Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Inception Workshop for the IFPAM Project in Trinidad

On November 24th 2015, the Ministry of Planning and Development in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN) hosted an Inception Workshop for the Global Environmental Facility Project entitled "Improving Forest and and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago" at the Petrotrin Point-a-Pierre staff Club.

Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager, Environmental Policy and Planning Division delivering remarks on behalf of the Minister of Planning and Development.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN), is implementing a USD 30 million, four-year project on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to conserve globally important biodiversity and ecosystems in Trinidad and Tobago. This project supports the Government’s policy reforms for biodiversity conservation for sustainable management of forestry and protected areas.

The project will establish six pilot protected areas (PA) to model participatory approaches to sustainable natural resource management. Therefore, a key strategy in this project, is guiding the implementation of the project through the constitution and support of Pilot Protected Area Subcommittees comprising of key stakeholders for each of the pilot sites. To date over 30 different governmental institutions and civil society organizations have accepted to serve on these Sub-committees. Over the last four months, these Subcommittees have drafted work plans for their respective pilot sites.

The Inception Workshop served as an opportunity for representatives of the Pilot Protect Area Subcommittees to present on the draft work plans for each pilot protected areas and to solicit feedback and validation from stakeholders present on the proposed actions and mechanisms to achieving the project's objectives.

Participants present at the Inception Workshop for the Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Project,  November 24, 2015.

Presentations from Inception Workshop including the presentations from the Pilot Protected Areas Subcommittees can be found below:

Friday, 20 November 2015

T&T submits its INDC!

Countries across the globe have committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, November 30 - December 11, 2015.

In preparation, countries have publicly agreed to outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement known as their Intended Nationally Determined Determined Contributions (INDCs). The INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 agreement and is put on a path towards a low carbon, climate resilient future. 

Trinidad and Tobago's INDC was submitted to the UNFCCC in August 2015, the first Caribbean country and second Small Island Developing State (SIDS) do so. It is based on the Caribbean Reduction Strategy which was developed for the major carbon emitting sectors of our economy, i.e. the power generation, transportation and industrial sectors. This process lasted 3 years and was finalised in 2014. 

The INDC for Trinidad and Tobago present buisness as usual (BAU) scenarios for the 3 emitting sectors up to the year 2030. It identifies mitigation options and includes policy instruments, knowledge and awareness approaches to elicit behavioural changes and direct technology intervention options such as clean technology, fuel switching and renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. 

Trinidad and Tobago's aim is to achieve a reduction of overall emissions from the 3 sectors by 15% by 2030 from BAU equating to 103,000,000 CO2e. The estimated cost of meeting this objective is 2 million USD and is expected to be met partly through domestic funding and conditionally on international financing including through the Green Climate Fund.

Click here the following link to read the Trinidad and Tobago's INDC!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

EMA Research Symposium on Managing Protected Areas and Species

On November 16th, 2015 the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) hosted a Research Symposium on Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESSs) and Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) entitled, “Managing Our Protected Areas and Species: Linking Science to Policy and Decision-making” at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre.

Delivering the feature address on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Planning and Development was Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD) of the Ministry. Dr. Persaud emphasised that the protection of the environment is an integral aspect of Government’s new national development pathway for Trinidad and Tobago in keeping with, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of particular relevance is SDG #15 which highlights the need to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss. 

Dr. Persaud delivering the feature address on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Planning and Development at the start of the Symposium.

He emphasised the need for timely and efficient statistical data (such as those presented during the Symposium) as being a key deliverable to inform the decision making processes and innovative approaches in the management and conservation of ecological resources. This will involve engaging all stakeholders and working together towards finding solutions to protect sensitive areas and species. 

Participants had the opportunity to learn about the latest research local scientists are engaged in with respect to protected areas and species in Trinidad and Tobago; whilst also improving their understanding of the major challenges and possible solutions for management of ESAs and ESSs. They also discussed the linkage between science, policy and decision-making. Expert panels led by renowned local scientists such as Professor Agard of UWI and Dr. Carol James, as well as Ms. Neila Bobb-Prescott from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), stimulated the discussion in an attempt to flesh out the symposium objectives.

 Ms. Candace Amoroso, Biodiversity Specialist of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit, was the EPPD’s representative on Panel 3, where she discussed Linking Science to Policy and Decision-Making , the Major Challenges and Possible Solutions.   She emphasised that the scientific community can be most effective at shaping policy with focused, realistic, science-based recommendations that are targeted to and using the language that policy-makers understand as well as presenting research that reflects a broad level of input from stakeholders. In addition, she suggested that communication and access to data can be enhanced between the groups of stakeholders with the use of science-led expert groups and web forums to provide advice to decision makers.

Ms. Amoroso on the Panel discussing the linkage of science to policy.