MAFFESDI Launches "Reducing the Carbon Footprint of San Ignacio Town and five surrounding villages in the Cayo District" Project

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On Tuesday, February 20th, 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI) launched a project entitled "Reducing the Carbon Footprint of San Ignacio Town and five surrounding villages in the Cayo District". This project is funded by the Government of Italy through the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS). The project is being implemented with technical support from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) and the Sustainable Development Unit in the Ministry.

The project encompasses two main components; the installation of new LED street lighting and construction of a modern Resiliency Centre. Together the two components will contribute to the reduction of local energy demands as well as reducing the vulnerability of the communities to climate change related extreme weather events. At the same time, the project is expected to improve safety and security as well as provide avenues for community development and social transformation.

The first component includes the replacement of old and inefficient conventional street lights with 1000 Light-emitting Diode (LED) fixtures. The use of LED improves efficiency as it uses up to 50% less energy than existing fixtures, while at the same time producing 3 times the amount of light. Furthermore, LEDs have a lifetime of 10-15 years while conventional fixtures last between 3-5 years, thus reducing maintenance costs. To date, fixtures have been procured and a first phase encompassing 15 streets across San Ignacio Town has been completed. The implementation of this component continues.

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The second component includes the construction of a state of the art Multi-Purpose Community Centre at the Victor Galvez Stadium. The "Cayo North Resource and Resilience Centre (CNRRC)" will be designed to be powered by a Photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy system as well as storage tanks for potable water; thus, supporting its self-sustenance. The main purpose for this investment is the provision of modern infrastructure to serve residents of San Ignacio Town and surrounding communities in times of national emergencies and extreme weather. However, the Centre is also being designed to support immediate local social and youth development needs. The facility will include the construction of a full indoor gymnasium complete with a FIBA quality Basketball Court, seating for 600, a stage, dressing rooms, bathrooms and office space. When not in use for emergencies, the facility will be used to host local and international sport events, conferences, concerts and other community events.

All project components are slated for completion by September 2018 and will be open to the public thereafter. The Ministry will continue to work with the San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town Council, National Emergency Management Organization and local community organizations to establish a management structure and a sustainability plan for the facility.