Monday, 12 November 2012

The EPPD Offices have moved!

In November 2012, the EPPD was relocated to new offices at Level 26, Tower D, International Waterfront Complex, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain. 


Formerly affiliated with the Ministry of Housing and the Environment, the EPPD now falls under the umbrella of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources created as a result of the re-alignment of portfolios of Government ministries which occurred in June 2012.
  In addition to the offices of the EPPD and its specialised units the MEAU and the NOU, the following sections of the Ministry can be found at our new address:
Tower D, Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain
  • The office of the Senator, the Honourable Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Ganga Singh;
  • The office of the Honourable Minister of  State in the Ministry of the  Environment and Water Resources, Ms Ramona Ramdial
  • The office of the Permanent Secretary; Ms. Vidiah Ramkhelawan 
  • The Drainage Division 
  • The Legal Unit
  • Communications


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Inception Workshop of the new forest and PA project

In June 2012, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) approved the development of a project on ‘Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago’ worth US$2.79 million, to cover this biodiversity focal area. A project preparation grant of US$119,000 was subsequently approved in September 2012. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been given the lead to develop the project document by August 2013, in collaboration with relevant departments in Trinidad and Tobago and in consultation with diverse stakeholders, for submitting to GEF for endorsement.

The project’s Inception Workshop was held during October 31 to November 01, 2012 at Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre in Couva, and was the first step in a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders. The workshop was geared at creating awareness among national stakeholders about the project, and soliciting their feedback to assist in designing the project.

Senator the Honourable Mr Ganga Singh, Minister of Environment and Water Resources delivered the keynote speech at the event, welcoming stakeholders and inviting their valuable input in the event’s proceedings. Approximately 125 participants were informed through presentations on various technical aspects of the project at this workshop. Stakeholders also actively participated in several group discussions, focusing on the project components and project preparation activities. The comments and contributions at these groups were then recorded and will be useful for planning various project activities and collecting the baseline data needed for preparing the project document. 

Senator the Honourable Mr Ganga Singh delivering his keynote speech at the Inception Workshop

Relevant outcomes of the deliberations are summarised in the Inception Workshop Report below. The presentations delivered at the Workshop have also been condensed into the 'Presentation slides.'

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Convention on Biodiversity CBD COP 11

CBD COP 11 adopted 33 key decisions on a range of strategic, substantive, administrative, financial and budgetary issues. Among other issues, the meeting addressed the status of the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and benefit-sharing (ABS); implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; and implementation of the Strategy for Resource Mobilization. 

The eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held from October 8-19, 2012, in Hyderabad, India, following the sixth Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP 6) on October 1-5, 2012. Approximately 6,000 delegates representing parties and other governments, UN agencies, intergovernmental, non-governmental, indigenous and local community organizations, academia and the private sector participated in the meeting. Please find below summary reports on the Biosafety and CBD meetings:
Trinidad and Tobago was represented at both meetings by the MEAU's Biodiversity Specialist, Dr Floyd Homer who also participated in one of the Convention's side events under the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), which showcased "island bright spots". The event highlighted island innovations in the context of the CBD’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity and was co-sponsored by the Government of the Seychelles and the Government of India. Dr Homer served as Chairman of the morning session and provided technical inputs to several of the break-out groups.

Dr Floyd Homer, Biodiversity Specialist chairing the event hosted by the Global Island Partnership at CBD COP 11
Following the impressive overall package adopted at COP 10 in Japan, COP 11 marked the move from policy-making to implementation. The meeting adopted a set of decisions on items ranging from ecosystem restoration and marine and coastal biodiversity, to the Nagoya Protocol and customary sustainable use to set the groundwork for intense inter-sessional work with a focus on implementation at the national and local level. 

As a fun green way to commemorate the biodiversity conference, each participating country planted a tree in its name in the newly established Biodiversity Park in Hyderabad.

Tree planted for Trinidad and Tobago at the Biodiversity Park in Hyderabad, India!