Trinidad and Tobago to push for land, sea protection at COP15

The Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago. Photo by Jeff K Mayers
The Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago. Photo by Jeff K Mayers

At the UN's COP15 meeting in Montreal, Canada, global environmental leaders will push to expand the protection of land and sea to cover at least 30 per cent of the world by 2030.

The Ministry of Planning and Development’s permanent secretary Ric Javed Ali is heading Trinidad and Tobago’s delegation to the meeting, which began on Wednesday and will end on December 19.

It takes place as governments worldwide have come together to agree on a new set of goals to guide global action to reverse biodiversity collapse.

In a release, the ministry said the national delegation would also include Candace Amoroso, biodiversity specialist, and Kevin Bhajan, environmental policy analyst of the Planning Ministry’s Environmental Policy and Planning Division.

COP15’s focus is to finalise negotiations on adopting the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), as every ten years, governments agree on new targets to protect biodiversity.

TT’s focus will be supporting the formulation and adoption of the GBF goals and targets to ensure they remain relevant and achievable within a national context.

The ministry said, “Close attention is being paid to resource mobilisation to small island developing states (SIDS) to facilitate timely and effective implementation of the GBF.”

It added that TT is exploring the possibility of financial resources for biodiversity conservation.

The Planning Ministry said preparations are under way to start a rapid review of the country’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) to ensure it aligns to the goals and targets of the GBF so it can be implemented soon. It said this is being done in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The ministry listed the projects that have been implemented or under way: improving forest and protected areas management in TT (IFPAMTT); TT’s Biodiversity Information System (TTBIS); Biodiversity and Agroecological Land Restoration in Productive Landscapes of TT (Bioreach); Biodiversity and Ecosystems Network (BES-Net); and a national protected area system plan.

It said Bioreach will promote biodiversity conservation, restoring degraded lands and improving the livelihoods of rural communities in targeted productive landscapes.

BES-Net focuses more on effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems as an integral part of long-term human wellbeing and sustainable development

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