Tuesday, 12 June 2012

This place is a Zoo!

World Environment Day 2012 was commemorated with an open day and petting zoo at our office building! 

Staffs of the EPPD and the Green Fund Executing Unit of the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, along with the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Trinidad and Tobago), decided to give the public a truly hands-on experience this year as we commemorated World Environment Day 2012 at the El Socorro offices.

We held an Open Day that had a multi-pronged effect: it allowed the residents, businesses and schools within the El Socorro area to become more acquainted with the mandates and activities of the different environmental offices housed in our building, whilst also commemorating the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5th, 2012). 

As we interacted with the public, we were able to impress upon them the need for environmental conservation, preservation and rehabilitation, as well as sensitize both adults and kids on some of the local species of biodiversity such as the ocelot. The Open Day also commemorated the 1st Anniversary of the EPPD’s relocation to the El Socorro area from Port of Spain in 2011.
The Open Day was well received by all, especially the children who were most impressed with our “Mini Petting Zoo” which was provided by the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

Monday, 11 June 2012

1st LBS STAC Meeting

The First Meeting of the Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (STAC) to the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources (LBS) and Activities in the Wider Caribbean Region (LBS Protocol) was held from June 5 - 7, 2012 in Oranjestad, Aruba.    

Historically, this was the first technical meeting of national experts following the entry into force of the LBS Protocol in August 2010. This was indeed a key meeting for Trinidad and Tobago as we currently host one of the treaty's Regional Activity Centres (RAC) at the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA). Trinidad and Tobago also served as a Vice Chair at this meeting through Ms Nalini Sooklal.

Trinidad and Tobago's delegation at this inaugural meeting comprised:
  • Dr Amoy Lum Kong, Director of the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA)
  • Dr Daryl Banjoo, Officer in Charge/Senior Research Officer, Marine Chemistry Department, IMA
  • Ms Nalini Sooklal, Waste Management Specialist, MEAU

Several objectives were met for this STAC meeting, including the evaluation of projects and activities implemented by the Secretariat and the LBS RACs within the Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution (AMEP) sub-programme during the period 2010-2012. There was also a review of the status of ratification and/or implementation of the LBS Protocol in member countries. In these discussions, the role of the IMA as a RAC was highlighted and the commitment made by T&T to continue to support the Secretariat in this capacity as we move forward. 

Also at this technical meeting, the AMEP Workplan and Budget for the 2013-2014 Biennium was developed and finalized for approval by the 1st Conference of Parties to the LBS Protocol in October 2012. 

For further details on the happenings at the meeting, please visit: http://www.cep.unep.org/meetings-events/1st-lbs-stac

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bonn Climate Change Conference

The international climate change treaty (UNFCCC) held a conference during May 14 - 25, 2012 in Bonn, Germany to discuss key issues on climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

Trinidad and Tobago, as a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), attended the conference with a delegation consisting of Mr Kishan Kumarsingh, Head of the MEAU and Ms Jewel Batchasingh, the MEAU's Climate Change/Ozone Specialist, along with the Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations, New York, Ms Rueanna Haynes.

Bonn's Climate Change Conference comprised five meetings, taking place simultaneously:
  1. 36th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 36)
  2. 36th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 36)
  3. 17th Session of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP 17)
  4. 15th Session of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA 15)
  5. 1st Meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durham Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 1)
Notably, Trinidad and Tobago represented by Mr. Kumarsingh, was nominated as Co-chair of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) for the period June 2013 to December 2014, through the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC). The first ADP meeting was considered contentious because countries believed that debating antagonistic issues such as election of officers of the ADP and the agenda was not the best start to negotiations of this new group.

Progress was made at Bonn for Trinidad and Tobago in the areas of carbon capture and storage (CCS), registry, measurement, reporting and verification of domestically supported Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs), technical experts for International Consultation and Analysis (ICA), Technology Executive Committee (TEC), Climate Technology Climate Network (CTCN), loss and damage and response measures.

Mr Kishan Kumarsingh (left), Head of the MEAU, is to serve as the Co-Chair of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) during 2013-2014.

The ADP is a subsidiary body to the UNFCC Convention, charged with developing a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force, which will be applicable to all Parties under UNFCCC. Its work is expected to be completed in 2015.