Thursday, 27 November 2014

NOU Public Awareness Activities and Training

School Programmes:

 Ms. Krysten Harris of the NOU (back row),  Ministry of the  Environment
 and Water  Resources with students of  Lambeau A.C  Primary 
School after a sensitization  session.

With the aim of increasing public awareness, the National Ozone Unit (NOU) began conducting sensitization programmes in schools across the country during the month of November. Students were educated on the Montreal Protocol, the Ozone Layer and its depletion, and current initiatives being undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The NOU has presented to classes ranging from lower primary school to Form Six and plans to continue doing so in the new 2015 school term. Schools visited include:

  • Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain 
  • St. Francois Girls’ College 
  •  Bishop Centenary College 
  •  Lambeau A.C. Primary School 
  •  Bon Accord Government Primary


Customs Brokers Training:

Dr. Marissa Gowrie, the NOU’s Ozone Officer, 
speaking with participants of the Customs Brokers Training

On 25th November, 2014 the NOU held its first training session for customs brokers at Premier Quality Services Limited, Macoya. This training was done in an effort to strengthen the relationship between the NOU and stakeholders in the trade of ozone depleting substances (ODS), and to increase understanding of the requirements for importation of refrigeration and air conditioning gases.

The workshop was a collaborative effort between the NOU, Trade Licensing Unit, Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS), Customs and Excise Division and the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Association. It was well attended by 22 customs brokers from various companies.

Presentations made to the participants included:

  • The Montreal Protocol and the science of the Ozone Layer and its depletion by Dr. Marissa Gowrie (NOU)
  • HS Tariff Codes for Refrigerants (Customs Quick Tool) by Ms. Neera Singh (NOU) 
  • Role of TTBS in monitoring imports and identifying refrigerants by Mr. Urvyn Boochoon (TTBS) 
  •  TT Biz Link and ASYCUDA by Ms. Kerry Ann Alexander (Customs Academy).
Mr. Urvyn Boochoon of TTBS having a practical session with customs brokers on the use of refrigerant identifiers

This training session also encompassed the information gained from a regional training workshop held in Grenada in 2013 which focused on “Protecting Caribbean Borders from Illegal Trade in Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).” The collaborative efforts were well received and the NOU intends to continue further training with custom brokerage firms in 2015.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Second Stakeholder Workshop under the CRS

The Second Stakeholder Consultation Workshop under the Carbon Reduction Strategy Project:


The Second Stakeholder Consultation Workshop under the Carbon Reduction Strategy (CRS) Project was held at the Cara Suites  Hotel and Conference Centre, Claxton Bay on the 11th November, 2014. Seventy-four (74) persons including participants and organisers attended the stakeholder consultation.

The agenda comprised various elements, namely Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and group discussion on the implementation, coordination and financing about the future of the Climate Change Strategy of Trinidad and Tobago.

In general, the stakeholders contributed with improvements to the Strategy giving specific feedback on how to improve the  coordination, the financing and the data retrieval process. The feedback received would enhance the definition of those  sections, facilitating the implementation of the Strategy and strengthening it. 

Workshops were also held during the month of November, 2014:


Module 1:  November 13th 2014 - Cara Suites Hotel

This module provided a first introduction to climate change for the attendees who may not be familiarized with it. The module aided persons to understand the concept, its consequences and the  evolution of the international action to tackle it.

Module 2: November 14th 2014 - Cara Suites Hotel

This module focused on existing mechanisms and tools that can be used by the government to tackle climate change including detailed descriptions of the mechanisms. Through an interactive activity, attendees were better able to understand their functioning.
Module 3: 18th- 19th November 2014 - UTT Chaguanas Campus

This technical module contained knowledge that is necessary in order to develop any greenhouse gas (GHG) related calculations. It provided the tools to calculate emissions and analyze GHG emissions reduction actions. Participants were able to use the Excel models and perform calculations.

Module 4: 20th - 21st November 2014 -UTT Chaguanas Campus

This technical module comprised knowledge that is necessary in order to develop any risk and vulnerability analysis to evaluate GHG adaptation options. Again, participants were able to use the Excel models and so execute calculations.

Module 0: 27th November 2014 - Hilton Hotel and Conference  Centre, Trinidad

This module focused on raising awareness among Permanent Secretaries and high level technocrats about basic climate change concepts and the necessity to consider climate change and its consequences when making high-level national decisions This was done by exposing them to two types of valuable information including threats caused by climate change and opportunities it may present.  In addition, the module informed participants about the initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Public Education Campaign on Climate Change

The importance of climate change education and  awareness is highlighted under Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to which the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) is signatory to. The GORTT, is thus required to carry out its commitments by developing and implementing educational programmes on climate change. 

In this regard, The Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD), is currently in the process of conducting public awareness programmes in schools across the country. The purpose of these programmes is to educate students on climate change issues and ongoing initiatives of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Thus far, presentations have been conducted at three (3) secondary schools:
  •  Holy Name Convent (Port of Spain),
  •  St. Francois Girls’ College and 
  •  Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College.
Students were from geography and environmental science classes ranging from forms 5-6.

These presentations were conducted by members of the EPPD:
Ms. Jewel Batchasingh (Climate Change Specialist), Ms. Sindy Singh (Research Analyst), Ms. Candace Leung Woo-Gabriel (Research Analyst), Ms. Krysten Harris (Associate Professional)  and Ms. Aditi Thanoo (Associate Professional).

School visits are envisioned to be a part of a larger public awareness campaign which is to be continued in 2015.



Friday, 14 November 2014

Regional Technical Dialogue on INDCs for Latin American and the Caribbean

The second Regional Technical Dialogue on Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the 2015 Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for Latin America and the Caribbean took place during the period November 10-12, 2014 in Mexico City. Trinidad and Tobago participated in this Dialogue and was represented by  Ms. Sindy Singh, Research Analyst, Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. 

The objectives of the second dialogue were to:

  • Share country experiences with the design and preparation of their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
  • Share information on challenges being faced and identify lessons learned and best practices to address these challenges 
  • Address issues related to the underlying technical basis required to prepare robust, realistic and achievable contributions 
  • Identify support needed to reach domestic agreement on contributions and follow-up actions
  •  Provide an update on the process of preparing iNDCs and share newly identified challenges. 
Various institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UNFCCC, the World Resources Institute (WRI), GIZ  Germany, the New Climate Institute, The European Commission, the United States of  America and  the  Caribbean  Community  Climate  Change  Centre  (CCCCC) were  present and pledged to provide technical and/or financial assistance to the region towards the development of their INDCs. 

There was apprehension in the region regarding the elaboration of the elements of an INDC and it is expected that the decisions from the Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC Lima would address these. At present, most countries are preparing INDCs with mostly mitigation actions. The inclusion of adaptation is a prospect for some but the modalities of this inclusion have not yet been expounded.   However, overall, it was concluded that though the time to prepare the INDCs is very limited, countries do not need to start from the very beginning but can build upon existing policies and actions.