GEF Forest and PAs Project

Background

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is an independent, international financial organisation that supports developing country projects, which benefit the global environment and contribute to sustainable development. The GEF funds projects in specific environmental thematic areas:


Through the 5th replenishment of the GEF, Trinidad and Tobago can apply for access to grant funds of US$2.14 million for biodiversity related projects and US$1.09 million for land degradation related projects. The then Ministry of Housing and the Environment (now the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources) proposed to utilise these funds allocated to the country to facilitate implementation of the National Forest and Protected Areas Policies.

To access these funds, the Ministry is required to partner with a GEF Implementation Agency. The Ministry selected the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) because of the long history of collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago's Forestry Division and the FAO's Department of Forestry. 

Development of the GEF Project Implementation Framework

The FAO, having the necessary expertise to assist Trinidad and Tobago with the development of the required project documents for the country's application to the GEF, indicated its willingness to support the project through design, mentoring and implementation.
Honourable Minister Dr. Roodlal Moonilal greeting Dr. Adrian Whiteman (FAO)
On October 2-10, 2011 FAO undertook a mission to Trinidad and Tobago to meet with key stakeholders and finalise a GEF Project Implementation Framework (PIF) document. During the mission, FAO representative, Dr. Adrian Whiteman met with officials of the former Ministry of Housing and the Environment including the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary; the Forestry Division; the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the former members of the Technical Committee that guided the formulation of the National Forest and Protected Areas Policies. 
Based on information gathered during this mission, a PIF was developed which was approved by the GEF Secretariat on April 16, 2012. Consequently, Trinidad and Tobago can now proceed to the next stage of the application process for access to $2,790,000 in GEF funding for a 4 year project to improve forest and protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago.

Development of the GEF Project Implementation Framework

Some of the major outputs of this project will include:
  • Development of national legislation for wildlife conservation, national parks and other protected areas 
  • Development of a national protected areas system plan 
  • Designation of five (5) areas in the new protected areas system 
  • One hundred (100) members of staff of the new National Forest and Protected Areas Management Authority (NFPAMA)
  • The NFPAMA trained in current best practices in protected areas management and biodiversity conservation 
  • Development of an ecological research and monitoring programme to guide protected areas management 
  • Implementation of a public education and awareness programme 
  • Development of Management Plans for the five (5) pilot protected areas site 
  • Visitor facilities upgraded and maintained 
  • Upgrade of equipment for protected activities 
  • Identification and rehabilitation of degradation in the five (5) pilot protected areas 
  • Establishment and development of operational modalities for the National Forest and Protected Areas Fund
  • Seventy (70) members of staff of the new NFPAMA trained in the operation of the new financial system
  • Twenty-five (25) senior staff and protected areas managers trained in budget planning, tourism revenue management and innovative financing techniques 
  • Development of a strategic plan for sustainable financing of the system of protected areas 
  • Development of a system of user fees which is to be piloted and operated in two (2) protected areas 
>> Details of these outputs are provided in the PIF.


Project Document Preparation 

In order to access the $US$2,790,000 in GEF grant funding, a detailed project document must be developed within the next eighteen (18) months and submitted by the FAO to the GEF Secretariat for approval. A sum of $US119,000 was made available to Trinidad and Tobago to prepare the project proposal, in the form of a Project Preparation Grant (PPG). The activities to be undertaken in preparing the project are outlined in the PPG document.

The implementation of the PPG is being undertaken by the following team of Consultants (project preparation team):
  • Biodiversity Specialist (Team Leader)
  • Expert in Legal and Institutional Reform 
  • Environmental Economist
  • Socio-Economics Specialist
  • Expert in Monitoring and Evaluation of PAs 
  • Protected Area Specialist 
  • Forest Economist 
  • Eco-tourism Specialist 

Inception Workshop

The FAO project preparation team is leading the development of the project document in collaboration with relevant departments in Trinidad and Tobago and in consultation with diverse stakeholders. This document is to be completed by August 2013, for submission to GEF for endorsement.
In light of this, during October 31 to November 01, 2012 the project's Inception Workshop was held at Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre in Couva, and was the first step in a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders.
The workshop was geared at creating awareness among national stakeholders about the project, and getting their feedback on the design of the project. Senator, the Honourable Mr. Ganga Singh, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources delivered the keynote speech at the event, welcoming stakeholders and inviting their valuable input in the event's proceedings. 

