NATIONAL ASSESSMENT REPORT REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES October 2003 LIST OF ACRONYMS ACS Association of Caribbean States BPOA Barbados Programme of Action CBO Community-Based Organization CDERA Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency CEIS Caribbean Energy Information System CEPEP Community-Based Environmental Protection & Enhancement Programme ECCE Early Childhood Care and Education EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone EIA Environmental Impact Assessment EMA Environmental Management Authority GDP Gross Domestic Product GMO Genetically Modified Organism GORTT Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago HDI Human Development Index HIV/AIDS Human Immune Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HPI Human Poverty Index IPCC Inter Governmental Panel on Climate change MEEI Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries MTPF Medium Term Policy Framework NAP National Action Programme NCSD National Council on Sustainable Development NDMS National Disaster Management System NEMA National Emergency Management Agency NGO Non-Governmental Organization NSDPF National Strategic Development Planning Framework PLWHA People Living With HIV/AIDS PSIP Public Sector Investment Programme SEPF Social and Economic Policy Framework SEPPD Socio-Economic Policy Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning & Development SIDS POA Small Island Developing States: Programme of Action TCPD Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning & Development TIDCO Tourism and Industrial Development Company UNCCD United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNGCSIDS United Nations Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States UWI University of the West Indies WASA Water and Sewerage Authority WRA Water Resource Agency WRMP Water Resources Management Policy TABLE OF CONTENTS Page No. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. BACKGROUND 1 2. SOCIO ECONOMIC CONTEXT 3 3. NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 10 4. NATIONAL PROGRESS MADE AND PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED 17 IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA 4.1 THEMATIC AREAS: 17 4.1.1. Climate Change and Sea Level Rise 17 4.1.2 Natural and Environmental Disasters 19 4.1.3 Coastal and Marine Resources, Including Coastal and Marine 24 Biodiversity Resources 4.1.4 Land Resources including Terrestrial Biodiversity 31 4.1.5 Energy 42 4.1.6 Management of Wastes and Sanitation Systems & Water Resources 46 Management 4.1.7 Tourism 58 4.2 CROSS SECTORAL AREAS: 60 4.2.1 Financing and Investment for Sustainable Development 60 4.2.2 Capacity Building & Coordination 61 5. TRADE, INVESTMENT, CAPACITY BUILDING AND 62 COOPERATION AND THE STATUS OF SIDS VULNERABILITY 6. MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND SUSTAINABLE 67 DEVELOPMENT IN SIDS 6.1. Poverty Eradication 67 6.2 Education and Reduction of Child Mortality 78 6.3 Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women 81 6.4 HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases 83 7. CONCLUSION 87 APPENDIX Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Since the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, there has generally been increased national awareness in Trinidad & Tobago of issues relating to management of the environment and sustainable development. Moreover sustainable development objectives have occupied and continue to occupy a central place in the medium and long-term policy formulation and planning initiatives pursued by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago. Notwithstanding these developments, the evidence presented in this National Assessment Report indicates that the country has made reasonably successful progress in implementing the Programme of Action For the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. (SIDS POA). This Report relied on documented information inputs provided by a wide range of state and non-governmental entities. It also evolved out of a participatory process involving national consultations in both Trinidad and Tobago where the views of stakeholders and civil society organizations on critical issues relating to the implementation of the SIDS POA, in particular the sustainable development process were discussed. The following highlights some of the key experiences of Trinidad & Tobago in respect of its implementation of the SIDS POA: Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Trinidad & Tobago signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in June, 1992 and ratified it in June, 1994. The Kyoto Protocol was signed and ratified in January, 1999. Trinidad and Tobago has implemented and is implementing a number of projects related to Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. ii Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The country has participated and is participating in a number of national and sub- regional projects including Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change, Mainstream Adaptation to Global Climate Change and field testing of a manual on the Clean Development Mechanism. Constraints to the implementation of the objectives of the UNFCCC Convention relate to problems of cooperation and data sharing among government institutions and lack of public awareness. Natural and Environmental Disasters Trinidad & Tobago has in place a National Disaster Management System, which is coordinated by the National Emergency Management Agency within the Ministry of National Security. National and Sub-Regional Projects implemented and being implemented include National Base- Coverage Geographic Information System Development, Seismic Hazard of Trinidad & Tobago, Landslide Risk and Vulnerability Project, Community Flood Early Warning System, USAID Community Disaster Preparedness Project and Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project The tropical cyclone Early Warning System is well established through the national meteorological service with improvements being effected for flood hazards through the installation of Doppler Radar in tandem with basin modeling and rainfall and discharge measurement. Trinidad & Tobago is a signatory to the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency and the Agreement between Member States and the Association of Caribbean States for Regional Cooperation on Natural Disasters iii Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Coastal and Marine Resources, Including Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Resources Trinidad & Tobago ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea on 22 nd April 1986. A number of other International Conventions relating to oil pollution were signed in 2000 and 2001. The Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified in August 1996. EEZ Charts Trinidad & Tobago’s EEZ Charts were delineated by the country’s Hydrographic Unit and appear in a 1998 publication. A number of national and regional projects relating to the sustainable use, management and conservation of coastal and marine resources has been undertaken focusing on national biodiversity, national parks and watershed management, fisheries resources and marine