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Volume 9 · No. 1 · 2005


EMA South Office

Page 6


Looking back... looking forward

World Environment Day

Pages 9,10,11

Secondary Schools' Competition

Page 12

International Activities

Pages 16,17

s the Environmental Management Authority these two devastating and de-energising paradigms of (EMA) celebrates its 10 years of service to development and seek instead to develop a new alliance Trinidad and Tobago, we pause to reflect on our between human beings and nature. It is by doing this humble beginnings a decade ago, to the fruits of our that we become allies in an effort for conservation and labours in the many successes we have been able to assurance of a common destiny. This is sustainable achieve. development. There is now a perceptible increase During the past year, we have sought in the level of involvement and concern to do precisely that by establishing about the environment from the general linkages with a number of communities public. Concern for the environment and civil society-based organisations, should never be considered a luxury assisting them in their own plans for to be indulged in by those with sustainable development, for creating too much time and leisure on their employment, providing areas and hands, nor a periodic flash in the pan opportunities for social interaction, engagement to soothe an otherwise while simultaneously protecting and anaesthetised conscience. Concern for preserving the environment. the preservation and enhancement of Our Education and Public Awareness the environment, for its sustainable use Department has continued its outreach and development, must become a part to schools, planting seeds of knowledge of the psyche of all of us who call this and cultivating proper habits in our little slice of paradise home. young citizens while helping them to There are those who are concerned discard some of the bad habits they have that current society and the prevailing already developed. type of development cannot produce I continue to hold firm to the view Dave McIntosh wealth without simultaneously ravaging that environmental legislation, those Managing Director/CEO, EMA the environment. The argument is that already on the statute books and those the most abundant by-products of our waiting to be laid in Parliament, both in industrial system, which include garbage, hazardous their letter and spirit, affords us the opportunity to create wastes, atmospheric contamination and poisoning of the the balance that is not just necessary but pivotal to our land, water and air, may all add up to a deterioration in survival. the quality of life. The CEC Rules, the Noise Pollution Control These concerns must, I believe, give birth to a new Rules, the Environmentally Sensitive Species and ecological culture in Trinidad and Tobago, a collective Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules all seek to create a awareness of the responsibilities we have as citizens for balance between our national development and progress, the survival of our country and of animal and plant life. It and our environment. emphasises our responsibility for promoting relationships This year, we look forward to the passage in that allow quality of life and well-being for all human Parliament of the much-needed Water Pollution Control beings and the environment. Rules and the Beverage Containers Deposit Bill, as well The EMA has, during the 10 years of our existence, as the strengthening of our Environmental Police Unit. been attempting to forge this new culture, and we have We have also begun the implementation of the first learnt many lessons during that time. One such lesson phases of our Strategic Plan. is that environmental activism is not enough. We must This five-year plan envisages a significant increase define a path that provides for human beings while in our staff complement, a critical necessity if we are to protecting our environment. accomplish the tasks we have set ourselves. We have learnt, too, to be very aware of those who The year 2005 holds myriad possibilities and seek harmony between society and the environment, only opportunities for the EMA. As we enter into our 11th year, in the interest of developing techniques for plundering we look forward to them and to the continued support of the environment while affecting the human habitat as our sister agencies and the general public in our quest to little as possible. make Trinidad and Tobago a cleaner, healthier and more We have recognised that it is important to overcome wholesome place for all of us.

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From the editor


uring her acceptance speech, Kenyan Professor Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate, acknowledged the work of "countless individuals and groups across the globe who work quietly and often without recognition to protect the environment". The Green Belt Movement, which she started in 1977, was partly in response to needs identified by rural women in Kenya ­ women's groups planting trees to conserve the environment and empower themselves to improve their quality of life. The success of Professor Maathai's efforts is a clear example that many of the solutions to our environmental problems must come from us. If we contribute to, or allow the destruction or mismanagement of our natural resources, we undermine our quality of life and that of future generations. According to Professor Maathai, there can be no development without sustainable management of the environment. Tree planting addressed some of the initial basic needs identified by the women of Kenya. Here, in Trinidad and Tobago, we too can get involved in tree planting and other activities that will improve the quality of our own communities. We must be proactive; we must be part of the solution.

Staff News

SUSAN ABLACK joined the EMA on December 13, 2004, as a Regulatory Compliance Assistant II with the Compliance Unit. She obtained an Associate Degree in Environment Technology from COSTAATT and hopes to further her studies in the environmental field. ALANA ATTAI began her tenure with the EMA on September 1, 2004 as a Regulatory Compliance Officer I attached to the Environmental Assessment Unit. She graduated from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, with a B.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences. Alana plans to pursue a Master's degree in a similar discipline. SORIAYA BAKSH-MANWARING was appointed Regulatory Compliance Officer II to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Unit on August 16, 2004. Before joining the EMA, Soriaya worked as an environmental consultant for five years with a private firm. She holds a B.Sc. (Joint Major) in Botany and Zoology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and an M.Sc. in Sustainable Energy Systems and Management from the University of Flensburg, Germany. JEWEL BATCHASINGH joined the EMA on November 1, 2004 as Education Officer with the Education and Public Awareness Department. Jewel holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the UWI, St. Augustine. CEZANNE CHANG is a Regulatory Compliance Officer I with the Environmental Assessment Unit who joined the EMA on November 16, 2004. Cezanne graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. in Environmental and Natural Resources Management and Biology and is trained in Occupational Safety and Health. She was previously employed by Trinmar. KELLY-ANN CHARLES is a Regulatory Compliance Officer I in the Energy Unit. Kelly-Ann joined the EMA staff on August 4, 2004 and holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Process/Environmental Engineering from the University of Wyoming, USA. She is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. XIOMARA CHIN is a former employee of the Institute of Marine Affairs, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research Programme. Xiomara joined the EMA on June 15, 2005 as a Regulatory Compliance Officer II in the Energy Unit. She obtained a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from the New College of Florida and a Master's degree in Natural Resource Management, with specialisation in Coastal and Marine Resources, from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. Xiomara also holds a Diploma in Hospitality Management from the Trinidad and Tobago Hotel School. CECILIE `MARISA' CLARKE MARSHALL joined the EMA on June 1, 2004 as Supervisor of the Environmental Assessment Unit. Cecilie obtained a B.A. in Geography and Social Sciences from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica and an M.Sc. in Planning and Development from the


EDITOR Marcia Tinto MANAGING EDITOR Dr. Yvette Guy EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Elesha Montano EDITORIAL COMMITTEE Alicia Charles Marissa Gowrie Wendy Jaggernauth Hema Seeramsingh Marlene Scott WRITERS Gayatri Badri Maharaj Kirk Jean-Baptiste Alicia Charles Robyn Cross Elesha Montano Kenwyn Ogeer Marcia Tinto CONTRIBUTORS Soriaya Baksh-Manwaring Kishan Kumarsingh Marie Newallo Wayne Rajkumar


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University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. Before joining the EMA, Cecilie worked with the Institute of Marine Affairs. ABEGAIL DAVID joined the staff of the EMA on September 6, 2004 as Secretary to the Education and Public Awareness Department. She is trained in Public Relations and Meetings and Events Management and has administrative experience in both the public and private sectors. GREGORY DE SOUZA joined the Environmental Assessment Unit as a Regulatory Compliance Officer III. Before he joined the EMA on June 15, 2005, Gregory had been employed at the Institute of Marine Affairs for 24 years. Gregory received a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Zoology, specialising in Aquatic Sciences, from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He also holds a Certificate in Spanish for Marine Research, as well as a Certificate in Project Management. ABBION FRANKLYN became a member of the EMA family on November 16, 2004. A former employee of the Ministry of National Security, Abbion holds the post of General Assistant with the EMA.