Approximately 125 participants were informed through presentations on various technical aspects of the project at this workshop and also actively participated in several group discussions, focusing on the project components and project preparation activities.  The presentations and the report of the outcomes of the Inception workshop can be found below:

Mid-Term Project Mission


In order to advance the preparation of the full project document and as a follow up to the Inception Workshop, the FAO undertook a Mid-Term Mission to Trinidad and Tobago from April 15 to May 4, 2013 to re-engage key stakeholders with a view to finalising the full project document.
During this period, the FAO project preparation team made site visits to several protected areas (PAs) in Trinidad and Tobago including Matura, Caroni Swamp, Nariva Swamp, Trinity Hills, Speyside and Main Ridge, Tobago. In addition, the team engaged with several key stakeholders through various meetings on technical and operational components of the project including co-financing mechanisms, sustainable financing and eco-tourism, biodiversity, conservation and management. 
Stakeholder meetings during the Mid-Term mission included:
  • Meeting at FAO Trinidad office
  • Meeting with National Steering Committee
  • Joint meetings with EPPD and Forestry
  • Meeting with Green Fund Executing Unit
  • Meetings Forestry Division staff from 6 PAs (field & office)
  • Meetings with hoteliers and tour operators
  • Meeting Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
  • Stakeholder workshop in Tobago
  • Midterm Stakeholder Workshop in Trinidad 
  • Discussions with the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA), Central Statistical Office (CSO), Tourism Development Company (TDC), Environmental Management Authority (EMA), University of the West Indies Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (UWI Salises)
  • Meetings with NGOs including Nature Seekers;
  • Meeting with the European Union;
  • Meeting with energy companies (Petrotrin, Repsol, BP, BG, BHP Billiton);
  • Drafting of project document, edorsement documents, and Biodiversity tracking tool with EPPD and Forestry Division.
Major comments and key findings of the Midterm are summarised in a presentation given to the Honourable Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Ganga Singh on Friday 3rd May, 2013: 






Midterm Stakeholder Workshop

As the FAO team moves towards the completion of the full project document, the team took the opportunity during the midterm mission of April 15 to May 4, 2013 to re-engage with stakeholders at a Mid-Term Stakeholder Workshop.

The workshop was  held on Wednesday 24 April, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre in Couva. Stakeholders were updated on the progress made since the Inception Workshop, met the consultants drafting various components of the project, gave inputs on the development of these project components and the associated results framework and discussed the next steps.


Presentations and the Report from the Midterm Stakeholder Workshop can be found below:

 >>Midterm Stakeholder Workshop - Presentations
>>Midterm Stakeholder Workshop Report 

Status on the Final Project Document


The following consultancy reports have been completed by members of the the FAO Project Team.  These include:
Presently, the final project document, and the reports of the Biodiversity, and the Socio-Economic consultants are being technically reviewed. When completed, the project design and final project document will be discussed with the relevant stakeholders, validated and endorsed at the Terminal Stakeholder Workshop.

The following are more draft workshop documents prepared by the FAO Project Team to be reviewed and discussed:

Terminal Stakeholder Workshop

On September 27, 2013 at the Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA’s) Large Conference Room, in St. Clair, Port-of-Spain a Terminal Stakeholder Workshop was held. 