contamination. Approaches adopted for coastal zone and marine management include management plans for wetland areas, environmental impact assessment, designation of environmentally sensitive areas and species, and regulations to prohibit unsustainable practices. Land Resources including Terrestrial Biodiversity Trinidad & Tobago acceded to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in July 2000 and is soon to embark on the development of a National Action Plan for land degradation. The policy framework relating to the sustainable use and management of land resources has been strengthened with the enunciation of a new Forest Policy for Trinidad and Tobago in 1998 and the adoption in 2001 of a National Wetlands Policy. The rehabilitation of the Nariva Swamp began in 1996 after Government halted large-scale agricultural activities in the area. The Forestry Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment has an on-going and active reforestation programme, and several community-based iv Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report organizations are actively involved in the reforestation of denuded watersheds particularly in the Northern Range. Energy Initiatives being taken in this area include the phase out leaded gasoline, the use of compressed gas in electricity generation, and the promotion of solar water heating. Projects of regional significance include the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Project, the Caribbean Energy Information System and the Caribbean Gas Pipeline Project. Management of Wastes and Sanitation Systems & Water Resources Management Management of Wastes There is need to expand an upgrade the waste management system in the country. To this end, an integrated Solid Waste Management Plan is being developed for implementation. Government has recently established the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme to assist in the protection and enhancement of the environment. Trinidad & Tobago is participating in the EuroColumbus project which aims at the creation of a Caribbean operational plan for waste reduction and cycling. Water Resources Management A Draft National Water Resources Management Policy has been formulated to promote the integrated management of the country’s water resources. v Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Tourism A Tourism Master Plan has been developed with the aim of promoting the country as an international tourism destination. The focus is on eco, cultural and community tourism through the introduction of Renaissance Districts. At the regional level, private sector interests in Trinidad & Tobago are involved in the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism Financing and Investment for Sustainable Development Funding for sustainable development in Trinidad and Tobago has been largely internally generated. In 2001 a Green Fund was established to facilitate the undertaking of community-based projects. Capacity Building and Coordination There is a continuous process of training of staff in relevant agencies. A comprehensive medium-term training programme involving the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment and the agencies under its portfolio is being developed. Trade and Investment Issues The focus of Trade Policy is the development of export capability and competitiveness in the following sectors: Non-oil manufacturing Agriculture and agro-processing Services vi Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Small business Millennium Development Goals Poverty Eradication The initiatives taken in this area include programmes for the provision of free medication to the needy, shelter to the homeless, a food distribution programme to needy households, disability assistance, provision of text books to targeted segments of the school population, a school nutrition programme, free student transportation and a guidance and counseling programme. Education and Reduction of Child Mortality The overarching objective is the provision of free and universal access to primary and secondary education. The aim is to equip students with skills, which will enable them to remain relevant in a highly specialized and volatile labour market. Infant mortality rates have fallen drastically in Trinidad & Tobago over the past three decades. Programmes by the Ministry of Health aimed at minimizing infant mortality focus on effective prenatal care, intrapartum and postpartum care, monitoring of infant health and health promotion to prevent morbidity and mortality due to accidents at home. Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women A National Gender Policy and Action Plan is currently being formulated with a view to promoting a higher level of gender equality in the country. HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases vii Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report A comprehensive five-year National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan has been developed and is being implemented. The Insect Vector Control Division of the Ministry of Health employs an integrated vector control strategy for dealing with vector-transmitted diseases Constraints Major constraints to the SIDS POA include: Inadequate inter-agency coordination/cooperation Gaps in the policy, institutional, legal and regulatory framework Human resource deficiencies in key implementing agencies Limited public awareness and commitment Conclusion Trinidad and Tobago has been reasonably successful in the implementation of the SIDS POA recording some measure of progress in each of the areas identified for priority action. Enhancement of implementation in the future will hinge critically on the elimination of existing constraints. viii Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 1. BACKGROUND The Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States has its origins in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Emanating as internationally significant milestones from the 1992 UNCED Conference was the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the adoption by the world community of Agenda 21, which reflected a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environmental cooperation. An important feature of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and Agenda 21 is the recognition of the peculiar difficulties and challenges faced by small island developing states in their pursuit of sustainable development. Among the characteristics, which are considered to render small island developing states particularly vulnerable, are: narrow range of resources and undue specialization high population growth and density overuse and premature depletion of resources relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water limited institutional capacities and domestic markets highly threatened biological biodiversity vulnerability to natural and environmental disasters limited access to concessionary resources because of high per capita incomes relative to developing countries as a group The special case of small island developing states and their sustainable development challenges were subsequently addressed at the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island States held in Barbados in 