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Seeking sustainability from and for our protected areas

A big threat for T&T’s protected spaces whether savannah, forest, reef or wetand is forced degradation. It’s probably just as big a problem as our current shortage of income. But because nature cannot talk money is perceived as more critical to our survival than nature. Figure that out. Arguably, the solutions to both comes down to management.

Recovering

Even if the pandemic has not been conquered the overall vibe is about economic recovery. The thing is no one knows what shape that will take. Will it be the wild wild west of development; a buildfest of growth? We trust, hope, that government will manage the situation and position the country into a comparative or competitive position. But with whom?

Road to economic recovery

A roadmap is a strategic plan outlining a goal or a desired outcome and includes pointers. It is also a tool that articulates the thinking for getting to the goal.

‘Recovery’ in the Roadmap context

  • Economic recovery will be achieved when we re-attain a balanced national T&T budget for ‘X’ years running.

  • Enlist a creditable index (e.g adult literacy rates, housing, jobs, income distribution, more) to mirror quality of life.

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Reigniting the tourism

Community tourism is defined as tourism which takes into account current, future, economic, social and environment impacts, even as it strives to provide for visitors, homeboys, big industry players and the afterthought, natural environment. Even as we speak Tobago, armed with this definition - niftily provided by the World Tourism Organization, is reaching out once more to the traveling public in the developed north. If we persevere we might get lucky; assuming the budget goes where its supposed to and hurricanes are fake news.

State of the Environment Report 2018

While we agree that sustainability is not always easy, its a slow grind to keep developmental activity in Tobago on a sustainable path. In 2018 Tobago faces the multiple realities of reduced tourism - its bread and butter, threats to the food supply chain - with adverse weather affecting crops, fishermen catching everything except enough fish, and little respite expected from the annual allocation of money from the treasury, national oil and gas revenues not allowing the usual great expectations.

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