The Workshop was held with the  objective of re-engaging key stakeholders to discuss opportunities for their involvement in the implementation of the project, whilst also obtaining their validation and endorsement on the final document produced by the consultants, particularly on the activities needed under the four components of the project:
  • Improvements to the legal and institutional arrangements for protected area (PA) management.
  • Improvements to infrastructure for biodiversity conservation and forest restoration.
  • Development and testing of sustainable financing system 
  • Monitoring and evaluation and information dissemination 

Project Approval

As of April 2014, the final project document was endorsed by the GEF CEO and has recently been approved by Cabinet. The approved project document and endorsement letter can be found below:

Project Implementation

Work has begun on the Improving Forest and Protected Area Management (IFPAM) Project. For an overview of the Project, its components and expected outputs, click on the link below:
At present key technical staff/ consultants are being secured to facilitate the implementation of the Project. Ms. Neila Bobb-Prescott has come on board as the Chief Technical Advisor and is responsible for project coordination as well as technical and stakeholder management, among other duties. 

FAO  is currently seeking consultants to develop a methodology to monitor the status of selected wildlife species as identified in the Project Document. Interested candidates can access further details and instructions of the application process from the link below: 
Deadline for submission of applications is:  4:00pm on August 31, 2015

***

Stakeholder Engagement - THA 

On Monday 27th July, 2015, a meeting was arranged to formally introduce the Project Coordinating Unit to representatives of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) as well as to share the final approved project and to devise plans for implementing the project in Tobago. 

Ms. Neila Bobb-Prescott (Chief Technical Advisor, IFPAM Project) handing over the IFPAM Project Brief  to representatives of the THA after the meeting

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is key institutional partner. The THA is empowered to formulate and implement policy, propose and adopt Bills, and lead on developing the skills needed for the sustainable management of natural resources on the island.   

 ***

First Pilot Protected Area Sub-Committee Meeting
 
A key strategy in the Forest and Protected Area Policy (2011) is participatory management.  One of the mechanisms being employed under the Improving Forest and Protected Area Management (IFPAM) Project is the use of Subcommittees for each site.  The Subcommittees are made up of key stakeholders for each pilot site.  They will advise the Project Steering Committee (PCU) on actions specific to matters pertaining to their respective pilot protected area (PA) site and advise the Project Coordinating Unit on general management directions and on technical matters related to their respective pilot PA site.
 
The first meeting of the Trinity Hills and eastern extension pilot PA Subcommittee was convened on 24th August, 2015 at the Forestry Division’s Rio Claro office. Organisations serving on this Subcommittee include Forestry Division, The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin), Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists’ Club, the Environmental Management Authority and the South Eastern Hunters Association.

At the first meeting, it was evident that this mechanism of using Subcommittees would contribute to improving coordination of management actions and sharing of information. For this Subcommittee, its first meeting resulted in the formulation of objectives and initiated discussions to select actions to implement for the next year in the pilot PA. 
 
 Subcommittee members listening as the PCU facilitates a session detailing the context for management in the PA
Dr. David Persaud, Environmental Manager - EPPD, shares the rationale for the boundaries of the PA with Subcommittee members.

  ***




Over 30 organizations engaged in planning to improve PA management



To date, three (3) additional Subcommittees under the Improving Forest and Protected Area Management (IFPAM) Project have been launched subsequent to the launch of the Trinity Hills and eastern extension Subcommittee which occurred on August 24, 2015. 

Subcommittees have been launched for the pilot areas of Caroni Swamp, Nariva Swamp and coastal zone and the Matura Forest and coastal zone.  To date over thirty (30) governmental and civil society organisations are engaging in formulating plans to improve protected area (PA) management in the pilot PA sites.   The Subcommittees are hard at work defining the management objectives for each pilot PA within the scope of the IFPAM project and identifying actions to contribute to improving management.
The first meeting of the Matura Forest and coastal zone Subcommittee on 3rd September members highlighted the importance of the inclusion of actions to contribute to the sustainable development of livelihoods in the plans for the PA.  


  Through facilitated sessions by the Project Coordinating Unit, at Subcommittee meetings, individual work plans for each PA will be formulated using the actions identified by the Subcommittee. The work plans for the first year of the Subcommittees of the six pilot PAs will be merged along with other actions and presented as the project work plan for the first year at national inception workshops later in this year. 