1994. At this Conference, the Small Island Developing States Programme of Action (SIDS POA) was 1 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report developed as a key global strategy geared towards the implementation of Agenda 21 as it relates to these countries. The SIDS POA, also known as the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), focuses on the next steps that can be taken along the comprehensive path to sustainable development which follow the principles endorsed by governments at the UNCED. It contains a synopsis of actions and programmes that should be implemented over the short, medium and long-term in fourteen (14) priority areas in order to address the special challenges faced by small island developing states. At the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002, the specific concerns and issues relating to small island developing states continued to occupy a prominent place in the global agenda on sustainable development. In a follow up to the WSSD, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/57/262, which called for a full and comprehensive review of the implementation of the SIDS POA at an international meeting to be held in Mauritius in 2004. This international meeting is to be preceded by three (3) regional meetings, followed by an inter-regional preparatory meeting in the Bahamas in January 2004. The Caribbean SIDS preparatory meeting will be held in Port of Spain during the period from October 6-11, 2003 and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT). This Assessment Report is intended to review the implementation of the SIDS POA in Trinidad and Tobago over the past ten (10) years. The National Assessment Report of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in respect of the SIDS POA has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines provided by the United Nations SIDS Unit. The guidelines served to facilitate assessment of the country’s progress in implementation of policies, measures and actions in the fourteen (14) priority areas identified in the SIDS POA. 2 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The Report relied on documented information inputs provided by a wide range of state and non-governmental entities. It also evolved out of a participatory process involving national consultations both in Trinidad and in Tobago, which canvassed the views of stakeholders and civil society organizations on critical issues relating to the implementation of the SIDA POA in particular, and the sustainable development process in general. The Report on these consultations is attached as an Appendix. While the Report may reveal in many areas less than full implementation of the SIDS POA by Trinidad and Tobago, it nonetheless captures the country’s thrust towards a more holistic approach in its sustainable development efforts. Above all, it fundamentally embraces the Government’s commitment to accord sustainable development objectives a central place in its strategic planning agenda in the context of its vision to transform Trinidad and Tobago into a developed country by the year 2020. 2. SOCIO ECONOMIC CONTEXT 2.1 Key Characteristics The twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is located at the southern end of the Caribbean archipelago. Trinidad, the larger island, 4,828 km2, is at 10.50 N latitude and 61.50 W longitude. Tobago, 300 km2, is at 110 N latitude and 600 W longitude. The climate is tropical with an average daily temperature range between 230C to 320C. Average annual rainfall, distributed over a distinct dry season (January- May) and a wet season (June to December) is some 2000mm. 3 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Trinidad’s physiography is characterized by mountain ranges in the northern, central and southern areas, rising to a maximum height of 940m in the Northern Range. They are separated by low rolling areas, alluvial plains and wetland ecosystems. In Tobago, there is a Main Ridge, rising to 650m, in the center of the island, falling through a series of cliffs to the coastal zones except for small plains on the south and west coasts. About one-third of Trinidad and one-tenth of Tobago is cultivable land. Forest covers approximately 37% of the total land area. Summary statistics for the year 2002 indicate a total population of 1.28 million comprised of diverse ethnic groups, and with some 25% of the population being under the age of 15. The average annual rate of population growth was 0.7% (2002), 2 with population density estimated at 252/km . The labour force was estimated at some 586,000 with unemployment running at just over 10.4% (2002). Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was estimated at US$9.37 billion, with per capita Gross National Product at US$7,000. The external public debt stood at US$1.60 billion or 17.3% of GDP with debt servicing estimated at 4.3% of exports. Gross international reserves amounted to US$2,593.9 million providing an import cover of 7.8 months. 2.2 Overview of Current Economic and Social Conditions 2.2.1 Economic Conditions Trinidad and Tobago is projected to enjoy its tenth consecutive year of positive growth in 2003, supported in the main by favorable developments in the Energy Sector, including new oil and gas discoveries and the associated expansion in downstream industries. 4 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The Real Economy In 2002, notwithstanding the impact of the global economic slowdown, the Trinidad and Tobago economy registered a 4.6% expansion over the previous year. This followed a 2.8% expansion in 2001. In 2003 the economy is poised to grow by a further 6.7% largely on account of the start-up of additional liquefied natural gas operations as well as expected robust growth in the manufacturing, financial and construction sectors. Unemployment has continued its downward trajectory, moving from 10.8% in calendar 2001 to 10.4% in 2002. Inflation has remained moderate registering 5.6% at the end of 2001 compared to 4.1% at the end of 2002. This is well in line with international trends and a stable exchange rate. Fiscal Operations The Central government overall fiscal balance is expected to register a deficit of $578.4 million or 0.85% of GDP at the end of fiscal 2003 1. This compares favorably with an originally budgeted deficit of $618.9 million or 0.91% of GDP. This new position reflects enhanced revenue collection as a result of improved tax administration and compliance as well as a strong recovery in international crude oil and petrochemical prices. By the end of fiscal 2003, however, additional expenditure of $770.1 million over and above the budgeted $16,344.2 million is expected. These additional outlays would be largely on account of settlement of outstanding obligations as well as an increase of $142.1 million under the Capital Programme. The performance of the Non-financial State Enterprises remained considerably weak 1- The fiscal year runs from October to September of the following year 5 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report over fiscal 2001/2002, recording an overall deficit of 3% of GDP. This performance largely reflected operating losses at Caroni (1975) Limited, the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and