ANIKA GELLINEAU joined the Energy Unit as a Regulatory Compliance Officer I on December 13, 2004. Anika graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental and Natural Resource Management and Chemistry. Anika previously held internships at PowerGen and WASA. SURETA GOKOOL was appointed Regulatory Compliance Assistant II with the Compliance Unit on November 16, 2004 and assists at the EMA's Help Desk. She has an Associate Degree in Environmental Engineering from COSTAATT and intends to further her studies in Occupational Health and Safety. JACQUE ANN GRANT, Regulatory Compliance Officer I, became a member of the Environmental Compliance Unit on August 9, 2004. She holds a B.Sc. in Chemical and Process Engineering and is awaiting final results from an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering. Jacque is an Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. STACY ANN GUY, Secretary to the Environmental Assessment Unit, has over six years' experience in the field of administration. Prior to joining the EMA on November 16, 2004, Stacy worked with Home Construction Ltd.

TIFFANY JACK joined the EMA on April 4, 2005 as Secretary to the Environmental Resource Management Department. A graduate of Couva Government Secondary School, Tiffany has over seven years' experience in administration. Before joining the EMA, she held the post of Clerical Officer with the National Insurance Board. CHEMIJ JOBITY began his tenure with the EMA on December 1, 2004 as Regulatory Compliance Assistant II in the Compliance Unit. A former employee of WASA, Chemij received an Associate Degree in Environmental Management, as well as training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in General Industry, Health and Safety. Chemij plans to pursue a B.A. in Environmental Management. JILLIAN KARAN was appointed Administrative Assistant in the Corporate Management Department on March 1, 2005. Jillian graduated from the University of the West Indies with B.Sc. degrees (Hons.) in Management Studies and Psychology. She intends to pursue an M.Sc. in Industrial Psychology. ELESHA MONTANO joined the Education and Public Awareness Department as Information Assistant on November 1, 2004. She is trained in advertising, marketing and public relations and also has experience in the media, having worked with the Trinidad Express Newspapers.


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Staff News

TRACEY OLIVEIRA joined the Environmental Assessment Unit as Regulatory Compliance Officer I on September 1, 2004. Tracey, a Trinidad and Tobago scholarship winner, graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Zoology and an M.Sc. (Distinction) in Science for Management of Tropical Environments. She also received training from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and pursued studies in Project Management, with emphasis on the Public Sector Investment Programme. MISTY RAM was appointed Regulatory Compliance Officer I in the Compliance Unit on August 15, 2004. She graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, with a B.Sc. in Zoology and Botany and an M.Sc. in Science for the Management of Tropical Environments. DONNA RAMKISSOON is a Regulatory Compliance Officer I in the Energy Unit at the EMA. She joined us on September 1, 2004. Donna holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine) and is at present pursuing an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering at the same campus. RIA RAMOUTAR, Regulatory Compliance Officer I with the Compliance Unit, joined the EMA on August 8, 2004. She obtained a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental and Natural Resource Management and Biology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. DESHA SELOCHAN was appointed Legal Officer I on October 11, 2004. She graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Laws degree (Hons.) and received her Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School. Prior to joining the EMA, Desha was an Associate Attorney-at-Law with a private law firm where she was exposed to training in Civil Litigation, Probate, Conveyancing and Matrimonial Law. ABIGAIL WREN was appointed Database Administrator on March 1, 2005. She graduated from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Management. Before joining the EMA, Abigail worked in the Information Technology Management Division at Republic Bank Limited.

Dates to Remember

September 16

World Ozone Day "Act Ozone Friendly­Stay Sun Safe"

October 4

Inter-American Water Day "Water for Life"

September 27

World Tourism Day "Travel and transport: from the imagination of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century"

October 12

International Day for Disaster Reduction In 2005 ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) network will contribute to the International Year of Microcredit by collaborating with partners involved in micro-finance and safety nets for disaster reduction. This will also be the theme of the International Day for Disaster Reduction. Microfinance is a tool that has successfully been utilised to improve livelihoods options and reduce poverty. It has been very little used in the context of disaster risk reduction. Leading up to the International Day, dialogue will be stimulated with the micro-finance community on the possibilities of using these tools to reduce disaster risk and increase community resilience to disasters.

new international organisation dedicated to the coordination and unification of standards work. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) was officially formed one year later and it was at the prompting of an ISO President that the first World Standards Day was celebrated on October 14, 1970.

October 16

World Food Day "Agriculture and Intercultural Dialogue" This theme will comprise two sub-themes, "Cultures and agriculture", referring to technologies developed by the various civilisations, and "The contribution of civilisations to world agriculture", referring to the exchange of plant, animal, forestry etc. and in general terms any cultural material.

September 29

World Maritime Day "International Shipping ­ Carrier of World Trade" The theme was chosen to draw attention to the vital role that shipping plays in underpinning the international economy and its significant contribution to international trade and the world economy as the most efficient, safe and environmentally friendly methods of transporting goods around the globe.

November 16

Global Information Systems Day "Discovering the World Through GIS" GIS Day is a grassroots event that formalises the practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users and vendors of opening their doors to schools, businesses, and the general public to showcase real-world applications of this important technology. The event is principally sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the United States Geological Survey, The Library of Congress, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett­Packard, and ESRI.

October 3

World Habitat Day "Millennium Development Goals and the City" This theme, chosen by the United Nations, reminds us that, in 2000, world leaders meeting at the dawn of the new Millennium committed themselves to launch a concerted attack on poverty, illiteracy, hunger, unsafe water, disease and urban and environmental degradation by adopting a set of eight goals. In September, the UN General Assembly will hold a fiveyear review meeting to weigh progress on the eight goals.