Members of the Nariva Subcommittee listening to a discussion of threats to the PA at their first meeting on 2nd September at Forestry Division’s Kernahan Field Station

At the first meeting of the Caroni Swamp Subcommittee on 27th August, 10 organizations were represented
***

Nature Seekers, Co-Chair of the Matura Forest and coastal zone pilot protected area subcommittee, has been awarded the Tourism Service Business Excellence Award from the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association for 2015. 
 

The organisation won this prestigious award last year.  The award is given to recognise and celebrate outstanding performance in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Trinidad and Tobago. The Improving Forest and Protected Area Management (IFPAM) Project will build on experiences and lessons learned from key stakeholders like Nature Seekers to improve livelihoods of stakeholders who earn their living from forest and protected areas.  Congratulations to Nature Seekers!!! 

***

IMPROVING FOREST AND PROTECTED AREAS MANAGEMENT - VACANCIES!


The Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Project  (GCP/TRI/003/GFF)  is seeking to recruit a Technical Officer and a Project Officer.  Please see the details below:
                  -   Deadline for applications is Friday 27th November, 2015


                 -    Deadline for applications is Friday 4th December, 2015

***

INCEPTION WORKSHOP 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.

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

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

INCEPTION WORKSHOP IN TOBAGO

 On Thursday 3rd December 2015, the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN) hosted the second Inception Workshop for the Global Environment Facility funded project entitled "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago" at the Works Lecture Room in Shaw Park, Tobago.

Assemblyman Godwin Adams, the Secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment delivered the feature address on behalf of the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).  In his remarks he described how the project compliments the THA’s actions in forest and protected area management and revealed plans for a large scale reforestation project on the island.  Participants at the workshop included representatives from Divisions of the THA and other key stakeholders in forest and protected area management on the island.
Ms. Nevlin Renwick,

Administrator, Agriculture,Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment delivering opening remarks.


Seated at centre is Assemblyman Godwin Adams, Secretary, Agriculture,Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment.  To his left is Mr. William Trim and Mr. Selwyn Davis from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, THA


As with the first Inception workshop in Trinidad, this workshop afforded participants the opportunity to review the draft work plans for each pilot protected area and to input into proposed actions and mechanisms to achieving the project's objectives.  Work plans for all the six pilot protected areas were presented with a more detailed focus on the pilot sites in Tobago, namely the Main Ridge Forest Reserve and the proposed North East Tobago marine protected area.

*** 

INCEPTION WORKSHOP REPORT NOW AVAILABLE!

 The Inception workshops held in Trinidad on November 24, 2015 and in Tobago on December 3, 2015 provided a forum to validate proposed actions and mechanisms and provided useful additional mechanisms to contribute to achieving the project results. 


Stakeholders  identified a few gaps in the work plan which could be addressed under project activities or via complimentary projects. Additionally, stakeholders demonstrated and shared a sense of ownership for the project.  The project activities and results were promoted on several local media. 

While there is significant progress with regard to the establishment of the Pilot Protected Areas (PAs) Sub Committees and towards the development of work plans for these six Pilot Protected Areas other key areas of the project require an in-depth project revision.  These are:

  • Project Component 1, Output 1.1.1 which addresses the drafting of a national legislation for forest, wildlife and PAs management; and
  • Capacity building and training of staff of the proposed Forest and Protected Areas Management Authority.

The Inception Workshop Report provides further details on the Workshops.

***

LOOKING AT NARIVA SWAMP THROUGH NEW SPECTACLES! : NARIVA PILOT PROTECTED AREA COMMITTEE'S FIRST SITE VISIT TO NARIVA SWAMP


“The hill was steep but all of us made it to the top of Brigand Hill.  The panoramic view on the tower quickly removed any regret over the arduous trek to the top of the tower.  Laid out before us was the beauty of the Nariva Swamp.  Laid out before us were scenes from history. Block A – Leased out for agriculture; Block B – once under rice cultivation and now covered in wetland marsh grasses.  The green of hardwood species and the Bush Bush Wildlife Sanctuary peaking in the distance. The coast line in the distance beckoning memories of the large flood event and destruction of infrastructure in 2014.”