the Airports Authority. Debt Total public sector debt was 50.7% of GDP at the beginning of fiscal 2002/2003. Guaranteed debt was equivalent to 8.4% of GDP and external debt 16.5% of GDP. The external debt to exports ratio is projected at 4.2% at the end of 2003. This compares favorably to a debt service ratio of 4.4% in 2002. The External Sector During 2002, as foreign investment inflows moderated, the Overall Balance of Payments surplus contracted from 5.3% of GDP in 2001 to 0.5% of GDP in 2002. The Current Account Balance surplus also weakened to 0.2% of GDP. This reflected relatively lower commodity prices during the year as well as weak demand for manufactured exports as many of the country’s CARICOM trading partners experienced economic contractions. Throughout the year, Gross Reserves remained at around 5 months of prospective imports. The Monetary Sector In 2002, there was a notable ease in the monetary conditions resulting in a reduction of the commercial banks’ average prime lending rate from 15.5% to 11/5% by December 2002. Reserve Requirements were also lowered from 21% to 18% during the course of the year. Despite declining borrowing costs, growth in private sector credit was less than 1% compared to 6% the previous year. 2.2.2 Social Conditions The 2003 United Nations Human Development Report ranks Trinidad and Tobago 54th among 175 countries. Trinidad and Tobago’s Human Development Index (HDI) has consistently improved from 0.787 in 1990 to 0.788 in 1995 to 0.802 in 2001 and 6 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report is currently above the average HDI for developing countries (0.655) as well as Latin America and the Caribbean (0.777). In fact, Trinidad and Tobago’s rankings compare favorably with those of major developed countries such as Norway, the United States and the Bahamas. Population Population growth in Trinidad and Tobago for the seven-year period 1997 to 2003 has averaged less than one percent (<1%). Data by the Central Statistical Office reveals that the slowest rate of growth is associated with the 65 and over age group. In contrast, growth has been stronger in the 25-39 and 40-49 age groups. Births per 1000 persons have averaged a steady rate of 14% since 2001, and death rates have averaged 7.6% per 1000 persons for the same period. Employment and Wages During the 1997-2002 period, the labour force increased by 8% with over 45,000 new entrants. Participation rates, however, did not exhibit significant changes, with the overall rate remaining between 60.3% and 61.2%. The rate for women continued to be lower than that for men, fluctuating between 45.9% and 47.5%, while the rate for males fluctuated between 74.6% and 75.3%. The number of employed persons increased by almost 65,000. The unemployment rate consistently declined during the five years falling to 10.4% by the end of 2002. The service-related industrial groups accounted for close to 55% of the labour force. These included the Community, Social and Personal Services group, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Restaurants and Hotels, Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services. Persons employed in unskilled occupations accounted for a significant portion of employed persons (24%) in 2002. In that year, however, more than 38% of the 7 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report employed possessed at least secondary level education. Over 24% had primary level education, while approximately 12% had some form of tertiary level education. The Index of Average Weekly Earnings, which measures income across a wide cross section of industries, increased by 3% over the period 2000 to 2002. Health Life expectancy in Trinidad and Tobago as measured by the 2003 United Nations Human Development Report Life Expectancy Index is 0.78. This compares favorably with the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America - Jamaica (0.84), Chile (0.85), Bahamas (0.70), Panama (0.82). Honduras (0.73) and St Kitts and Nevis (0.75). For the period 1997 to 2000, the leading causes of natural death for all ages were heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, malignant neoplasm, hypertensive disease and HIV/AIDS. AIDS/ HIV Disease AIDS continues to be a major cause for concern as a result of its growing prevalence among the population, particularly among young adults. In 2002, there were 236 reported deaths as a result of the disease - 140 men and 93 women. Available data for the period 1983 to 2002 indicate that the male population has been more affected by the disease, recording both higher incidences and death rates. The 30 to 34 age group, recorded the largest cumulative figure for reported AIDS deaths, followed by the 35 – 39 and 25 to 29 age groups. The 2002 Annual Report produced by the Health Surveillance Unit of the Ministry of Health indicates that sexual exposure, followed by intravenous drug use and blood transfusion are the primary co-factors for HIV transmission. By geographical area, 8 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report the County of St. George remains the largest affected area with 159 deaths and 189 HIV cases, followed by Tobago which had 85 HIV cases and 21 deaths reported. Education Trinidad and Tobago’s adult literacy rate of 98.4% and youth literacy rate of 99.8% are among the highest in the world. This is reflective, inter alia of the country’s primary school enrolment ratio, which has remained stable at 91% for the period 1990 to 2001 as well as its current 71% secondary school enrolment rate. Public expenditure on education as a percentage of total government expenditure increased from 11.6% in 1990 to 16.7% in 2000, which compares favorably with the situation in countries which are similarly classified on the Human Development Index including the United Kingdom (11.4%), Norway (16.2%), Germany (9.7%), Barbados (18.5%) and St Kitts and Nevis (16.4%). Poverty For the period 1990 to 2001, approximately 12.4% of the population earned less than US$1 per day, and 39% earned less than US$2 per day. According to the 2003 Human Poverty Index (HPI-1) rankings for developing countries, Trinidad and Tobago is rated eighth in descending order with Barbados, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica and Cuba ranked first to fifth. Serious Crimes The total number of serious crimes reported in the country increased by 6.9% from 15,724 in 2001 to 16,810 in 2002. Information Information dissemination has progressed tremendously in Trinidad and Tobago with the prevalence of cellular devices and computer usage associated with the Internet. Since 1998 the usage of these devices has increased from 20 and 1.52 (per 1,000 9 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report persons) to 217 and 36.2 respectively in 2001. International competition and the rate of technological obsolescence have contributed to the decline in the prices of these devices and the consequent wider usage. 3. NATIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 3.1 Planning Framework The Ministry of Planning and Development is the focal point for national planning in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Ministry is responsible for both physical planning and socio-economic planning through its Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) and Socio-Economic Policy Planning Division (SEPPD) respectively. Planning that addresses the specific needs of Tobago falls under the purview of the Department of Planning of the Tobago House of Assembly. In keeping with national development goals and commitments under the SIDS POA, the Ministry of Planning and Development has sought to mainstream sustainability in the national planning and development processes. A major effort in this respect is ensuring that new projects meet environmental and sustainability criteria. This is also achieved in the planning process through, inter alia, collaboration between the TCPD and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). The TCPD has responsibility for the formulation and articulation of a physical planning framework to guide the use and development of land, and for the enforcement of relevant legislation. The EMA is vested with powers, under the Environmental Management Act, 2000 to request that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) be done as a requirement for the granting of a Certificate of Environmental Clearance in respect of proposed projects in a wide range of activity areas. The objectives of Agenda 21 are also promoted through the integration of social, economic and environmental issues in the formulation of policies and strategic approaches for sustainable development. The SEPPD is mandated to undertake the formulation of an integrated set of short, medium and long-term policies and 10 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report strategies, at both the national and sectoral levels. In so doing, the Division collaborates with the planning units in all Government agencies and with key stakeholders in society. The planning process is effected at the operational level through the Project Planning and Reconstruction Division of the Ministry of Planning and Development. This Division is responsible for managing the translation of the development strategies and policies conceived at the various levels, into specific programmes and projects under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP). Essentially, this Division is responsible for the programming and management of capital investment in the public sector. Sectoral planning is also undertaken by the line Ministries and coordinated by Ministry of Planning and Development. The Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), which constitutes part of the annual budget, provides a nexus between the formulation and implementation phases of the national planning process. Additionally, over the last ten years the sustainable development effort has been buttressed by a number of milestone developments in the legal, institutional, regulatory and policy frameworks including: The enactment of the Environmental Management Act 2000 and subsidiary legislation related to sensitive areas and species, water, air and noise pollution The establishment of the Environmental Management Authority The formulation of a National Environmental Policy The establishment of a Environmental Commission The establishment of a Green Fund The formulation of a National Forest Policy The formulation of a National Wetland Policy 11 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The formulation of an Integrated Water Resources Management Policy The establishment of a National Emergency Management Agency The formulation of a National Energy Policy The formulation of a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan In addition, Trinidad and Tobago is Party to the following multi-lateral environmental agreements: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification United Nations BASEL Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer Convention on Biological Diversity and its Biosafety Protocol Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region and its Protocols Concerning Pollution from Land Based Sources and Activities, and Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol 3.2 National Strategic Development Plan A National Strategic Development Plan is currently being developed in the context of the Government’s vision of Trinidad and Tobago attaining developed country status by the year 2020. At the core of this vision is the goal of improving the quality of life of the people of Trinidad and Tobago in accordance with the best standards of the developed world. 12 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report In order to attain this goal, the strategic focus will be on the following: Promoting a high level of human development and standard of living through high quality education and health systems, safe communities and by ensuring access to basic amenities, including water, shelter and electricity. Sustaining a strong and resilient economy. Encouraging full participation of citizens in the development process. Supporting good and effective governance. Promotion social cohesion. Preserving the natural environment through sustainable long-term growth and development strategies. Creating efficient and effective social and institutional structures. Underpinning the thrust towards Vision 2020 is the intention to leverage the revenues derived principally from the energy sector, as well as from other sectors, to create conditions for long-term sustainable growth and development. The intention is to fashion a comprehensive and integrated Multi-Sectoral Development Plan (MDP), which will provide the road map to 2020. This Plan will guide the budgetary and planning process to ensure that investment is directed towards those specific areas necessary for building on the Vision 2020 framework. From this perspective, and using MDP as a roadmap, Government will identify the total package of necessary interventions in each sector, including those required to facilitate the private sector. The establishment of a matrix of activities as well as a definite timetable of interventions will be the main features of the overall exercise. Other elements will include the establishment of goals, identification of strategies to be pursued and yardsticks by which to measure progress. 