Friday, 19 April 2013

The Government of Mexico help in Managing Biodiversity Information

From April 8 - 13, 2013 the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD) of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) undertook a technical mission to Mexico. This mission was facilitated by the Government of Mexico through its Program for International Cooperation for Development. 

Dr. David Persaud (Environmental Manager) and Dr. Floyd Homer (Biodiversity Specialist) participated in the 5 day visit to the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) in Mexico City. They received an orientation on the work of CONABIO and their information system for managing biodiversity called BIOTICA.

The Biodiversity Information Management System allows for data capture and handling of curatorial, nomenclatural, geographical, and ecological bibliographic as well as custom report generation and validation and can also display the information through GIS (Geographic Information System).

Front row: L-R: Dr. Homer and Dr. Persaud listening to the orientation lecture given by Dr. Jose Sarukhan, National Coordinator, CONABIO

The MEWR is desirous of setting a National Biodiversity Information System (NBIS) and will receive technical assistance from CONABIO. A technical team from CONABIO will visit Trinidad and Tobago later this year to provide further guidance on the establishment of the NBIS.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Public Consultations on the Draft National Wildlife Policy

Four public consultations on the Draft National Wildlife Policy were held across North, South and Central Trinidad and in Tobago during the period January and February, 2013. 

Persons from all facets of society were in attendance including representatives from environmental NGOs, government ministries and agencies, community groups, tertiary education institutions as well as hunters, farmers and other interested members of the public.

At the start of each consultation, opening remarks were given by the chair.  In Trinidad, each consultation was chaired by Mr. Romano Mc Farlane, Environmental Biologist/Head of Wildlife Section, Forestry Division. While, in Tobago, the session was chaired by Ms. Angela Ramsey, Wildlife Biologist of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

Opening remarks were then followed by a brief overview of the main components of the Draft Wildlife Policy. This was presented by either Dr. Flyod Homer, Biodiversity Specialist or Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager both from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Rich feedback emerged from the participants at each consultation. These discussions centered on the four main objectives of the Draft Wildlife Policy:
  • Protection of endangered/threatened wildlife species, both resident and migratory
  • Maintenance of viable populations of native wildlife species
  • Maximisation of the contribution of wildlife resources to livelihoods
  • Enhancement of the ecological integrity of wildlife habitat   
During and after the consultations, the public were also invited to review and send written comments (via fax, email or post) on the Policy to the Ministry. This period was from January 2nd to March 31st, 2013. These comments and those from the public consultations were collated and then provided to the Wildlife Drafting Committee to analyse and proceed with the revision of the policy. 

Once final adjustments are made, the process of laying the Wildlife Policy in Parliament will commence in order to become an official policy document. When the draft policy has been adopted,  the drafting of legislation to properly implement the policy will then follow. 

 Snapshots from the National Consultations on the Draft Wildlife Policy 

South Trinidad Consultation,  South Academy of Performing Arts, San Fernando 
January 28, 2013
East Trinidad Consultation, Sangre Grande Civic Centre 
January 30, 2013
North Trinidad Consultation, Centre of Excellence, Macoya 
February 20, 2013 
Tobago Consultation, Works Division, Shaw Park, Tobago

 February 27, 2013