainably manage their protected areas.

"Securing the grant is the culmination of much hard work, and we are excited to start work on the project," said the Cabinet Office's Christina Rowlandson.

The contract signing came on the heels of a successful EU delegation visit earlier this month.

EU Representative Marlene Lamonth toured the blue iguana captive breeding site and met with Blue Iguana Recovery Programme Director Fred Burton, to discuss key aspects of the project.

"The grant focuses on developing sustainable and low-impact tourism products that can be combined with education. During our visit we aimed to meet with those who will execute the project to talk about how they will achieve agreed project goals. We especially focused on what should be done in the first year of implementation," Ms Lamonth said.

The iguana relocation project took off last year after government committed to protecting almost 200 acres of Crown land in Grand Cayman's eastern interior, via a 99-year peppercorn lease to the National Trust.

Currently located in the Botanic Park, the entire iguana breeding programme will eventually be relocated to the leased area. And according to Mr. Burton, plans also include building an interactive visitor centre and trail system.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver