Wednesday, 16 October 2013

On Tuesday 14th October, 2013 a meeting was held at the Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Couva with the daily paid Forestry Staff on the transformation of the Forestry Division to the Forest and Protected Management Authority (FPAMA) from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
The purpose of this consultation was to sensitise staff members about the FPAMA and the potential of benefits this transition. Most importantly, it was to give daily paid establishment of the Forestry Division a forum to voice their concerns and comments regarding the establishment of the new Authority.

Mr. Carlton Roberts, Director of the Forestry Information Unit and Forest Resource Inventory and Management (FRIM); Forestry Division opened the meeting with a prayer and welcoming remarks. He  was then followed by a presentation by Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division; Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.
Dr. Persaud updated staff on the status of the transformation process of the Forestry Division to the FPAMA.  Daily paid staff of Forestry was also given an overview of the proposed institutional arrangement and potential benefits of the FPAMA by Dr. Floyd Homer, Biodiversity Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. After the presentations, there was an open discussion facilitated by Mr. Roberts. During this session, staff had the opportunity to raise concerns and pose questions to members of the head table.

View of the facilitator and members of the head table. From L-R: Mr. Roberts, Mr. Byer, Mr. Rattansingh, Ms. Bartlett Alleyne, Dr. Ramlogan, Mr. Seepersad, Mr. Simpson, Dr. Persaud and Dr. Homer
The head table included Mr. Jonny Seepersad, Conservator of Forests, Mr. Clifton Simpson, Second Deputy President General, National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), Ms. Jillian Joy Bartlett-Alleyne, General Secretary, NUGFW, Mr. Ajodia Rattansingh, Human Resource Manager, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Reginald Byer, Industrial Relations Specialist, Dr. Rajendra Ramlogan, Legal Drafting Consultant for the Draft Forestry, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Bill, Dr. Persaud, and Dr. Homer.
Daily Paid Staff of the Forestry Division in attendance
Many issues were raised and suggestions made about the transformation of the Forestry Division to the FPAMA. These concerns included, among other things, transition of related current posts into the Authority, inconsistences in the operations of Forestry Division being transferred in the new Authority, and the status of outstanding matters at the CPO’s office and pending compensation, re-visiting of the proposed Bill.

Concerns about job security especially for persons that have been working at the Division for a short period of timeopportunities for younger employees in the Authority pensions and other employment benefits/ flexibility especially for single parents, the time-frame for the realisation of the Authority, safety on the job, and fear of  victimisation and favouritism were also raised. At the end of the session, Mr. Roberts thanked the staff for their time and airing their views.

>> For further updates on the status of the transition to the FPAMA and/or to give comments, stay tuned to the Green Days by EPPD blog. Presentations and written comments from this meeting can be accessed below:

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Terminal Stakeholder Workshop - Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, in association with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is currently preparing for a large-scale project on “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago”.

The project is aimed at adopting measures that increase efficiency, improve cost-effectiveness and secure the long-term financial feasibility of protected areas management in Trinidad and Tobago. Previous major steps undertaken towards the implementation of this Project included the convening of an Inception and Mid-Term Stakeholder Workshops, on October 31 to November 1, 2012 and April 24, 2013, respectively.

The objective of these Workshops were to solicit input on the project design from a wide range of stakeholders; including community groups, civil society organizations, private sector, academia and research institutions, NGOs, governmental agencies and local authorities, and then to provide the stakeholders with the progress made and ideas proposed by the national and international consultants recruited to prepare the final project  document.

On September 27, 2013 at the Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA’s) Large Conference Room, in St. Clair, Port-of-Spain a Terminal Stakeholder Workshop was held. The Workshop was held with the  objective of re-engaging key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for their involvement in the implementation of the project, whilst also obtaining their validation and endorsement on the final document produced by the consultants, particularly on the activities needed under the four components of the project:
  •  Improvements to the legal and institutional arrangements for protected area (PA) management. 
  • Improvements to infrastructure for biodiversity conservation and forest restoration.
  • Development and testing of sustainable financing system 
  • Monitoring and evaluation and information dissemination

Consultant and Team Leader, Dr. Howard Nelson addresses the participants at  the Terminal Stakeholder Workshop.

A facilitated discussion at the Terminal Stakeholder Workshop.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


The Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP-11) was held Windhoek, Namibia during the period 9 - 27 September, 2013.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the  meetings by Mr. Julius Smith, Environmental Biologist, who attended the regional  preparatory meetings, the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) and the Conference of Parties (COP), along with Ms. Candace Amoroso, Biodiversity Specialist, who attended the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) only.

The objective of the Convention to Combat Desertification is to combat land degradation and desertification and to mitigate the effects of drought by taking effective action at all levels through international cooperation and partnership agreements in order to achieve sustainable development in the affected areas. This year the theme for the COP was “A stronger UNCCD for a Land Degradation Neutral World.” 
Mr. Julius Smith (right) in discussions  with  delegates of the Latin American region at the regional preparatory  meetings for the UNCCD COP-11; Namibia, 2013

Ms. Candace Amoroso at the start of a plenary session at the CST-11; Namibia, 2013.

It was convened at the halfway point of the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018), and reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the Strategy of the Convention. Delegates also considered the outcome of the second and preparations for the third UNCCD Scientific Conferences, and reports of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) and the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC).

 At the end of COP-11 delegates adopted a total of forty-one (41) decisions. Among these decisions, nine (9) were developed by the CST,  twelve (12) recommended by CRIC, and twenty (20) from the Committee of the Whole (COW). 

  >>For more information on the UNCCD COP 11 and the its outcomes visit  ISSD  RS @ UNCCS COP11.