Friday, 29 May 2015

GEF SGP Knowledge Fair

The Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) Knowledge Fair was a two-day event held at the UWI-Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business on May 28-29, 2015. 

The SGP is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and  implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). GEF SGP provides financial and technical support for projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods. 

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, represented by Mr. Javed Lakhan (Environmental Policy Analyst) sits on the  National Steering Committee (NSC) of the GEF SGP. The NSC comprises voluntary representatives from local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government, academia, UNDP and occasionally co-funding donors, indigenous peoples' organisations, the private sector and the media. 

As a member of the NSC, along with contributing in part to its WED activities,  the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) participated in the GEF SGP UNDP Knowledge Fair, 2015. At the Fair, the Ministry’s booth   highlighted some of the works of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD) specifically the work of the National Ozone Unit.

Ms. Krysten Harris (Associate Professional, NOU), speaking to attendees about ozone layer depletion at the Knowledge Fair

Ms. Neera Singh (Ozone Assistant, NOU) speaking to a student of Palo Seco Secondary School about the ozone layer

Capacity Development for improved management of Multilateral Environmental Agreements for global environmental benefits Project

The Trinidad and Tobago Government through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has initiated the preparation of a Global Environmental Facility (GEF) medium sized project entitled "Capacity Development for improved management of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) for global environmental benefits" in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It's objective 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 MEAs in Trinidad and Tobago.

To achieve this, the project's strategy incorporates:
  • training for civil society and key members of national institutions and coordinating bodies with responsibility for environmental matters on environmental obligations, rules and regulations, monitoring and evaluation, and national reporting guidelines and requirements under the Conventions
  • creating cross institutional alliances, strengthening management capacities for implementing Convention requirements and developing coordination mechanisms to disseminate information and replicate approaches 
  • developing a communication strategy to raise awareness of MEA obligations and requirements and disseminate project results 
Stakeholder consultations were convened with a wide range of stakeholders including community groups, civil society, the private sector, academic and research institutions, NGOs, governmental agencies and local authorities to solicit input in the project design and validation of the final project document. 

Validation workshops were held in Scarborough Tobago on May 27, 2015 and in Port-of-Spain on May 28, 2015. The feedback from these sessions were very informative and contributed to a successful endorsement of the draft project document leading to the eventual approval by GEF for funding to implement the Project  in July, 2015.


Tobago (May 27, 2015)

Trinidad (May 28th, 2015


Friday, 22 May 2015

International Day for Biological Diversity 2015!


Today May 22nd, 2015 we join the rest of the world in observing International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB). The United Nations General Assembly declared 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the Convention of Biological Diversity and to promote and increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

This year's IDB theme “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development” reflects the importance of efforts made at all levels to establish a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and the relevance of biodiversity to the achievement of sustainable development.  

Trinidad and Tobago comprises of a myriad of ecosystems and as such we possess one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the Caribbean. This country’s biological resources are of paramount importance to all sectors of society. Nowhere is this more relevant, than in our rural communities where fishing, hunting, craft, tour guiding and other nature-based activities contribute significantly to local economies.

In light of the importance of our biodiversity towards the sustainable development of our nation, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago through the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources is currently pursuing various activities to ensure the conservation of biodiversity. 

These include, among others, the drafting of Legislation such as the Forest, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation Bill necessary for the implementation of the three (3) recently approved National Policies (Forest, Protected Areas and Wildlife Policies) and the initiation of the "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago" Project which will ensure the sustainable management of our forests and protected areas.


The Government of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to do its part to conserve the country's biological resources in its pursuit of sustainable development!


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Meetings of the COP to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The twelfth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-12), the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (RC COP-7) and the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-7) were held back-to-back from 4th to 15th May, 2015. 

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which was represented by Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources participated as a Party to these three multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), which are commonly referred to as the BRS Conventions. Trinidad and Tobago was amongst  one hundred and sixty-four (164) country Parties in attendance. 

Ms. Gardiner (far left) and Dr. Ahmad Khan; Director, Basel Regional Convention Centre for the Caribbean (far right) participating in the Contact Group on Technical  Assistance and  Financial  Resources

The theme of this year’s COP was ‘From Science to Action, Working for a Safer  Tomorrow’.  The two weeks of discussions at the 2015 Meeting of the BRS COPs focused on inter alia, proposals for the organisation of the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and  Stockholm Conventions; joint activities for the biennium 2016-2017, budget for the biennium 2016-2017, strategies to improve performance of the respective Conventions and the outcome of strategic issues within the various Conventions.

Trinidad and Tobago reiterated the Government’s commitment towards the operationalisation of the    Basel Convention Regional Centre for the Caribbean, and by extension signaled to the Caribbean region and the  international community, the level of commitment of the country towards the implementation of the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions.