ET role as a project partner in the IFPAM initiative

This year is the 240th anniversary since the Main Ridge Rainforest has been "legally protected" and four years since the International Day of Forests which was established by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly. ‘Forest Day’ is now recognized on March 21st each year. But as ET always asks; Are T&T’s forests - or its reefs for that matter, any better off since Stephen Hale’s day, and despite the various International Days spawned by the global community? Given what we know the answer is ‘Certainly not’. That situation may change though in the next five years.
Here’s why.

Trinidad and Tobago has successfully secured funding from the Global Environment Fund to rollout a program that will deliver these objectives:
• 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 for 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

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN/FAO) will oversee Improving Forest and Protected Areas Management (IFPAM) program along these lines. ET’s involvement is to essentially represent the Tobago stakeholder for fair and sustainable use of the designated resources, ensuring too that nature is not irreversibly disturbed. Read more on the IFPAM project background at the Ministry’s blog. Stay tuned. ET shall update this page as the project progresses.