Friday, 19 December 2014

Approval of the Capacity Development for improved management of Multilateral Environmental Agreements for Global Environmental Benefits Project

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has received approval from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for its project entitled, “Capacity Development for Improved Management of Multilateral Environmental Agreements for Global Benefits.”  This project will be done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.

The objective of this project is to strengthen national capacities for implementation of the Rio conventions (i.e. the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in Trinidad and Tobago.

The project’s strategy is to achieve this through:
  • training on environmental obligations, rules and regulations, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and  national reporting guidelines and requirements to the Conventions for key actors including civil society and key members of national institutions as well as coordinating bodies with responsibilities for  environmental matters 
  • create, leverage and maintain coordination and alignment among relevant bodies by creating cross institutional alliances, strengthening management capacities for implementing Convention requirements and developing coordination mechanisms to replicate and disseminate necessary information and approaches 
  • develop an awareness and communications strategy to raise awareness of MEA obligations and  requirements and disseminate project results awareness to effectively coordinate the achievement of global obligations

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Lima limate Change Conference

The Lima Climate Change Conference convened from 1-14 December 2014, in Lima, Peru. It included the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 10).

Three subsidiary bodies (SBs) also met: the 41st sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 41) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 41), and the seventh part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-7).

Trinidad and Tobago was among the parties to participate at the COP20/CMP10. The country delegation comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  including the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Winston Dookeran (Head of delegation), Ambassador, His Excellency Mr. Dennis Francis, (Director, Multilateral Relations Division) , Ms. Rueanna Haynes (Second Secretary, Permanent Representative to the UN, New York), and Ms. Joanna Ross (International Relations Officer).  Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh, Head of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources served as the co-chair of the ADP along with Artur Runge-Metzger of the European Union for  the ADP 2 - 7.
Mr. Kumarsingh, co-chair Of ADP following amendments to draft text

The negotiations were centred on the advancement of the work of the ADP towards a new climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 as well as the elaboration of the information, and process required for submission of intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).

Extensive negotiations resulted in a draft decision entitled the “Lima Call for Climate Action” sets in motion the negotiations in the coming year towards a 2015 agreement, the process for submitting and reviewing INDCs, and enhancing the pre-2020 ambition. Parties also adopted 19 decisions, 17 under the COP and two under the CMP that, inter alia: operationalized the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage; established the Lima work programme on gender; and adopted the Lima Declaration on Education and Awareness Raising.

The Lima Climate Change Conference was able to lay the groundwork for COP-21 Paris 2015, by capturing progress made in elaborating the elements of a draft negotiating text for the 2015 agreement and adopting a decision on INDCs, including their scope, upfront information, and steps to be taken by the Secretariat after their submission.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Caribbean Sub-Regional Workshop on the Updating of NIPs and POPs Wastes under the Stockholm Convention

On December 8 - 10th, 2014 the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer (BCRC-Caribbean) hosted the Caribbean Sub-Regional Workshop on the Updating of National Implementation Plans (NIPs) and Persistent Organic  Pollutants (POPS) at the Hilton Hotel, Port of Spain. 

The Training Workshop was facilitated by representatives from the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions; Ms. Jacqueline Alvarez and Ms. Tatiana Terekhova and the International POPs Consultant, Dr. Roland Weber.

Eight (8) English speaking Caribbean countries who are signatory to the Stockholm Convention participated including representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis,   St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad and Tobago was represented by Ms. Keima Gardiner (Environmental Engineering Specialist) and Ms. Amrita Bhagan (On-the-Job Trainee) from the Environmental Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

The Workshop involved:
  • a preparatory webinar session prior to the commencement of the workshop
  • presentations that facilitated discussions amongst participants on case studies and group exercises
  • awareness building of the available support tools that can be acquired for reviewing and updating of their NIPs and inventories as well as toolkits for use particularly with consideration of the POPs newly added to the Convention and the implications of utilizing these chemicals, and strategies for developing appropriate management actions for their sound use.
  • a site visit to Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) in Claxton Bay

Participants of the Caribbean Sub-regional Workshop including Ms. Bhagan and Ms. Gardiner (front row, from L-R)