Tuesday, 25 February 2014

IUCN/TNC Scientific Forum on the BIOPAMA Programme

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Nature Conservancy (TNC) are the two largest global NGOs which have the conservation and protection of biological resources as their core role. Together they have collaborated on the Biodiversity and Protected Area Management Programme (BIOPAMA) for African, Pacific and  Caribbean (ACP) states, the main aim of which is to establish a database on Protected Areas (PAs).  

This Scientific Forum, which was held between February 19 – 21st, 2014 in St. Lucia, was intended to familiarise the Caribbean sub-region on the objectives of the BIOPAMA programme and to inform on its utility by providing  information on available tools for the management of protected areas. 

Two representatives from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources attended the Scientific Forum. They included Mr. Julius Smith, Environmental Biologist in the Environmental Policy and Planning Division, along with Rhona Jitta, Assistant Conservator of Forests (Ag.), Forestry Division.

The Forum provided an opportunity for the IUCN/TNC to assess the capabilities of the Caribbean States in terms of  Protected Area management, monitoring and enforcement as well as their availability to participate in the BIOPAMA initiative.  The second part of the Forum focused on working group sessions that sought to get the participants to formulate projects that would assist BIOPAMA in carrying out its mandate.   

These sessions sought to solicit information from Caribbean states regarding how data is currently being used, existing data gaps, impediments to the acquisition of data, the accessibility of available data and the administrative bottlenecks to data management as well as decision making based on the use of geospatial data.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Establishment of the Montreal Protocol Cabinet Appointed Committee

As of  February, 2014, a Cabinet Appointed Committee was established to guide the  implementation of the Montreal Protocol in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Led by the National Ozone Unit of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of the Environment and Water  Resources, the Committee consists of  representatives from the: 
  • Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS)
  •  Environmental Management Authority (EMA)
  •  Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Association (ARIA) 
  •  Ministry of Legal Affairs 
  •  Ministry of Trade 
  •  Trade Licensing Unit, Ministry of Health 
  • Chemistry Food and Drugs Division and Plant Quarantine Division of the Ministry of Food Production 
  •  Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance and The Economy 
  •  Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs and the Tobago House of Assembly 
The Committee is charged with the responsibility to guide and provide oversight for the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) in Trinidad and Tobago. The phase out involves the reduction of imports and consumption of these ozone depleting chemicals through a phased approach.  

It is also charged with the responsibility to provide input on the HPMP activities including legislation, standards, public awareness  initiatives and training in new alternatives in the that are both Ozone and Climate  friendly to benefit stakeholders. The  refrigeration and air conditioning sector, the  fumigation sector and the foam manufacturing sector are the primary stakeholders in this phase out.