Monday, 19 December 2016

Results of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey in Tobago

During the month of August 2016, a team of survey enumerators visited the villages surrounding the two pilot protected areas in Tobago, in order to carry out a Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices
(KAP) survey.  The information was collected from over 400 respondents generally in the northeastern half of the island.

The results of the survey were presented to the stakeholders representing various organizations on the Tobago Subcommittee for the two pilot sites – the Main Ridge Forest and the proposed North East Tobago Marine pilot protected areas.

These stakeholders then took part in a facilitated discussion of the results, to propose strategies for public communication to improve on areas where knowledge is lacking, where positive attitudes and behaviours need to be stimulated and to support existing programmes where positive actions with successful impacts are already underway.

Please click here for a summary of the Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey results.

Monday, 12 December 2016

On the Trails

November 30th and December 1st marked the first two days of training in trail design and maintenance for 21 government and community-based stakeholders from the six pilot protected areas in the "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago" project.  The overall objective of the training is to build capacity of stakeholders to design more attractive ecotourism products.

The first day was based at the Pax Guest House and the second day was based at the Asa Wright Nature Centre.  Topics covered included the historical context of these two ecotourism destinations, the products offered to tourists and the typology (characteristics) of the tourists.

The most exciting part of the days’ activities was walking along trails in the vicinity of the two sites and taking in the interesting sights and sounds.  Considerations for trail design were discussed.  These included who are the targeted users of the trails, the use of established historical trails, the use of ridges, gradient, drainage and the type of materials used to construct the trails.

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On the Alben Ride trail from Pax Guest House (at left); view from the trail (at right) .

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Down the Discovery Trail towards the call of the Bearded Bellbird (at left); Listening to the Asa Wright Nature Centre tour guide (at right)

Promoting improvements in forest and protected area management

Over the past month, the Project Coordination Unit for the “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” project took part in recent environmental events to raise visibility of protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago.  Here is a brief outline of these activities:
  •  An observance of the “birthday” of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), marked on World Food Day, was one avenue used to promote the link of protected areas to managing the impacts of climate change”.  The PCU contributed to activities at the popular San Antonio Green Market in Santa Cruz valley and in Tobago, where World Food Day activities took place at the Dwight Yorke Stadium Parade Grounds in Bacolet.  An information brochure was distributed at both events which gave the ordinary person some ideas on how to reduce his/her carbon footprint while practicing agriculture.  Additionally, an Information Leaf which presented information on the issue of farms in protected areas was also distributed.
His Excellency, President Carmona at the Bioblitz event
  •  The University of the West Indies Department of Life Science together with the Field Naturalist Club hosted the annual Bioblitz at the Botanical Gardens in Port of Spain.  The PCU developed a PowerPoint presentation which introduced visitors to the six pilot protected areas in which the project is currently underway.  A set of quiz questions on protected areas was also used for communicating with the public.  The PCU was heartened to see the interest demonstrated in the Bioblitz activity by His Excellency, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, who both visited the event.
  • Nature Seekers held an environmental exhibition titled “Eco Blend” in the community of Matura at which the group also unveiled its new logo.  The PCU shared updates on the project – in which Nature Seekers is an active stakeholder – and placed a focus on the Matura Forest and Coastal Zone pilot protected area.  Visitors were able to write or draw what the Matura Forest and Coastal Zone mean to them on a supersized drawing of the map of the area.  School children took part in a game to learn about the importance of halting pollution of our coastal areas.
Senator the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (third from right) and Susan Lakhan, Nature Seekers (far right) pose with members of the Project Coordination Unit at the EcoBlend Exhibition

The PCU welcomes these opportunities for sharing information on protected area management and learning more about people’s views on forest and protected areas.  

Friday, 9 December 2016

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Project Newsletter

The Project Coordination Unit for the project entitled "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago"  (GCP/TRI/003/GFF IFPAMTT) welcomes you back to Protected - the second issue of the project newsletter - ProtectEd​.

This second issue shares the perspective of a few of the stakeholders that are involved in various Pilot Protected Area Subcommittees and other project updates. We encourage you to read, share with others in your network and share with us your feedback.

We also take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the Christmas Season and the New Year 2017.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Baseline Survey Video Feature

The Department of Life Sciences of the University of the West Indies is undertaking a biological baseline survey in each of the project’s six pilot protected areas.   This survey is focused on six groups namely: arthropods, birds, freshwater fauna, herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles), mammals and vegetation; in Tobago the marine fauna will also be sampled in the project’s lone marine pilot protected area.  Recently the team compiled a short film on their work on coral reef assessment in the proposed North East Tobago Marine Pilot Protected Area. Do enjoy viewing the video at this link:

Launch of Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) National Data Profile

IBAT Country Profiles will be launched at CBD COP13 in Cancun, Mexico on 8th December. We are pleased to share an IBAT Profile for Trinidad and Tobago 

The Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) delivers comprehensively validated global data on biodiversity to business, the finance sector and to non-commercial users. IBAT Country Profiles are a new development, designed to assist Parties to the CBD with national reporting and conservation planning. The tool is developed by UNEP-WCMC, IUCN, Conservation International and BirdLife International.

Non-commercial users can download an up-to-date report of nationally-disaggregated spatial data that originate from these global data sets: Protected Planet®, Key Biodiversity Areas, and The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The data is updated every six months and may be used to supplement national data sets.

See IBAT Country Profiles here. (Please note that registration is required on this site).