These could be the memories of any of the 13 member team of the Nariva Pilot Protected Area Subcommittee on 4th March, 2015. The Subcommittee commenced work on their work plan with a visit to the pilot protected area site to gather information on land use, hydrology, ecology and threats to improve their contextual understanding of issues related to the management of the site.The Subcommittee intends to use the information from this site visit to make recommendations on the boundaries and level of protection required for this pilot protected area.

Snapshots of the Nariva Pilot Protected Area Sub-Committee's site visit:







***

Nariva Swamp and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area Sub-Committee's Second Site Visit

On Friday 10thJune 2016, the Nariva Swamp and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area (PPA) Sub-Committee, made a second site visit  to the PPA.  At the conclusion of the site visit, the Sub-Committee reflected on the value of the supporting contributions of key stakeholders and the first hand sight of  the existing management issues in the pilot protected area. With this information in hand, the Sub-Committee looks forward to continued progress in developing a management plan appropriate for this unique site. 

Click here for the full report from this site visit. 


***

New P3DM begins in Cumana

All were hands on deck for the development of a participatory 3-Dimensional model (P3DM) of the Matura National Park Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA). This was led by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), this project got underway at The AgroTourism Centre, Cumana Village, Toco in early July.   

Students begin tracing contours under guidance of the EMA officers


Students enjoying the model-building
The activity is in support of the Authority’s Education and Outreach Programme in the ESA, and is the third component of a project geared towards promoting the use of public participation in the management of sensitive areas, building public knowledge and understanding of the value of the ESA, documenting existing threats to the site and to gather information that will advise on the best way forward on addressing environmental concerns and inform a communication strategy for the ESA.

The model layers are kept in position by glue and metal poles and are reinforced by nails during construction


River valleys and coastal zone areas appear on the model
Additionally, the modelling also fits well into the into the current national project, Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago currently being coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. The Project Coordination Unit of the FAO therefore provided support to the project in assisting with the training of facilitators for the activity and actual facilitation throughout the model-building process.

Click here to read the full report. 


***


Week two of P3DM - Cumana, Trinidad 

 Week two of the Participatory 3-Dimensional Model (p3dm) building exercise at the Cumana Agro-Tourism Centre featured the "smoothing" process, painting  of the model and information "population" occurred during the period Monday July 11 - Saturday July 16, 2016. The co-ordinating team at the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) was once again joined by the mixed group of facilitators, including members of the "Improving Forest and Protected Areas Management in Trinidad and Tobago" Project Coordination Unit of the Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO).

Click here to access the full report.


***

Week Three at P3DM – Populating and Polishing


Week 3 at the P3DM exercise at Cumana Village focused on gathering information from stakeholders (“populating” the model) and later, painting of the model (“polishing”) to reflect the various assets and threats at the site.  


The first activity featured lively interaction with representatives of Government agencies and local
non-governmental groups including community groups and religious groups. 

The staff of the Project Coordination Unit of the “Improving Forest and Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago” participated in both activities and provided a brief report. 




***

Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Survey underway in Tobago

What does the average person know about forests and protected areas?  What value if any is attached to them?  Do people play a part in protecting and managing these natural resources?  In an effort to investigate the answers to these and other questions that are relevant to the six pilot protected areas, a “Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices” survey was initiated in Tobago at the end of July 2016. 


This activity was kicked off by a training session held with staff and interns of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) and the Fisheries Division. 

The survey will capture views of people living in the general area of the two pilot protected areas in Tobago and will advise a communication strategy for the project. 



***

Roundtable Discussion centres on Oil and Gas Operations in Protected Areas

The presence of oil and gas operations in the Victoria-Mayaro Forest Reserve as well as areas of the Trinity Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a key discussion point of the Trinity Hills and Eastern Extension Subcommittee for the pilot protected area (PPA). 
In order to recommend the boundaries of the proposed PPA, and arrive at an informed position that would consider implications for future management, the Subcommittee hosted a Roundtable Discussion on August 5th 2016. 
The activity took place at the Forestry Division Visitor Centre, San Fernando Hill, San Fernando.


