An agreement has been reached between Antigua and Barbuda’s National Parks Authority and the Consortium for Coordination of Research Activities Concerning the Venice Lagoon System – or CORILA – to establish a long-term Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for matters surrounding conservation, heritage management, and coastal and hydroengineering.
The agreement came out of a recent visit to the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park by a delegation from the Italian government, which included Professor Peirpaolo Campostrini (CORILA’s Managing Director.
His organization, according to an official statement, is responsible for protecting the city of Venice, Italy against rising sea levels, flooding and degradation.
The visit was organized by Italian Ambassador, Gianni Piccato, after his “repeated visits and keen interest in the heritage management challenges faced in the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, due to sea level rise, coastal erosion and financial sustainability.
Piccato is said to have seen ways in which Italy could partner with Antigua and Barbuda to address these issues, considering the City of Venice has faced decades of flooding and degradation due to saltwater intruding into its ancient buildings.
With more than 50 years of experience in developing systems to protect the city without damaging its authenticity and integrity, the heritage managers at the World Heritage Site of Venice are said to be well-positioned to support Nelson’s Dockyard in its plight.
The National Parks Authority has requested technical assistance in several areas, including adapting to sea level rise to protect the Dockyard, engineering solutions for coastal degradation, and investigating the feasibility of solar tile technology.
Minister responsible for National Parks, EP Chet Greene, has hailed the imminent collaboration, noting that the technology and learning opportunities piloted via the agreement can be expanded to the rest of the country and the region, with Antigua and Barbuda leading the way in sustainable climate adaptation sympathetic to our heritage sites.
He also credited all those involved in the industry, for “putting Antigua and Barbuda and our heritage sites on the map, where serious professionals are asking to collaborate with institutions like the National Parks Authority”.