October 14

World Standards Day "Standards for a Safer World" The goal of World Standards Day is to raise awareness of the importance of international standardisation to the world economy and to promote its role in helping meet the needs of all business sectors. October 14 was chosen because it was on that day in 1946 that delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and consequently decided to create a


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Corporate Services

Kenywn Ogeer

regular basis, to ensure that the organisation stays within the approved budget. Monthly management financial reports are prepared for consideration by the Trustees of the ETF, Board of Directors and the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. The reports show all variances and provide reasons for these variances. All virements or reallocation of funds are approved by the Board of Directors and Government where necessary. Audit The financial accounts of the EMA are audited annually by the Auditor General, who submits the relevant Management Letter and Audit Reports to the Chairman of the Trustees of the ETF and the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Since the inception of the EMA, all annual financial accounts have been prepared and audited within the statutory timeframe of three months after the end of each financial year, and laid in Parliament. The EMA has recently implemented an internal audit function. This service will initially be outsourced since the approved organisation structure does not contain an internal audit division. An auditing firm has been selected to provide this service. Investment Policy Section 75 of the EM Act provides for the investment of available funds "in such a manner as the Trustees consider fit..." upon ratification by the Board of Directors. The Trustees have enunciated an investment policy that states in part "funds should be placed in a conservative interest-bearing account, taking into consideration the risk factors, rates of return and the need for liquidity or accessibility to available funds". In the circumstances, available funds have been placed in banks' fixed deposits and various money market funds. Procurement The Corporate Services Department includes a Procurement Unit that is responsible for acquiring the goods and services necessary for the operation of the Authority. The Procurement Unit is guided in the discharge of its functions by a Manual of Procurement, Polices and Procedures. This manual outlines the procedures for selecting suppliers of goods and services to ensure transparency and efficiency in the procurement process. Human Resources The Human Resource function of the EMA also resides in my Department. Our H.R. Unit is responsible for recruitment of staff, training, administration of staff benefits and matters related to the separation of staff. This Unit operates within the context of a Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual, which is reviewed from time to time to ensure that the Authority remains in tune with development in staff and industrial relations. Information Technology The Information Technology (IT) Unit is responsible for the continued development and maintenance of the computer network and electronic databases. In addition, the Unit oversees the maintenance of the EMA's website. The Unit is staffed by a Systems Administrator and a Database Administrator and is supplemented by external consultants. Vision for the Corporate Services Department The Corporate Services Department is guided by the principles of the EMA's Code of Ethics which addresses issues of professional behaviour, confidentiality, accountability and transparency. This Department has the primary objective of ensuring that the EMA acquires and maintains the resources to facilitate the protection and conservation of the natural environment of the country. It must also ensure the most efficient and prudent use of those resources. Accordingly, the vision of the Department is to achieve these objectives to the extent that the EMA may be a sustainable, efficient organisation.

he Corporate Services Department is responsible for the operation of the Environmental Trust Fund, financial management and reporting, as well as procurement, human resources, information technology and administrative support. In addition, since the Manager is the Corporate Secretary, the Department acts as the secretariat to the Board of Directors. Part VII of the Environmental Management Act 2000 makes provision for the establishment and operation of an Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) "which shall be used to fund the operations of the Authority". Five members of the EMA's Board of Directors are appointed as Trustees by the President to oversee the operation of the Fund. This part of the EM Act 2000 also stipulates the resources of the ETF and the use of fund monies. The EMA is therefore guided by the EM Act 2000 in its financial operations. Budget Formulation The EMA receives funds from three major sources: · Government subvention · Grant funding · Revenue generated from fees due from the processing of applications and the issue of permits and licences With respect to Government subvention, the Corporate Services Department prepares annual estimates based on our projected expenditure for submission to the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. In determining projected expenditure, close attention is paid to the Authority's work plan as outlined in its Strategic Plan. The budget estimates are approved by the Trustees of the ETF, the Board of Directors and the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. The Management of the EMA attends various meetings with Government officials from the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Ministry of Finance each year, to provide further details and explanations to support our request for funding. After the final budget allocation is made to the EMA, the EMA revises its work plan and budget for approval by the Board of Directors before implementation begins. Expenditure vs Budget One of the responsibilities of my Department is monitoring expenditure during the year on a


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EMA In Action

EMA to set up South office

The EMA will soon be setting up offices at No. 1 Dumfries Road, La Romaine, San Fernando. This new office will afford residents of San Fernando and environs the opportunity to collect and lodge application forms for Certificates of Environmental Clearance and Noise Variations, as well as to submit complaints. EMA personnel will also be able to respond to emergencies and access areas in the energy sector in a much shorter timeframe. A team of officers from the Environmental Police Unit will also be based at the new office to attend to any environmental problems arising in the Southland. Communications between the north and south offices of the EMA will be via VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This means that members of the public can use the same telephone numbers to call both north and south offices.


Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Species

Species Designation and Procedures, Draft Notices for the Sabrewing Hummingbird, the Pawi and the Manatee were sent out for comment to 30 participating government agencies and NGOs. The Administrative Records for the three ESSs were sent out for public comment between January 11 and February 25, 2005. Final Notices were signed for these species on June 5 (World Environmental Day) and they were declared Environmentally Sensitive Species on June 17, 2005. The manatee was selected to be the focus of an education and public awareness programme. To accomplish this a Manatee Working Group was appointed to utilise the expertise of organisations that have been involved in manatee research and conservation in the country. The Working Group developed information materials for public awareness and education which included an innovative storyboard and models of a manatee and baby. These materials were launched on World Wetlands Day, February 2005, and have been used at various exhibitions as part of the EMA's education and awareness initiatives.

ver the last year, the Biodiversity Unit of the Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Department has been working on the designation of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESSs), under the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules, 2001 and the Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules, 2001. In keeping with the designation and procedures for ESAs, the Administrative Records for Buccoo Reef and Matura were put out for public comment between June and July, 2004. Public consultations were held in Toco on July 15, 2004 for the Matura ESA and in Tobago on October 5 and 6, 2004 for the Buccoo Reef ESA. The Public Notice for the Matura National Park was signed on October 22, 2004 and was gazetted on November 25, 2004. The Administrative Record for Aripo Savannas was sent out for public comment between March 21 and May 13, 2005, while the Draft Schedules for Nariva Swamp were sent to stakeholder participating agencies between April 11 and May 13, 2005. Under the Environmentally Sensitive

The Strategic Environmental Assessment Unit

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Unit was established within the Environmental Resource Management (ERM) department in August 2004. This was as a result of a directive from the Energy Sub-Committee set up by the Prime Minister to assist energy operators in acquiring Certificates of Environmental Clearance (CECs). In April 2005, the ERM department was further directed by the EMA's Board of Directors to expand the scope of work of this Unit, to include the non-energy sector or general applicants. The overall objective of the SEA Unit is to increase efficiency of CEC processing through education and awareness of applicants. In addition, the Unit is also responsible for reviewing internal systems and procedures, as well as improving strategies for specific issues related to different types of developments.

