Friday, 21 September 2012

MEA Focal Point Sensitisation Session

The Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit (MEAU) of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources hosted a one day Sensitisation and Capacity Building Session on September 19, 2012 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. The purpose of the session was to sensitize all stakeholders from ministries, Government agencies, academic institutions, industry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on the MEAs under its purview.

Cross-section of the sensitisation session
The event was well attended by over 100 Focal Points, who are persons nominated to represent relevant stakeholders from the various sectors. In the Ministry’s endeavour to build a comprehensive Focal Point Network, the initial stage of engagement at this session was focused on raising awareness, sensitising and informing the stakeholders of the current MEAs and its Projects which are currently overseen by the MEAU. The Session also emphasised the importance of each Focal Point’s role in the success of environmental management from a holistic view to fulfil Trinidad and Tobago’s mandates and responsibilities under the Conventions it is signatory. 

The session commenced with introductory remarks by the Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Senator the Honourable Mr Ganga Singh and opening remarks by Head of the MEAU, Mr Kishan Kumarsingh, as well as the official launching of the MEA booklet for stakeholders. The day was then focused on an introduction to the various MEAs under the purview of the MEAU and several of the ongoing specialised projects which contribute toward the fulfilment of our national obligations. 

Senator the Honourable Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Mr Ganga Singh emphasises the importance of the focal point network and collaboration in achieving national results
Climate Change was first on the agenda with an introduction to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, followed by a brief overview of two projects: Mainstreaming Climate Change into National Development and Capacity Building for Participation in Carbon Markets; and the Elaboration of a Strategy for the Reduction of Carbon Emissions in Trinidad and Tobago.

The National Ozone Unit also provided an overview on the Montreal Protocol and the projects currently being executed with its stakeholders. Subsequent to this, the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and its Cartagena Protocol and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) were introduced, highlighting their national relevance and importance. Conventions that fall within the Waste and Chemicals cluster were also addressed, including the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions. An outline of the national project entitled Initial Assistance to Enable Trinidad and Tobago to fulfil its Obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) was then presented, followed by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region, providing information on their responsibility and mandates as a Regional Centre.

A focus group sharing their views on the role of the focal points during the thematic discussions
Proceedings were then focused on interaction and feedback from the participants, with a working session that highlighted the MEAs within the national context for Sustainable Development. The participants were then separated into constituencies along the respective Convention themes that seemed to be a best fit for their organisation, and were allowed to express their views on the day’s events, provide feedback on a previously distributed survey and discuss any matters arising out of the Sensitisation Session. 

Focal point from the Tobago House of Assembly airing her concerns during one of the question and answer sessions throughout the day
The event proved very useful and will be followed up with engagement opportunities for the Focal Points. Further to this, the MEAU continues to increase and improve on the Focal Point Database and examine different methods for continued communication and capacity building. This is to ensure the success of this network and information exchange to foster comprehensive national communication at the Conventions to which Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory.

Below are the presentations and information from the MEA Focal Point Sensitisation Session:

No comments:

Post a Comment