13 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report To drive the process, a Multi-Sectoral Core Group, comprising representatives from the public sector, the private sector and academia, has been established and mandated to guide and direct the planning process towards the preparation of the National Strategic Development Plan. The Core Group is being supported by twenty six (26) sub-sectoral working groups representing key areas of national interest including business, labour, the social sectors, religious bodies, community groups and social and environmental interests. This process is intended to facilitate the widest possible participation in the process. This broad-based process of national consultation will inform the ultimate choices made and initiatives undertaken in the formulation of the National Strategic Development Plan. 3.3 Social and Economic Policy Framework An integral part of the planning process is the formulation of a rolling three-year Social and Economic Policy Framework (SEPF) which provides the policy context and direction for plan implementation at the national and sectoral levels. Areas of focus include: fiscal and monetary policy, trade and investment policy, industrial policy, governance, human capital development, health and wellness, social integration, living conditions including the environment, employment and wealth creation and personal safety and security. Initiatives to be taken under the 2004 – 2006 SEPF include the following: National Biosafety Framework This is intended to provide an adequate level of protection for the environment and humans in the transfer, handling and use of genetically modified organisms (GMO). To this end, steps will be taken to expedite the development of a National Biosafety 14 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Framework, which will include, inter alia, mechanisms to address the adverse effects on the environment and the potential risks to human health posed by GMOs. More specifically, the framework will be designed to deal with potential risks such as: Unintended changes in the competitiveness, virulence or other characteristics of the targeted species; Possibility of adverse impacts on non-targeted species (such as beneficial insects); Transferring of modified genes to wild relatives; and Loss of gene effectiveness. Establishment of the Water Resources Management & Meteorological Authority This Authority will be given primary responsibility for the integrated management and development of the country’s water resources with a view to ensuring the efficient and equitable use of water and atmospheric resources within an appropriate administrative and organizational framework. The establishment of this Authority will contribute to the evolution of policies and strategies, which will promote the sustainable use of the country’s water resources. Rehabilitation of Selected Watersheds and Establishment of Commercial Forest Plantations A major forestry project will be initiated involving the following components: The reforestation of critical watersheds The establishment of new forest plantations The introduction of agro-forestry Under this initiative a total of one thousand (1,000) acres is targeted for planting annually, and the initial phase of the project will be completed in five (5) years. Areas will be chosen based on the following criteria: environmental sensitivity; 15 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report impact on forest fires; and land capability classification. Land Degradation A National Action Plan (NAP) for addressing land degradation will be developed and implemented. Additionally, the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment has been able to secure grant funding and technical assistance under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for the hosting of a National Awareness Seminar directed at sensitizing the national community to the issue of land degradation and for the elaboration and implementation of the NAP. Over the medium term, the focus will be on: the implementation of an Environmental Education and Public Awareness Programme; the establishment of strategic partnerships with communities and other stakeholders for the conservation and protection of forest resources; capacity building initiatives. Solid Waste Management Establishment of an Integrated National Solid Waste Management System will be pursued, providing inter alia for: conservation of energy and natural resources waste reduction recycling waste segregation treatment of medical and hazardous waste using modern technology. 16 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 4. NATIONAL PROGRESS MADE AND PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BPOA 4.1 THEMATIC AREAS 4.1.1 Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise Trinidad and Tobago signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 11th June 1992, and ratified the Convention on 24 th June 1994. Trinidad and Tobago also signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in January 1999. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is committed to the implementation of the obligations of Convention and its Protocol. In accordance with Article 4 of the Convention, Trinidad and Tobago submitted its Initial National Communication to the UNFCCC Secretariat in November 2001. The Initial Communication provided an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, statements on vulnerability and identified technology and capacity building needs. The direct greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide [CO 2], methane [CH 4] and nitrous oxide [N2O]) and the indirect acting greenhouse gases (nitrogen oxides (NO x), carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and sulphur dioxide (SO 2)) were inventoried for Trinidad and Tobago in 1990 according to the guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The total green house gas emissions for Trinidad and Tobago are estimated to be 15,000 Gg (CO2 equivalent). CO 2 contributes 95%, CH4 4.5% and N2 O <1% to the global warming potential of Trinidad and Tobago. The combustion of fossil fuel for the production of energy is responsible for 66% of the total anthropogenic CO 2 emissions, with industrial processes contributing the remaining 34%. Based on Trinidad and Tobago’s green house gas emissions and general climate models and projections released by IPPC it has been predicted that Trinidad and Tobago will experience a temperature rise between 1 0C and 3.50C, a sea level rise of 15 to 95 cm and a rainfall deficit of 15% by the year 2100. Actual temperature and 17 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report humidity changes recorded over the last 50 years are consistent with climate change projections. The maximum and minimum temperatures have increased by about 1 0C in 30 years with accompanying increases in relative humidity. National and Sub-Regional Projects: Trinidad and Tobago participated in the regional project - Caribbean: Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC) and was the pilot site for Component 7 of the project: Economic Valuation of Coastal and Marine Resources. Trinidad and Tobago also participated in the Adaptation to Climate Change in the Caribbean Project (ACCC), which is a follow up project to CPACC. Activities under this project, particularly the development and implementation of a public education and outreach project, are underway. Trinidad and Tobago is also involved in the regional project Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC). This project is about to be executed regionally. Trinidad and Tobago has been selected as a pilot country for the field testing of a manual on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) established under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol. The project aims to increase capacity both at the regional and national levels to interact in the CDM market and will assist in creating an enabling environment for efficient CDM operations in the host country. 