EMA officials meet with representatives from the Energy Sector.


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EMA In Action

Environmental Police Unit


ince June of 1999, the Environmental Police Unit (EPU) has been combining the expertise of police work with their training in environmental inspection as they work their unique beat, keeping tabs on the daily environmental breaches that plague our twin-island republic. The officers' duties are widespread and diverse, from the prevention of litter to monitoring air emissions, illegal logging as well as bringing peace between noisy neighbours. A typical day for the EPU begins with a patrol monitoring black smoke emissions from vehicles. Strategically located on our nation's roadways, they observe the level of smoke that is emitted and ticket the offenders. Apart from black smoke emissions, officers also look out for oil leaks, unsecured loads, faulty windshield wipers and other vehicle defects. These seemingly simple offences pose dangers not only to the environment but also to human safety. EPU officers issue approximately 250 to 300 tickets per month for various vehicular offences which in most cases result in a $200 fine. A landmark victory came for the unit when an Arima magistrate fined a motorist $700 or 42 days in jail for smoke emissions and unnecessary discharge of oil from his truck. Wisely, he opted to pay the fine. Curbing the level of dumping and littering is also very high on the EPU's agenda. The floods of November/December 2004 as well as earlier this year may be a dim memory to some but for those who were severely affected the recovery continues. Illegal dumping in our rivers, drains, roads and empty lots of land causes massive flooding that leads to health and other social problems. Individuals who dump sundry items such as household appliances, car parts, animal carcasses and furniture into our waterways should understand that not only are these images unsightly but, once the rains come, they obstruct the free flow of water and then flooding becomes an issue. The officers are

Environmental police monitor environmental breaches, such as black smoke emissions from vehicles.

very vigilant in conducting their duties, but they need the cooperation of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to report to the EPU and other authorities any illegal dumping that may occur in their neighbourhood. Special Training Recently, a Tobago arm of the Environmental Police Unit was formed. Officers were trained by their Trinidad counterparts in proper procedure with regard to environmental offences. Attached to the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Tobago House of Assembly, the officers also received special training in the handling of environmental cases that are unique to the sister isle, such as sand mining. Another important role of the EPU is that of monitoring events that are likely to produce loud sounds or noise. Excessive noise is harmful to human health. Noise is also particularly unsettling to senior citizens as well as animals. To begin the application procedure, individuals or promoters who are hosting an event that may produce sound in excess of the required levels must place a notice in at least two daily newspapers 35 days 7

before the event to alert members of the public. The promoter then has 28 days prior to the event to submit the completed application form to the EMA for processing. (Forms are available at the EMA's office or on the website at Once approval is granted, the EPU will monitor the conditions of the variation. This activity will include measurement of the sound pressure level on the night of the event. The monitoring of events is not only limited to "fetes" that have a variation. If the EMA is aware of events that are occurring without a variation, the EPU will also monitor to ensure that they are in compliance with the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001. The EPU's responsibility is not only in issuing tickets and prosecuting offenders. In many cases, officers have solved environmental issues and have been instrumental in educating the public and providing information to the less informed. While they are a key component of the work done at the Environmental Management Authority, they cannot do it alone. As citizens, we also need to take greater responsibility for the care of our homes and communities.

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Accomplishments in the Legal and Policy Department

he Environmental Management Authority (EMA) falls under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Management Act, No. 3 of 2000 ("The Act"). It is not always a simple task to elicit from the actual statute the powers given to the EMA. However, Section 63 of the Act is very clear as to how enforcement takes place at the EMA. The process is initiated by a Notice of Violation and concludes with either resolution through a Consent Agreement or further enforcement through the process of an Administrative Order as articulated further in Section 65 of the Act. There are currently two pieces of subsidiary legislation which attract enforcement by the EMA for noncompliance ­ namely the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001 (NPCR) and the Certificate of Environmental Clearance Rules, 2001 (CEC Rules). Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001 Noise is measured by decibels. Failure to comply with the levels mandated by the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001 will lead to the enforcement process. Under the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 89 Notices of Violation have been issued, of which 33 matters are currently active. Seven Administrative Orders have been issued; 14 Consent Agreements have been entered, with costs recovered in some of these matters. Two noteworthy matters in which the EMA has appeared before the Environmental Commission are: Anthony Price v. the EMA (EAP 001 of 2004) and Genfab Construction Ltd v. the EMA (EAP 001 of 2003). In the former case, the appellant appealed against the refusal by the EMA to grant him a variation with respect to a proposed cultural show and dance at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet, Tobago. The matter was referred to mediation as mandated by the EM Act, whereby an Order was made by the Commission cancelling the refusal of the grant of variation but ordering that the EMA issue a variation subject to specified terms and conditions. The latter case was an appeal against an Administrative Order issued by the EMA by the appellant who was engaged in a steel fabricating business. This

EMA's attorneys-at-law (from left): Desha Selochan, Sharon Bridglalsingh, Nicole Mohammed, Denise John and Gayatri Badri Maharaj (seated), Manager of the Department.

matter was again referred for mediation whereby the appellant agreed to relocate his business. He also agreed to apply for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance before doing so. Certificate of Environmental Clearance Rules, 2001 Under Section 35 of the EMA Act there are 44 designated activities which require a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC). Failure to apply or comply with the provisions of a CEC approval could attract enforcement. Under the CEC Rules 2001, 49 Notices of Violations were issued. Twenty-three matters are active which means that they are engaging the enforcement process. One Administrative Order has been issued; 20 Consent Agreements have been entered. A few of these enforcement actions have resulted in violators paying costs to the EMA. The Legal and Policy Department has also created a penalty assessment policy, a closure of files policy, a policy for the issuance and determination of notices of violation and a policy for the processing of violations. We are currently engaged in the final stages of preparing amendments for the Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2001 and the Certificate of Environmental Clearance Rules, 2001. 8

Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules, 2001 and Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules, 2001 The department has also been very instrumental in the designation of Matura as an environmentally sensitive area, pursuant to the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules, 2001. We are currently overseeing the final legislative stage for the designation of the Nariva Swamp as an environmentally sensitive area; the Aripo Savannas and the Buccoo Reef are also works in progress. Three environmentally sensitive species ­ the Manatee, Pawi and Sabrewing Hummingbird ­ were designated on June 17, 2005 pursuant to the Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules, 2001. These Notices were signed by the Chairman of the EMA on June 5, 2005, World Environment Day. Conclusion The Legal Department is a strong, united and committed team and will continue to work towards ensuring that citizens maintain a healthy respect for environmental legislation either voluntarily or through the mandatory process of enforcement. We look forward to the new pieces of legislation: the Water Pollution Rules and the Beverage Container Bill.

