Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Celebrating International Day of Forests

In observance of the International Day of Forests, celebrated on 21 March every year since 2013, the "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago" project published an article in the Newsday newspaper.

The article is focused on the diverse team of stakeholders who have "energized" this project since its inception.

Enjoy reading the article at this link.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Call for Proposals: Concept for the Design of a Management Information System

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management Project
- Call for Proposals: Concept for design of a Management Information System

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago (GCP/TRI/003/GFF) is a full scale project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Trinidad and Tobago through the Ministry of Planning and Development, the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The project’s overarching objective is to improve the sustainability of protected areas systems in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Project (GCP/TRI/003/GFF) is issuing this Call for the preparation of a concept for the design of a management information system for forest and protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Please click the link below to see further details of this call:

Applications should be submitted to:

Mrs. Neila Bobb-Prescott, Chief Technical Advisor at Neila.BobbPrescott@fao.org.

Deadline for submission of applications is: Friday 21st April 2017.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Public Consultations for the revised Draft National Environmental Policy


Public Consultations for the revised Draft National Environmental Policy have begun.     The document draft can be accessed at the following link:

http://www.ema.co.tt/new/images/public_comments/NEP_Draft.pdfhttp://www.ema.co.tt/new/images/public_comments/NEP_Draft.pdf


Please consult the schedule below to find a session near you.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Call for Proposals: Graphic Design Services

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management Project
- Call for Proposals: Graphic Design Services

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago (GCP/TRI/003/GFF) is a full scale project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Trinidad and Tobago through the Ministry of Planning and Development, the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The project’s overarching objective is to improve the sustainability of protected areas systems in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Project (GCP/TRI/003/GFF) is issuing a Call for Proposals to undertake Graphic Design Services.

Please click the link below to see further details of this call:

Applications should be submitted to:

Mrs. Neila Bobb-Prescott, Chief Technical Advisor at Neila.BobbPrescott@fao.org.

Deadline for submission of applications is: Monday 3rd April 2017.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

National Workshop for the Results of the Mercury Storage and Disposal Project in the Caribbean

After seven (7) short months, the desktop study for the Mercury Storage and Disposal Project, concluded with a National Workshop to relay results obtained to key stakeholders and members of the multi-sectoral National Working Group. This event took place on December 1st, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, Trinidad, and was hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Development in collaboration with the Basel Convention Regional Centre for the Caribbean (BCRC-Caribbean).

This project, which sought to enhance capacities and promote the environmentally sound storage and disposal of surplus mercury in three (3) Caribbean countries; Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago used the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Inventory Level 1 Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Mercury Releases as its primary data capture tool.


Ms. Keima Gardiner Presenting the Overview of the Project

Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh , Head of the Multilateral
 Environmental Agreements Unit
Giving His Opening Remarks

The Workshop culminated with the presentation of the results from the inventory by the BCRC-Caribbean. Based on the study it was revealed that the major sources of mercury, in terms of estimated total releases, in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago are:

  • Use and disposal of mercury containing products (309 kg Hg/y);
  • Oil and gas production (170 kg Hg/y); and
  • Other materials production (cement production) (109 kg Hg/y)1

A Legislative and Policy Review and Storage and Disposal Options were also additional elements that formed part of the scope of work in the development of the final document. A series of recommendations also accompanied the report, and further suggestions proposed by Workshop participants on the day were incorporated into the final document.

Attendees of the National Workshop for the Results of the Mercury Storage
and Disposal Project in the Caribbean

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Regional Project Inception Workshop – Update of National Implementation Plans (NIPs), Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Inventories and Related Capacity Development for Eight Countries in the Caribbean

As part of the continued implementation of the five (5) year regional project, Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Caribbean, the services of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) was procured for a two (2) year period in support of fulfilment of Output 1.1 of the project: ‘Updated NIPs including the conduct of in-country inventories of new POPs added to the Stockholm Convention’. To this end, a Regional Inception Workshop was hosted by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Caribbean) at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre, Port of Spain, Trinidad from November 8th to 10th, 2016, with the primary function of formally initiating CARPHA’s duties.  

Workshop participants at the Regional Project Inception Workshop.
Ms. Gardiner is pictured in the front row, fifth from the right.

