Tobago Cays Marine Park

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Chapter 5. CULTURAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC CRITERIA

(Guidelines and Criteria Section B / Cultural and Socio-Economic Criteria) Nominated Areas must conform, where applicable, to at least one of the three Cultural and Socio-Economic Criteria. If applicable, describe how the nominated site satisfies one or more of the following three Criteria (Attach in Annex any specific and relevant documents in support of these criteria).

Productivity:


The TCMP is a key tourism attraction and vital to the economy of the region, and it also contains many valuable natural resources which provide other ecosystem services to locals. The stunning natural beauty and  recreational values of the TCMP (particularly the unspoilt cays and reefs) are what attracts nearly 50,000 visitors to the park each year. Additionally, the park provides a reserve for marine species, and thus contributes to the health of the surrounding fishing stocks by providing breeding grounds and nurseries to fish. Reeffix estimated that the value of fishing and tourism provided by the TCMP was over US$23 million per year. Factoring in other ecosystem services the estimate was that the TCMP was worth up to US$141 million. The health of the TCMP is directly and indirectly connected to the health of the Grenadines economy, as well as the economy of Grenada and SVG. 

Socio-economic benefits:


The TCMP is crucial for the economy of the Southern Grenadines, although it’s effects spread much wider than this. Many local livelihoods are either directly or indirectly connected to the TCMP including hostels, restaurants, vendors, taxis, fishers, sailors etc. The local islands are economically vulnerable, there are few other options past tourism or fishing. Much of the population is poor and any income derived from tourism or fishing is vitally important in their livelihoods. Looking after the TCMP is thus vital to the continued social and economic health of the Southern Grenadines.