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World Environment Day 2005 Green Cities: Plan for the Planet!


orld Environment Day was commemorated this year on June 5, 2005 with the theme, "Green Cities: Plan for the Planet". At the global stage, countries worldwide came together to showcase a unified effort towards the preservation and sustainable use of our environment, which forms the basis of life on earth. Trinidad and Tobago was no different, and this year, as in years gone by, World Environment Day was celebrated with myriad activities. These activities were geared toward raising general awareness and appreciation for our surroundings, and highlighting those whose efforts have made some positive contribution to the development of sound environmental practices. This year's celebration was particularly special as it marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Environmental Management Authority. There were many novel activities introduced for World Environment Day this year including the EMA's first annual Exhibition and Conference held at the Centre of Excellence during the period May 23-27, 2005. Various agencies and organisations involved in all different aspects of the environment mounted displays to increase awareness on recycling, water conservation, biodiversity and environment-friendly practices. The Conference aspect of this activity included lectures on topics such as Green Architecture, Environmental Vulnerability Indices, Solar Energy and the Benefits of unleaded gasoline, among others. Another new initiative for World Environment Day this year was the EMA's Plastics Recycling Competition. Secondary schools were invited to collect, sort, bag and weigh used plastic bottles. The refuse was then collected by a recycling company called Recycling In Motion (RIM), ground and shipped for recycling. All participating schools keenly competed for the prizes offered and, in total, an amazing 6,806 kilograms was collected over the six-week period of the competition. Couva Government

Members of the World Environment Day Steering Committee weigh plastic bottles collected by students.

Secondary school students eagerly compete for prizes in the EMA's Plastics Recycling Competition.

Secondary School received first prize for collecting a total of 1,003.25 kilograms of plastic bottles. World Environment Day celebrations culminated with the Green Leaf Awards, 9

where individuals, organisations, special groups, youth, and the media were recognised for their positive contributions to the environment within the last year in the aforementioned categories.

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World Environment Day, 2005

The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Public Utilities and the Environment, delivers the feature address at the "Green Leaf" Awards Ceremony.

Mr. Richard Laydoo, UNDP's Coordinator of the GEF/Small Grants Programme, brings greetings on behalf of Dr. Enyang Ebong-Harsthrop, United Nations Resident Representative in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. John Agard, Chairman of the EMA's Board of Directors, and the Honourable Pennelope Beckles sign Notices for the designation of three Environmentally Sensitive Species.

Aphzal Baksh receives the Individual Award from Dr. Yvette Guy, the EMA's Manager of Education and Public Awareness, for his reforestation efforts in the Biche community.

Sharon Hall accepts the Special Award from Richard Laydoo of UNDP. She received this award for refurbishing the Belmont Park.

Protectors of the Environment, a CBO from Lopinot, was the recipient of the Community Award. Peter Rampersad of Protectors of the Environment is congratulated by Gayatri Badri Maharaj, Manager of Legal and Policy Services at the EMA.

Joel West of MJI Landscaping Limited receives the Community Award from Gayatri Badri Maharaj for work done to restore Tamana.

Ray M.S. Brathwaite, Executive Chairman of SWMCOL, presents Stephen Broadbridge (second from left) and Alex de Verteuil with the award for their Audio Visual work. Broadbridge and de Verteuil produced the documentary Wild T&T which is a tribute to our country's fascinating wildlife.

Winners of the Youth Award, the Globetrotters Club of Arima Government Secondary School, with their principal, Claudette Ali (second from left), and coordinating teacher Myrna Ellis (second from right). The group is also pictured with the EMA's Managing Director/CEO Dr. Dave McIntosh (left), the Honourable Pennelope Beckles (centre) and EMA Chairman Dr. John Agard (far right).

In keeping with its 10th anniversary celebrations, the EMA also presented Excellence in Service Awards to six members of staff who have been with the organisation for 10 years. Photos show Reynold Davis, Marjorie Newallo and Aloma Scott-Burgin accepting their awards from the Honourable Pennelope Beckles. Missing are Marise Lue Qui, Nisha Ramsahai and Marcia Tinto.

Conservator of Forests Antony Ramnarine (right) receives an award, on behalf of the Forestry Division, for Best Booth at the Conference and Exhibition. Raye Sandy, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Tobago House of Assembly, and Member of the EMA's Board of Directors, presents this award.

Awardees with The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Dr. John Agard and Dr. Dave McIntosh.



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Education & Awareness


Secondary Schools' Public Speaking Competition 2005

he team from St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph, won first prize at the keenly contested finals of the EMA's Secondary Schools' Public Speaking Competition for 2005, held in March at the Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva. The second prize was given to Toco Composite School and Naparima College placed third. This year, each school was represented by three speakers ­ the Introductory Speaker who introduced his or her team, the Main Speaker who elaborated on a prepared environmental topic, and the Know Your Country Speaker who spoke on one of 10 places of interest in Trinidad and Tobago. The trophy for Best Main Speech was awarded to last year's winner, Jansen Seheult of Naparima College. St. Joseph's Convent, St. Joseph, captured the award for both Best Introductory and Best Know Your Country Speeches, which were delivered by Annalise Gopie and Christine Francis, respectively. Second place Toco Composite School's Know Your Country Speech on Plymouth, Tobago, rendered by Erica Arthur, along with their Main and Introductory Speeches were enough to push the reigning champions Naparima College into third place. The 10 finalists included a team from Scarborough Secondary School who received the trophy for Best Tobago School.

Winner of the Best Introductory Speech award, Annalise Gopie.

The Best Know Your Country speech was won by Christine Francis.

Jansen Seheult won the award for Best Main Speech.

The team from Toco Composite.



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Education & Awareness Primary Schools' `Hands-On' Competition 2005 O

n Wednesday June 15, 2005, the EMA hosted the prize-giving ceremony of its Primary Schools' "Hands-on" Environmental Competition for the seventh consecutive year. This competition is held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and is designed to allow students to be directly involved in environmental projects, learning and discovering for themselves with the teacher acting as facilitator. The theme selected for 2005 was "Helping Our Communities, Helping Ourselves" which the EMA considers relevant to our society today, since environmental degradation is, unfortunately, threatening our physical landscape and, by extension, our livelihoods. Over the past four months, 51 schools worked on projects to increase environmental awareness in their respective communities. They conducted walks in their communities to sensitise residents to environmental issues that affect them; they constructed educational models and staged exhibitions; they cleaned beaches, worked with their Regional Corporations and even invited differently-abled students to work with them on their projects. By working on these projects, students received the opportunity to develop and demonstrate very important life skills and values, which are critical to overall human development. This year's competition was very keen and quite a challenge was placed on the judges to select the 12 finalists. These schools were: Arima Boys' Government Primary School, Barataria Boys' R.C. Primary School, Carapichaima ASJA Primary School, Chaguanas Government Primary School, Curepe Presbyterian Primary School, Fishing Pond Presbyterian Primary School, Gasparillo Hindu Primary School, Madras Government Primary School, New Grant Government Primary School, San Fernando TML Primary School, Specialist Learning Centre and St. Peter's Private Primary School. Gasparillo Hindu Primary School captured the first prize with their project, "Man Designs His Environment". Students worked together with their peers from