The key objectives of this Workshop, which was facilitated by the team from CARPHA, were to:

Introduce CARPHA to the regional project team; Provide an update on the status of implementation of existing NIP action plans; Present CARPHA’s draft work implementation plan for updating the NIPs, POPs inventories and Capacity Development; and to Train the regional project team on the assessment of newly listed POPs.

The Project Steering Committee members, that is, the Chairperson and National Project Coordinator from each of the eight participating countries, as well as CARPHA’s Thematic Task Team were the key attendees at this session. On the opening day each country was invited to present on the national status of their NIP, the legal and regulatory situation of POPs, the status of their POPs inventory, and a general overview of chemical and waste management in their country.

Ms. Gardiner, the Chairperson of the national Project Working Committee.
 presenting on behalf of the delegation from Trinidad and Tobago



Saturday, 4 March 2017

Development of Mercury Initial Assessment in the Caribbean-Project Inception and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop Report


The main objective of the sub-regional project ‘Development of Mercury Initial Assessments in the Caribbean' is to use scientific and technical knowledge and tools to gain a clearer understanding of the mercury status, and to facilitate the ratification and early implementation of the Minamata Convention. Trinidad and Tobago, recognising the potential benefits from such a project participated in the Project Inception Meeting and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop hosted by the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Caribbean) from the 10th to 13th October 2016.

This two-fold session was convened at the Hilton Trinidad Conference Centre, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and comprised national representatives from the three other project participant countries namely: Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. Ms. Keima Gardiner, Environmental Engineering Specialist represented the Ministry of Planning and Development at the workshop.

Participants at the Project Inception and Mercury Toolkit Training Workshop Report
(Ms. Gardiner is pictured in the front row, fourth from the right)

The objective of the Inception Meeting were to: (i) develop a regional strategy for outreach and awareness raising aimed at national/international stakeholders throughout the project; (ii) identify key stakeholders and assign respective roles; and (iii) establish and adopt a National Coordination Mechanism for mercury management. This took place on the opening day and involved presentations on the project from the BCRC-team, the project implementing agency the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), as well as, country presentations on the national preliminary mercury sources in the respective territories.

 The training component which ensued on the three remaining days was conducted to ensure that the participants had a clear grasp of the requisite project scope and activities, while setting the tone for the project. The training, which was conducted by Dr. David Buck of the Biodiversity Research Institute, examined elements of the UNEP Practical Sourcebook on Mercury Waste Storage and Disposal, in particular as it related to the development of national inventories, and also included practical exercises on Levels 1 and 2 of the inventory. On the final day each participant was presented with a certificate of participation in the training session.

Members of the Trinidad and Tobago cohort receive their certificates of participation
(Ms. Gardiner of the Ministry of Planning and Development stands at the centre)




Friday, 3 March 2017

Trails through History




The second module of training in trail design and maintenance - one of the training components offered to stakeholders in the “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” project - took place on January 31st and February 1st 2017. In this module, participants were given the opportunity to experience the rich history of the trails of Chaguaramas and two of its offshore islands.  Learn more about their experiences at this link.




Natural resource management project for implementation in North-East Tobago


The Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC), a member of the Tobago Subcommittee for the “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” project, recently secured grant funding for an 18-month project in North-East Tobago from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) Trinidad and Tobago.

Learn more about this project at this link.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

UNCCD National Action Programme

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 


You are invited to review and submit comments on Trinidad and Tobago's draft National Action Programme (NAP) for the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The draft NAP and its annexes are posted under the tab labelled "UNCCD National Action Programme", where you would also find concise instructions for the posting of any comments.

The UNCCD is one of the Rio Trio of Multilateral Environmental Agreements along with the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The original purpose of the UNCCD was the alleviation of poverty and the improvement of ecological and living conditions for areas in the African continent affected by drought and the process of desertification. The scope of the Convention was soon expanded to address broader land degradation issues on a global scale.

Trinidad and Tobago acceded to the UNCCD in 2000 and one of its major obligations as an Affected Country Party (ACP) is to develop an action programme which would provide overarching guidance to address land degradation issues on a national scale across all developmental and social sectors which it hoped would lead to improved land productivity and ecological integrity and resilience. Trinidad and Tobago's first NAP was approved by Cabinet in 2006 and this iteration is expected to align with the Convention's Ten Year Strategy (2008 - 2018) and incorporate the principle of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) which was adopted in 2015 as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs - SDG 15).

We hope you take an interest in reviewing the draft NAP and would welcome any constructive feedback you would be willing to provide.