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Wednesday 17 July 2019
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Bhikarry: Environment critical for our future

President of Environment Tobago Bertrand Bhikarry speaks at the inaugural Tobago Environment Partnership conference on Monday.
President of Environment Tobago Bertrand Bhikarry speaks at the inaugural Tobago Environment Partnership conference on Monday.

PRESIDENT of Environment Tobago Bertrand Bhikarry says taking action now is critical to ensuring the lives of future generations are not negatively affected. He was speaking at the inaugural Tobago Environment Partnership two-day conference on Monday at the Mt Irvine Resort. The conference was themed, “The environment and sustainable livelihoods.”

The consultation, hosted by the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly (THA) Di­vi­sion of In­fra­struc­ture, Quar­ries and the En­vi­ron­ment (DIQE) in collaboration with two rep­utable NGOs – En­vi­ron­ment To­ba­go and the En­vi­ron­men­tal Re­search In­sti­tute Char­lot­teville, aimed to bring influential people together to present and dis­cuss a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

Addressing members from var­i­ous sec­tors, Bhikarry said there needs to be involvement all-around.

“This conference is about giving everybody what everybody wants, which is a livelihood that does not take away or impact the livelihood of others or the quality of life of others no matter when they walk on Tobago soil, as in one or 51 years from now,” he said.

While the dis­cus­sions fo­cussed on To­ba­go, it was framed with­in the na­tion­al pol­i­cy con­text.

“The con­fer­ence is in­tend­ed to build or deep­en part­ner­ship among stake­hold­ers for ad­dress­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues that im­pact the is­land’s ecol­o­gy and so­cio-eco­nom­ic well-­be­ing as well as ini­ti­ate the process to­wards im­prov­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tive and pol­i­cy con­text through which man­age­ment of the en­vi­ron­men­tal and nat­ur­al re­sources are de­liv­ered.

“This conference also hopes to provide an opening for a newish breed of economic opportunity, some people call it the triple bottom line, that’s the one where everybody benefits – the economists, the developers, the State. The keyword at the bottom-line development is sustainability, but this conference is about that.”

The ob­jec­tives of the con­fer­ence, according to Bhikarry, in­cluded:

• Pro­vid­ing a fo­rum that fos­ters mul­ti-sec­toral part­ner­ship for ac­tion on is­sue of lo­cal con­cern in­clud­ing but not lim­it­ed to cli­mate change, en­vi­ron­men­tal and nat­ur­al re­sources con­ser­va­tion and waste man­age­ment.

• Iden­ti­fy­ing and char­ac­ter­is­ing To­ba­go’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pri­or­i­ties for in­clu­sion in the frame­work for up­dat­ing the To­ba­go En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Plan.

• Fa­cil­i­tat­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a frame­work for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ac­tions to sup­port im­proved pro­tect­ed ar­eas man­age­ment and con­ser­va­tion.

• De­vel­op­ing and is­su­ing a sum­mit de­c­la­ra­tion which re­flects the com­mit­ment of the THA, civ­il so­ci­ety, the pri­vate sec­tor and oth­er stake­hold­ers to work col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly to strength­en To­ba­go’s en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance.

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