Dr Dave McIntosh, EMA Managing Director/CEO, welcomes First Lady Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards to the prize-giving ceremony. Looking on are the Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Public Utilities and the Environment, and Ms. Molly Gaskin, EMA Board member.

the Lady Hochoy Home, San Fernando, to organise a walkathon and a cultural extravaganza, as well as to beautify a gazebo area, cultivate a grow box and install a birdbath on the grounds of the Lady Hochoy Home. They went on field

trips, planted trees and mounted displays, all in an effort to demonstrate the positive contribution that human beings can make to the environment. Gasparillo Hindu also won the special prizes for "Best Community Outreach Project" and "Best Medium School". The second prize was awarded to Fishing Pond Presbyterian Primary School. This school's activities were centred around the theme, "Conservation for Preservation ­ Tomorrow's Survival Depends on Today's Revival", and was aimed at sensitising students and the wider community to the effects of positive and negative actions on the environment. Activities included a walkathon for which powerful slogans were created, maintenance of a nature trail, and clean-up of the Fishing Pond Beach. All these activities were undertaken in collaboration with the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation. One of the highlights of the project was the development of an awareness programme about the leatherback turtles that nest on the Fishing Pond Beach. Curepe Presbyterian and San Fernando TML Primary Schools were joint winners of the third prize.

Fishing Pond Presbyterian placed second in this year's competition.


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Education & Awareness

Curepe Presbyterian focused on "Flooding in our Community" by conducting research on illegal dumping and showing the linkages between this negative practice and its consequences during the rainy season. This theme was integrated in most aspects of the school's curriculum. Students used the media as well as the Internet to spread messages about the situation in order to correct attitudes and behaviours. They also involved the school's PTA and community members in a walkathon and treeplanting exercise. Curepe Presbyterian won the special prize for "Best Large School". "Our Forests, Our Legacy to Life" was the theme adopted by San Fernando TML. The project sought to awaken awareness in students of the importance of our forests to our livelihoods. Students were able to appreciate the value of forests in providing recreation, economic benefits, habitats for wildlife, as well as protection against flooding and landslides. A diorama of an ideal forest was constructed and this was used to stage a dramatic presentation on the role of folklore characters in preserving our natural environment. The work of the students was also reflected in wall chart drawings and in their journals. This school won special prizes for "Best Large School", "Best Integration of the Project into the School Curriculum", as well as "Best Presentation of Folklore and the Environment". n fourth position were Madras Government and St. Peter's Private Primary Schools. "Planting for Life" was the theme selected by Madras Government for this year's competition. This project began with the efforts of a group of women involved in the URP Women's Programme at the school. Students observed these women planting crops and decided to get involved in the process. Members of the community assisted the school with the maintenance of the gardens which were cultivated in an open area on the school's compound. The students and community members learned to grow crops in order to sustain themselves. This activity integrated all aspects of agriculture, as well as environmental conservation. Over the last few years, this school has been focusing on the importance and preservation of forests, plants and folklore and was awarded the special prize "Most Sustainable Project" for its efforts. St. Peter's Private Primary School,

Students of Gasparillo Hindu Primary School and Lady Hochoy Home, San Fernando, perform an acrostic on the environment.


joint winners of the fourth prize, focused this year on "The Causes, Effects and Solutions for Flooding at our School and the Wider Community". Their project was aimed at encouraging the school population and nearby communities to adopt positive attitudes towards their environment. Students identified the causes of floods in their community, including the areas that are susceptible to flooding. Through various media, they highlighted the effects of flooding on our communities and solicited information from resource persons who educate about this disaster. They also came up with solutions to alleviate flooding in communities. he Specialist Learning Centre placed fifth with their project on vegetation. Students used art and craft to further develop an appreciation for natural vegetation. They compiled information on local medicinal plants in order to gain knowledge and maintain local traditions. Field trips were incorporated into the curriculum to further allow the students to understand the importance of the country's vegetation and the need for its protection. Students cultivated plants to enhance the school's environment and several models were constructed based on a field trip to the Caroni Swamp. They also designed a calendar for 2006. Specialist Learning Centre received the special prize 14


for "Best Educational Models". Sixth place winner New Grant Government Primary School worked on the theme, "Pollution ­ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". The aim of the project was to develop a bottle-recycling programme with neighbouring schools and to use funds acquired from this initiative to educate the community on reducing the effects of noise pollution. This will be done through a newsletter and Web page, as well as hands-on activities such as art, music, drama and field trips. The school also encouraged participation of all stakeholders through lectures, displays and "open house" days for parents and members of the public. This year, Chaguanas Government Primary School won the seventh prize for their project, "Building Bonds and Banks". Various activities related to recycling and reuse were conducted throughout the school and the immediate community. Long-lasting relationships or "bonds" were forged through community interaction and they hope to build "banks" from the monetary benefits of recycling. Students also focused on planting crops and selling them to community members and organising a walkathon to educate about healthy bodies and environmental concerns. Chaguanas Government was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Continuous Participation and Qualifying as a Finalist from 1999 to 2005, all seven years of competition.

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Education & Awareness

In eighth position was Arima Boys' Government Primary School whose theme was "Save Our Community, Save Our World". Their project aimed to sensitise the community to the effects of pollution on the environment. Students engaged in art and craft, literature and drama and also compiled portfolios on activities undertaken. A mural and eco-centre were created to enhance the school's environment. Forest and coral reef displays were also mounted and students organised a community walkathon. Carapichaima ASJA Primary School was awarded the ninth prize for its efforts, which centred around the theme, "Conserve to Preserve". Students conducted research on the effects of deforestation on animals, forests and soil, as well as the benefits of conservation. Both students and members of the community were able to gain a greater understanding of and appreciation for the need to preserve the natural habitats of animals, complemented by the maintenance of natural forests and reforestation techniques. They also examined the role of folklore characters in environmental stewardship. In tenth position was Barataria Boys' R.C. Primary School. As the forests of the Amazon are being destroyed, this school decided to raise awareness and an appreciation of the importance of trees and plants. Students looked at their environmental value, aesthetic value, economic value and medicinal and culinary value. Several posters were created to demonstrate the importance of the mangrove forest to the Barataria community.

Students from the Specialist Learning Centre perform at the prize-giving ceremony.

Gasparillo Hindu Primary School showcases its talented calypsonians.