***

Coastal zone field trip provides insight to Subcommittee

The Subcommittee for the Matura Forest and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area recently undertook its first field trip to examine current issues pertaining to management of the area. 


A key aspect for consideration was the feasibility of a physical linkage between the Matura Forest and this satellite coastal zone. 


The field trip took place on August 12th 2016 with stops at Fishing Pond Village, Vega de Oropouche and Matura Village.


***

Newspaper Article on P3DM in Matura

The Environmental Management Authority published an article in the Sunday Guardian on 28th August, 2016. The article features an interview with Ms. Evana Douglas, a representative from Sky-Eco Organization. She shares her thoughts on the creation of a Participatory 3-Dimensional Model of the Matura Environmentally Sensitive Area. The purpose of the model is to guide improved communication of the Authority with resource users and other managers.





***

Communication Workshop to improve reporting on forest and protected areas

Where do people get their information about Forest and Protected Areas?  What are the best means of communicating with people that impact on and are impacted by these natural sites?  These questions were part of the key focus of participants in a communication workshop that was jointly hosted by the Project Coordination Unit for the IFPAM project and Nature Seekers a leading
environmental NGO. 


The main aim of the workshop was to improve reporting on forest and protected areas, to influence more positive public attitudes and behaviours towards these resources. 


Attendees gained useful tips on working with the media, using social media and adopting interactive methods in communicating with key target audiences, and also gained insight into the work of an active and successful NGO at this event. 




***

Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago Publications

The Project Coordination Unit for the project entitled "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago"  is happy to share with you the first issue of the project newsletter - ProtectEd. (Click here to view ProtectEd Newsletter)

We also take this opportunity to share with you our findings on farming in protected areas and the national protected areas classification system in the linked information leafs below.



We encourage you to read, share with others in your network and share with us your feedback on this first issue of ProtectEd.

***



Improving Forest and Protected Area Management Project
- Consultancy Available for Livelihood Assessment Activity
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 advertising a consultancy to undertake a Livelihoods Assessment study in the Matura Forest and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area.
Please click the link below to see further details of the consultancy:
Applications should be submitted to Neila Bobb-Prescott, Chief Technical Advisor at Neila.BobbPrescott@fao.org.
Deadline for submission of applications is: Monday 14th November 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:






Promoting 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.  


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.  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.

Pax.jpgPax 2.jpg
On the Alben Ride trail from Pax Guest House (at left); view from the trail (at right) .


Asa Wright 2.jpgAsa Wright.jpg

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


Drone called into service for vegetation survey

Last October, members of the Project Coordination Unit witnessed the test flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is being used to undertake the vegetation survey in pilot protected areas for the project "Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago".  

Learn about their experience in this link.







Improving Forest and Protected Area Management Project
- Call for Proposals: Livelihoods Assessment Study
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 a Livelihoods Assessment study in the Matura Forest and Coastal Zone Pilot Protected Area.
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 20th January 2017.






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 
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.





Public Consultations
Revision of the 2006 National Environmental Policy




Protected Area Stakeholders learn value of Monitoring and Evaluation


Over the three day period February 6th – 8th 2017, a team of 17 stakeholders participating in the “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” project took part in a workshop entitled “An Introduction to Monitoring and Evaluation”.

The workshop was deemed to be a very enlightening experience by participants.  

Learn more about the workshop at this link.





A Focus on the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve


Dr. Aidan Farrell, Plant Biologist of the Department of Life Sciences, UWI St. Augustine, recently wrote an article for the Newsday newspaper about the Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve.  

This site is one of the pilot protected areas under the “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” project.  

Dr. Farrell is a member of the Tobago Pilot Protected Area Subcommittee and his article, also uploaded to the Wild Tobago blog, can be viewed 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.



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.




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.




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.





Call for Proposals: Concept for 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.



Celebrating the International Day of Forests


In observance of the International Day of Forests, celebrated on 21 March every year since 2013, the "Improving Forests 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment