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Sunday 27 May 2018
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Tobago

Environment Tobago introduces children to wildlife

Educational Coordinator of Environment Tobago, Barry Lovelace, handles a snake alongside members of the camp.

Preservation of the environment is of global concern, and here in Tobago, environmentalists are keen to protect our resources. One organisation that is doing its part to ensure the future of the environment is in good hands is the Non-Governmental Organisation, Environment Tobago.Environment Tobago, in conjunction with the Department of Forestry, has been educating youngsters on the importance of preserving the environment by, observing, respecting and protecting the environment around them, through their annual camps during the Easter and August vacations. The camps have been held for four years and this year the Easter camp was held from April 10-13. It featured tours to Corbin’s Wildlife Park, a trek through Tobago’s Forest Reserve, Buccoo’s wetlands and ended with trips to Fort George and a tour of the Botanical Gardens.On the first day’s tour toCorbin’s Wildlife Park, 47 enthusiastic children between the ages of five and 15 werepresent to enjoy a day of fun and information at Belmont Farm Road, Mason Hall.At the park they were taken on a tour where they learned about the various flora andfauna found in Tobago’s natural habitats.Their first interactionwas with an animal many in Trinidad and Tobago eat at leisure and kill for sport, the manicou, also known as the opossum. The children learned that this animal, however ‘sweet the meat’, has a very important role to play in the forest environment. Known as a scavenger, its role is important as it keeps the environment clean of rotting dead animals by eating them.The children were introduced to other animals such as snakes, the spectacled caiman, Sally Painter lizard aka matte, Red-romped agoutis and the armadillo (known locally as tattoo),, to name a few.Environment Tobago hopes, by hosting these camps, it can create a deep bond between the youngsters and nature. Educational Coordinator of the NGO, Barry Lovelace, said from his experience, camps like these were very effective. Lovelace, who ran Buccoo Reef Trust’s programme Sea, Sun and Science from 2001-2012, said “it is effective because I’ve been doing this since 2001 and a lot of the kids that are grown have ended up in professions that deal with the environment, or chose to go into environmental fields or related somewhat toenvironment, and they can trace back their inspiration to being involved in that camp.”Environment Tobago’s mission is to achieve the goal of sustainable development and love and appreciation of the value of Tobago’s natural environmental heritage.

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