The special prize for "Best Small School" was awarded to Mundo Nuevo R.C. Primary School while Roxborough Anglican Primary School won the trophy for "Best Tobago School". In her address at the prize-giving ceremony, Dr. Jean Ramjohn-Richards, First Lady of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, congratulated the EMA for bringing environmental awareness to the nation's children. Her Excellency made the point that "it is never too early to foster consciousness of the environment in our children". According to Her Excellency, "It would be a mistake to assume that children will not understand. This programme proves the point. I Young actors from San Fernando TML Primary School. 15

believe that children must be taught, very early in their lives, to have a healthy respect for the environment and indeed for planet earth." The Honourable Pennelope Beckles, Minister of Public Utilities and the Environment, delivered the feature address and also congratulated the EMA for hosting the competition. The Honourable Minister said that involvement in this competition now gave children "the power to properly manage the environment and to positively influence their parents, friends and the wider community, so that they too may fulfill their responsibilities in correcting environmental problems".

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Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Governing Council Decision 19/13C (1997) invited UNEP to convene an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to prepare an international legally binding instrument on persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The INC and its subsidiary bodies completed work on the instrument, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, in December 2000 and a Conference of Plenipotentiaries adopted the Stockholm Convention on May 22, 2001. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) acceded to the convention on December 15, 2002. The Convention entered into force on May 17, 2004. The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife. POPs circulate globally and can cause damage wherever they travel. In implementing the Convention, Governments will take measures to eliminate or reduce the release of POPs into the environment. A Regional Consultation for Latin American and Caribbean countries on the Draft BAT/BEP (Best Available Techniques/ Best Environmental Practices) Guidelines was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from March 14­16, 2005. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the Regional Consultation by Wayne Rajkumar, the EMA's Technical Coordinator with responsibility for Water and Waste Management, and Dr. Rohit Doon, Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health and Chairman of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Control Board. Rajkumar gave a brief presentation on the status of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) under the Stockholm Convention as well as the current situation on the


Kishan Kumarsingh (at right) co-chairs formal negotiations in Argentina. Photo courtesy IISD/ENB - Leila Mead.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-10) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Twenty-first Sessions of the COP's Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) were held at the La Rural Exhibition Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from December 6-17, 2004. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago was represented by a delegation comprising Dr. David Persaud, Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Kishan Kumarsingh, Environmental Management Authority, and Oswald Adams, Ministry of Energy. Trinidad and Tobago participated in meetings of the COP, the Subsidiary Bodies, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Group of 77 and China (G77) and the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC). Additionally, Trinidad and Tobago attended the Sixth meeting of the Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) established under the UNFCCC, as representative of AOSIS on the Group, as well as co-chaired the negotiating contact group on development and transfer of technology.

Wayne Rajkumar in Uruguay.

management of hazardous waste and potential sources of chemicals listed in Annex C of the Convention. Rajkumar also attended the first Conference of the Parties (COP-1) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from May 2­6, 2005. Over 650 participants, representing more than 132 governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations, and UN agencies, attended the session. Parties convened in negotiating groups, informal consultations and plenary sessions with a view to arriving at consensus on conclusions and decisions on a wide range of issues. These issues included: providing for the evaluation of the continued need for DDT use for disease vector control; establishing a review process for entries in the register of specific exemptions; establishing arrangements for monitoring data on POPs; adopting rules of procedure and financial rules; establishing the POPs Review Committee (POPRC); format for the DDT Register and the Register of specific exemptions; process for developing guidelines to assist Parties in preventing the formation and release of unintentionally produced POPs and Guidelines on BAT/BEP. The next meeting of the parties (COP-2) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 1­5, 2006.

Marcia Tinto (far right) at the workshop in Uruguay on the implementation of UNFCCC Article 6.

UNFCCC Article 6

A regional workshop on the Implementation of UNFCCC Article 6 (Education, Training and Public Awareness) was held for Latin American and Caribbean countries from March 30 to April 1, in Montevideo, Uruguay. At the eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 8, New Delhi, India, October/November 2002), a five-year work programme on Article 6 (Education, Training and Public Awareness) of the Convention was adopted and named the "New Delhi Work Programme". Within this five-year framework, parties have agreed on a list of activities that could be undertaken at the national level to enhance climate-focused education and training programmes and increase the availability and dissemination of information on climate change, thereby improving public understanding and participation in addressing climate change issues. The purpose of the workshop was to promote the further development and implementation of the New Delhi Work Programme on Article 6 in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region. Some of the workshop objectives included sharing of ideas and experiences on national and regional Article 6 activities, developing options and strategies for strengthening and expanding these activities and promoting greater regional and international cooperation on implementing the New Delhi Work Programme in the LAC region. Marcia Tinto, Public Awareness Officer at the EMA, represented the Government of Trinidad and Tobago at this workshop.


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Robyn Cross (second from left) at the Convention in Thailand.

Convention on Biological Diversity

Robyn Cross, Technical Coordinator for Biodiversity at the EMA, attended the meetings of the Tenth Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Third Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Access and Benefit Sharing between February 7 and 18 in Bangkok, Thailand. Some of the items discussed at the SBSTTA meeting included: island biodiversity; strategic issues for evaluating progress in or supporting implementation of the Strategic Plan, including the 2010 biodiversity target, and contributions to achieving the Millennium Development Goals; development of the process and guidelines for the in-depth review of the programme of work; review of the Global Taxonomy Initiative guide; terms of reference for an ad hoc technical expert group to develop advice or guidance for promoting synergy among climate change and biodiversity activities, addressing the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, desertification, land degradation and climate change at the national, regional and international levels. Access and sharing of benefits is one of the pillars of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Third Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group discussed what should be included in an international agreement on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), in terms of the nature, scope and elements of such an agreement.

Anil Sookdeo and Marissa Gowrie in Barbados.

Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

During the period April 18-20, the Meeting of the English-speaking Caribbean Ozone Officers Network was held in Bridgetown, Barbados. Trinidad and Tobago was represented by Anil Sookdeo and Marissa Gowrie of the National Ozone Unit at the EMA. The meeting addressed many pertinent issues relating to ozone depletion and ODS phase-out. Some of these issues included a status of the ozone layer, regional standardisation of the Training of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Technicians in Good Practices of Refrigeration, establishment of a Caribbean Regional Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Association in the context of the CSME, Halon Management, Illegal Trade in ODS and ODS Dependent Technologies, and the status of regional compliance. Trinidad and Tobago was highly commended for its efforts under the Montreal Protocol and for being well within its national limitations. It was also noted that this country has been used as a template for implementation and as a training facilitator for many other countries in the region.

