Thursday, 28 February 2013

Workshop to Enhance the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention

The three day workshop was hosted by the Basel Convention Regional Centre with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) was held from February 19th -21st, 2013, at the Banquet and Conference Centre, MovieTowne, Invaders Bay. 

The objectives of the workshop were to :
  • Develop a regional programme or project(s) in order to assist Caribbean countries in meeting their obligations under the Stockholm Convention and;
  • Test an approach of using a Regional Centre set up by the Waste and Chemical Conventions (Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam) to assist in the development and execution of waste and chemical projects as a formal project executing unit.
Thirteen (13) country representatives were present at this workshop. In addition, participants from Trinidad and Tobago agencies such as the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Green Fund, the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) from the Tobago House of the Assembly. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources was represented by Ms. Nalini Sooklal; Waste Specialist of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit. There was also representation from the UNDP Offices, Barbados.  

The Workshop culminated on a fruitful note with a Draft Project Concept Note (PCN), that encompassed the varying needs of the countries in the region, being finalised

>> For more information on the outcomes on workshop, visit the Basel Convention Regional Centre blogspot 

Participants after the opening session on the first day of the workshop. Representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and its agencies included; front row: Senator, the Honourable Mr Ganga Singh (3rd from the left); Permanent Secretary, Mrs Vidiah Ramkhelawan (4th from the left; Head, BCRC- Caribbean, Dr   Ahmad Khan (2nd from the right) ;  Waste Specialist, MEAU,  Ms Nalini Sooklal (4th from the right). Back row: Head, MEAU, Mr Kishan Kumarsingh (1st from the left).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Caribbean Regional Workshops on MEAs

At the end of January, 2013 The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat hosted two workshops in St.Lucia during the period January 23 - 30th, 2013.

The workshops addressed the harmonisation of reporting by Caribbean Countries and the usage of Integrated Environment Assessment tools (IEA) tools to mainstream four (4) biodiversity related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) into national policy:
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity 
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • The Convention Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar)
  • The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (the SPAW Protocol) of the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (the Cartagena Convention)  
These workshops were executed by the Caribbean Hub of the Project for Capacity Building Related to MEAs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, in collaboration with the Government of St. Lucia. The Caribbean Hub is a partnership between CARICOM Secretariat and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).   

Attendees included representatives of the CARICOM Member States including Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, the African Commission, the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and other regional and international organisations.

Ms Candace Amoroso Biodiversity Specialist in the Multilateral Environment Agreements Unit (MEAU); Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources represented Trinidad and Tobago at the first workshop on the Development and Use of a Proposed Caribbean Harmonised Reporting Template (CHART). This workshop took place during the period January 23-25, 2013. 

The goal of the workshop was to promote awareness and adoption of the CHART which was designed to make obligatory reporting on biodiversity related MEA activities efficient and easier to undertake. Discussions included the challenges facing synchronised reporting and concluded on the "Next Steps"  for the CHART.

Ms. Candace Amoroso (right) receiving a certificate of participation from the CARICOM-Secretariat 
The second workshop on MEA mainstreaming occurred from January 28-30, 2013. Ms. Denise Hakim, Research Analyst of the MEAU; Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources represented Trinidad and Tobago at this session. This workshop addressed the importance of mainstreaming MEAs into national policy to ensure their effective implementation and fulfilment of their objectives. Further application of IEA tools was recommended for action particularly regionally developed, in the creation of national development plans, policies and strategies with regards to MEAs.

Ms. Denise Hakim (left) receiving a certificate of participaton from the CARICOM-Secretariat