Thursday, 30 January 2014

Be a Bush Maco! - Bush Maco Trinidad and Tobago

Recognising that the management of natural resources is hindered by a lack of baseline data, but, knowing the growing level of public interest in the environment in our country, Bush Maco TT was born. Bush Maco TT was created by a volunteer-based team of local ecologists who are passionate about Trinbagonian wildlife. Bush Maco is intended to be a portal for archiving the nature that you as citizens observe.
Since Trinis love to maco (for all you non-Trinbagonians, maco means to mind other people’s business i.e. to gossip), what better than to encourage the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to maco about nature? The vision of Bush Maco TT is to use the power of citizen science to document the natural history of Trinidad and Tobago to better understand the nation's ecological systems and guide decision making.

In this instance, citizen science is where in our day-to-day lives, people who are often regularly in the same area, have the opportunity to make year-round observations of nature in a specific location. There are also many of our citizens are keen hikers, amateur naturalists and hunters, spending countless hours in the bush observing culturally and ecologically important species. So if you have been out and about and seen interesting wildlife or plants, Bush Maco TT wants to hear about it. Everything you document will help better understand our natural history. All your observations of species are important. 

>>Visit the Bush Maco TT website and begin sharing what you see!

>> Check out the article "Become a Bush Macco" in the Trinidad Express Newspapers!


Friday, 17 January 2014

Consultation with Monthly Paid Forestry Division Staff on the FPAMA

On January 15, 2013, a meeting was held at the Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Couva with the monthly paid Forestry Staff on the transformation of the Forestry Division to the Forest and Protected Management Authority (FPAMA) from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. 
View of Monthly Paid Forestry Division staff in attendance
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 monthly paid staff a forum to voice their concerns and comments regarding the Authority

Mr. Courtnay Parks, Acting Conservator of Forests; Forestry Division opened the meeting with welcoming remarks which 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.  Monthly staff of Forestry was also given an overview of the draft legislative framework for the FPAMA by Dr. Rajendra Ramlogan, Legal Drafting Consultant for the Forestry, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Bill.

After the presentations, there was an open discussion facilitated by the Honourable Minister of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Ganga Singh. During this session, staff had the opportunity to raise concerns and pose questions to the Minister and other members of the head table which included the Permanent Secretary of the MEWR, Dr. Persaud and Dr. Ramlogan.

Head Table during Q&A session. L-R: Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Ramkhelawan, Honourable Minister Ganga Singh, Environmental Manager, Dr. Persaud and Legal Drafting Consultant, Dr. Ramlogan.
Many issues were raised and suggestions made about the transformation of the Forestry Division to the FPAMA. These issues included, among other things, job security and employment options and benefits, consideration of education/qualifications and current officers with specialized experience in job selection criteria, remuneration and special allowances, consultation during every step of the process, safety on the job and accountability as well as training and re-training of staff with emphasis on younger officers.

At the end of the session, the Honourable Minister thanked the staff for their time and airing their views. He reassured the staff members that concerns have been heard and would be further addressed especially with the Change Management Consultants coming on board. 

>> 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: 

Monday, 13 January 2014

The National Wildlife Policy has been approved!

On December 19, 2013 Cabinet officially approved the National Wildlife Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. The document will provide the policy framework for the sustainable management of the wildlife resources of the country. 

Click to download a copy of the official National Wildlife Policy 
The Draft Wildlife Policy was made available to the public, public consultations were held throughout Trinidad and Tobago and special meetings were held with major stakeholders for comments and review. These comments were then collated, reviewed and used to amend the Draft by the Technical Advisory Committee who was charged with the role of guiding the development of the policy.  

Once final adjustments were made, the Draft Policy was sent to Cabinet and on December 19, 2013 Cabinet officially adopted the National Wildlife Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. The Wildlife Policy provides the necessary guidance to begin to develop the appropriate legislative and administrative framework for its implementation.

>> For more information about the National Wildlife Policy, visit the National Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism website.