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Liability and Redress in the Context of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, held from May 25­27, in Montreal, Canada, was also attended by Robyn Cross. Representatives of 119 governments adopted binding rules on the documentation that has to accompany genetically modified agricultural commodities, such as wheat, corn and soybeans, when they are transported across borders. These rules will ensure that only approved genetically modified organisms enter the territory of the respective parties. In addition to the documentation requirements, the meeting also took decisions on other issues such as guidance on risk assessment for genetically modified organisms. Delegates worked towards cooperation in research and information exchange on the socioeconomic consequences of genetically modified organisms, and created avenues for public awareness and participation. Trinidad and Tobago acceded to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on October 5, 2000 and is currently engaged in the "Development of a National Biosafety Framework" for the country. This GEF-funded project is an initial strategy to assist the country in preparing for the entry into force of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, through the development and implementation of a National Biosafety Framework. The Biosafety Protocol provides an international regulatory framework to reconcile the needs of trade and environmental protection in respect to the rapidly growing global biotechnological industry. The protocol creates an enabling environment for the application of biotechnology while minimising the possible risks to the environment and human health.

Global Gas Flaring Reduction

The World Bank has estimated that the annual volume of associated gas being flared and vented globally is about 3 884.61 billion cubic feet (bcf). This release of flared or vented gas into the atmosphere accounts for the combined natural gas consumption of Germany and France and contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with its associated negative impacts on the environment. It is also equivalent to about 10 percent of committed emission reductions by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2008-2012. In an effort to address this issue, the Government of Norway and the World Bank Group formed a partnership in 2001 to drive an initiative for the reduction of global natural gas flaring. This initiative is the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR): Public-Private Partnership. In November 2004, Trinidad and Tobago was invited to attend the Fourth Annual Steering Committee Meeting of the GGFR in London, to assess the GGFR initiative to determine whether its policies and programmes could be adopted at the local level to aid in reducing GHGs from the Energy Sector. Soriaya Baksh-Manwaring, Regulatory Compliance Officer II with the EMA, and representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries attended this meeting.


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Disaster Management Committee

The Disaster Management Committee of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment emerged from a Ministerial directive of the Honourable Pennelope Beckles, the Minister of Public Utilities and the Environment. The recent disasters in the region and other tropical storms, as well as the tsunami in the Far East, served as a clarion call to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to urgently put systems in place to handle and mitigate natural disasters. The goal of the Disaster Management Committee is to ensure that the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment is ready to deal with disasters through the development of a disaster management programme outlining the roles and responsibilities of what are key agencies that fall under this Ministry. The Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment intends to equip itself to handle disasters as they impact on sea, air, land, water, waste disposal, electricity and the general environment. The chair of the Committee is Mr. Antony Ramnarine, Acting Conservator of Forests.

THA Chief Secretary Orville London, speaking at the launch of the EMA's competitions in Tobago.

Schools' competitions in Tobago


he EMA, in collaboration with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), launched its seventh annual Primary Schools' Environmental "Hands-on" Competition and Secondary Schools' Public Speaking Competition in Tobago. THA officials, principals and teachers from both primary and secondary schools in Tobago, as well as representatives from Environment Tobago and the Buccoo Reef Trust, and environmental NGOs in Tobago attended this event. Raye Sandy, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs and the Environment of the THA, delivered greetings on behalf of Gregory Smith, Administrator for Environment. Mr. Sandy said that his Division was delighted to partner with the EMA in this project and explained that, by targeting schools, "the EMA is attempting to educate that segment of the population that will be future leaders who have the potential to change attitudes and behaviours that would make us more responsible and responsive to our environment". The feature address was delivered by the Honourable Orville London, Chief Secretary and Secretary for Education, Tobago House of Assembly, who expressed that the timing of this

initiative was critical since our environment is under threat both from people and from nature itself. According to the Chief Secretary, "The EMA sends a powerful signal in that it does not only see itself as a regulatory body ... it also sees its role as being to sensitise and educate people, so making the regulatory aspect even easier." Chief Secretary London said that environmental education is all about sensitising people to the recognition that they should "do all they could to ensure that they don't facilitate the degradation of the environment"; and "recognise that they have a responsibility to facilitate preservation of the environment, and then they can actually pro-act in finding ways and means to enhance the environment". This year, Bishop's High School, Goodwood High School and Scarborough Secondary School participated in the Public Speaking Competition in which Scarborough Secondary qualified as a finalist. In the Primary Schools' "Hands-on" Competition, Roxborough Anglican Primary School received the trophy for "Best Tobago School". Other primary schools that were judged for this competition included Moriah Government Primary, Patience Hill Government Primary and Signal Hill Government Primary Schools. 18

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Best Village Environmental and Sanitation Competition

The EMA is again expected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Best Village Environmental and Sanitation Competition, an activity spearheaded by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs. This competition, which forms part of the overall Prime Minister's Best Village Competition, is designed to encourage community residents across Trinidad and Tobago to come together and work towards the improvement, regeneration and maintenance of their local environments.


Tidy T&T

The EMA will continue to work with Tidy T&T, a joint project of the Rotary Clubs in Trinidad and Tobago. This is a national environmental improvement initiative intended to benefit all communities by capturing the popular imagination and encouraging an increased awareness and sensitivity of environmental issues.

Health Minister John Rahael with pupils of the Gandhi Memorial Vedic Primary School, winners of the National Primary Schools Health Quiz 2005.

Health Promotion and Awareness

The EMA continues to work with the Ministry of Health on its health promotion projects. As part of its health promotion activities for 2005, the EMA served on the Ministry of Health's committee to formulate and produce the first annual Primary Schools' Health Quiz in Trinidad and Tobago.

MACC Project

The EMA is expected to participate in Public Education and Outreach initiatives of the Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC) project which involves 12 participating CARICOM member states. The principal objective of the MACC is to build capacity within CARICOM to develop adaptation strategies and measures, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in Grenada.


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the manatee Can you lead food? safely to

Kids' Corner


The West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus manatus Colour: Grey to greybrown Length: Over 9 feet Weight: Over 3,000 pounds Range: From Florida, USA through the Caribbean including Trinidad to South America Habitat: They live in estuaries, the sea, mangroves, rivers, canals Food: They eat mainly plants and are called herbivores

Use these words to complete the passage below: Trinidad and Tobago aquatic Nariva endangered conserve calf


manatee herbivore habitat thirteen bull mammals

The manatee is an animal that lives in water. It has an aquatic ...................................................... They are also ..................................................... They suckle their young. The manatee eats grasses and leaves from the water in which it lives. These grasses and leaves are from ................................... plants. The manatee is a gentle animal and has been hunted and killed until there is a small number left; because of this the manatee is now ....................................................! Manatees are also called sea cows. The female is called a cow; the male is called a ......................, and the young a ............................... It takes about ...................... months for a cow to give birth to a young calf. Our country,................................................, has a small population of manatees living in ..................... wetlands. We must ........................ both the Nariva Wetlands and the endangered ....................................

EMA News ­ A newsletter from the EMA Tel: (868) 628-8042 Fax: (868) 628-9122 Email: [email protected] Address: 8 Elizabeth Street, St Clair, Port of Spain, PO Box 5071, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Website:

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