18 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Key Constraints to the implementation of the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Trinidad and Tobago has established a Cabinet-appointed Working Group to Determine the Implications of Global Warming, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in 1990. However, institutional and human resource constraints and inadequate public awareness precluded the Working Group from adequately addressing the issue. Particularly, data sharing among government institutions to assess climate change impacts has been a serious constraint in the diagnoses of the problems and formulation of appropriate recommendations. The Initial National Communication could not properly identify vulnerability and adaptation issues for Trinidad and Tobago and was based largely on expert judgment. In the absence of research and relevant technology, such assessments would not inform quality adaptation measures. There needs to be a greater level of co-operation among key government agencies, particularly in making data available for analysis or analyzing the data, for a more informed understanding of the phenomenon. Public awareness at all levels needs to be enhanced. 4.1.2 Natural and Environmental Disasters A. National Framework for Risk Management and Disaster Preparedness: Disaster Management in Trinidad and Tobago falls within the National Disaster Management System (NDMS). This system is coordinated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) within the Ministry of National Security. NEMA is not a line agency. Rather, it coordinates the public and private sectors’ preparedness for response to and recovery from, potential disasters. The first responses to emergencies come from the Fire, Protective and Emergency health services. Where the mandates of these agencies are exceeded by event (emergency/disaster), NEMA (and the members of the NDMS) is (are) 19 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report required to play a lead role. For example, for hazardous events with localized impacts, the NDMS is partially activated. NEMA receives the assistance of the Tobago House of Assembly and the municipal corporations in coordinating the appropriate response to local level emergencies/disasters. Where most or all of the country is affected, the NDMS is fully activated through NEMA’s Task Force. This Task Force includes all national organizations with responsibility for such matters as telecommunications, search and rescue, health, critical facilities, traffic control and law enforcement, heavy equipment, road clearance and transportation etc. There are fifteen functional Task Groups within NEMA’s Task Force, each chaired by the line Ministry or Division. B. National and Sub-Regional - Projects Vulnerability Assessments and Challenges: NEMA increasingly participates in national and regional projects. These projects improve vulnerability assessment for planning and decision making purposes. The emphasis has been to link these projects together through computer based mapping and databases. The research is then shared with the communities, planners and engineers to promote mitigation and reduce vulnerability. The projects include: National Base-Coverage Geographic Information System Development (1998-99). This involved digital mapping, with linked database information of the up-to-date census data, essential services (Health, Police and Fire Services), emergency shelters and the road and river networks. This was a publicly funded exercise, done in collaboration with the Central Statistical Office. Seismic Hazard of Trinidad and Tobago (2001-2003). The objective is to assess the seismic risk and vulnerability of the country including microzonation maps for Port of Spain, San Fernando, Point Lisas and Scarborough. The output 20 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report (in GIS format) is a series of seismic hazard maps showing peak ground acceleration, velocities and intensities with 10% probabilities of being exceeded in any 50-year period. The project will inform design specifications and land use decision-making. It is publicly funded and executed through the Seismic Research Unit, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. Landslide Risk and Vulnerability Project (2001-20003). The objective is to provide landslide inventory maps, showing past and existing instability with accompanying data on size, causes, geologic and engineering characteristics. Landslide hazard maps as well including vulnerability assessments, showing potential risk levels, will be presented in GIS format. The research will inform design specifications and land use decision-making. It is publicly funded through the Faculty of Engineering, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. European Community Humanitarian Office (DIPECHO) – Enhancing Disaster Preparedness in the Caribbean Year II (2000-2002). Community Flood Early Warning System (Caparo River Basin). This was designed so that community members in the upper and middle Caparo River Basin would warn the residents of the lower basin where rainfall upstream is sufficient to generate floods. Community Disaster Preparedness training was shared with the community and equipment procured to establish the early warning system. Research was done on the flood hazard recurrence interval established in GIS format 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:50 year return. The research informed the community Early Warning System (EWS), design specifications and land use decision-making. Funded by DIPECHO through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) project of the same name. It was executed in collaboration with the Meteorological Service Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Ministry of Community 21 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Development and Gender Affairs, Drainage Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport, and the Water Resources Agency. USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Community Disaster Preparedness Project (2001-2003). The objective is to reduce the impact of disaster events on communities prone to flooding and forest fires. This involved implementation of community-based forest fire prevention programmes in Lopinot and the Nariva Swamp Reserve and implementation of community- based flood early warning systems in lower Caroni and South Oropouche river basins. Consultants established the risk and vulnerability assessment for the forest fire and flood hazards in these areas. The research will inform the community EWS, design specifications and land use decision-making. Communities in these areas were given the necessary training. Equipment was procured and deployed within the communities to support the EWS. This project was funded by USAID/OFDA and public funds in collaboration with the Forestry and Meteorological Service Divisions of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs and the Drainage Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport, and the Water Resources Agency. Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CADM) (2003-2004). The objectives are to mitigate damages caused by flood hazard in the Caribbean and build on the mechanism for effective flood hazards mapping and community involvement. The San Juan River is the project area. Research on the flood risk and mapped extent will be undertaken. The research will inform the community, design specifications and land use decision-making. Communities in this basin will be given the skills to implement community disaster management planning. This project is funded by JICA through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) project of the same name in collaboration with the Meteorological Services Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Ministry of 22 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Community Development and Gender Affairs and the Drainage Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport, and the Water Resources Agency. C. National Progress and/or Constraints associated with the implementation of Early Warning Systems (EWS): Early Warning Systems (for meteorological disturbances, forest fires, floods, landslides and hazardous material spills) require research, manpower and equipment. In some areas the process is advanced. The tropical cyclone EWS is well established through the national Meteorological Services Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. Some local challenges are experienced with the local electronic media not providing timely airplay of warnings. The issue lies with many digital FM stations being automatic in off hours, with a skeleton staff. Also, the infrequency of tropical cyclone impact and recent storm watch bulletins, which did not materialize into impacting storms, have encouraged a sense of complacency. Efforts have been made to sensitize the media of the need to provide more frequent notices. The Meteorological Services Division and Water Resource Agency are also improving the EWS for flood hazards. The small size of the country and vague nature of weather systems continue to present challenges. Nevertheless with the proposed installation of Doppler Radar in tandem with basin modeling, expanding rainfall network and real-time measurement of discharge, the precision and timing of floods EWS should be improved. This system should be functional within the next two (2) years. For other hazards there is a need for a greater understanding of the local phenomena through research. Where possible (floods, forest fires and landslides) NEMA, has initiated research projects (see above). The research will inform the community EWS, design specifications and land use decision-making. Monitoring and communication systems are required to provide early warning. Acquisition and establishment have proved to be costly, as have the necessary 23 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report manpower/procedural changes. The necessity of multi-agency collaboration in establishing EWS also generates a slower pace of progress. Despite these challenges the NEMA continues to pursue the improvement of early warning systems in all areas, albeit at a slower pace than desired. D. Regional and Sub-Regional Mechanism for Disaster Management: Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) and the Agreement between Member States and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) for Regional Cooperation on Natural Disasters. The country supports, and has the support of, the CARICOM and ACS countries, in preparedness, mitigation as well as response and recovery in times of disasters. The NEMA increasingly provides support to the development of other regional mechanisms through the ACS. There are regional mechanisms through CDERA to expedite delivery of emergency relief to affected states. Under the CDERA Agreement, Trinidad and Tobago is the Sub-Regional Focal Point for the southern CARICOM States of Grenada and Guyana. Currently, the sub-regional stock of disaster emergency relief supplies is warehoused locally and managed by NEMA. Nationals of Trinidad and Tobago have provided technical expertise to other CARICOM States in times of disaster - the Montserrat volcanic eruption (nurses, psychologists, pharmacists), Hurricane George (shelter management), Hurricane Lenny (engineers). NEMA continues to provide trainers to partner States for warehouse and shelter management, as well as initial damage assessment. 4.1.3 Coastal and Marine Resources, Including Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Resources Trinidad has four (4) major coastal wetland areas, the largest of which is the Nariva Swamp, the largest freshwater wetland in the Caribbean. Clearing of the indigenous 24 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report vegetation for rice production, saltwater intrusion resulting from draining fields for agriculture, erosion of protective sandbars, disruption of natural habitat of the swamp flora and fauna and reclamation for commercial and residential purposes have caused degradation in these coastal wetlands. Natural coastal erosion is most evident on the peninsulas of Trinidad. This is exacerbated by the removal of the natural vegetative cover for built development and agriculture. Coastal erosion is also evident in Tobago and is caused by devegetation for resort development. There is evidence of decline of the reef ecology in Tobago due to increasing organic matter in the inshore waters from land-based sources of pollution. International Conventions: The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a party to a number of International Conventions related to the management of its coastal and marine areas. These are identified hereunder: Dates of Signature, Ratification and Accession 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – Date of Instrument of Ratification: April 22, 1986. Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 2978 relating thereto, as amended (MARPOL 73/78) – Date of Accession: June 6, 2000 (except Annex IV, not yet in force). Convention relating to Intervention on the High Seas in the Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 (INTERVENTION 1969) – Date of Accession: June 4, 2000. 25 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Convention of Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims, 1976 (LLMC 1976) – Date of Accession: July 1, 2000. Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation, 1990 (OPRC 1990) – Date of Accession: June 6, 2000. Protocol of 1992 to amend the International Convention of Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969 (CLC PROT 1992) – Date of Accession: March 6, 2001. Protocol of 1992 to amend the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1972 (FUND PROT 1992) – Date of Accession: March 6, 2001. Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas – Notification: May 11, 1966. Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf – Notification: August 10, 1968. Convention on Biological Diversity – Date of Signature: 1992; Ratification: August 1, 1996. Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region - Date of Accession: January 24 1986. Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land Based Sources and Activities (Cartagena Convention) – Date of Accession: March 28, 2003 EEZ Charts 26 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Trinidad and Tobago listed its Archipelagic Baseline Points on July 27, 1988. The country’s Archipelagic Baselines, the extent of its Territorial Waters, its Archipelagic waters and the extent of its Exclusive Economic Zone were determined, and a chart illustration is provided in a paper written in 1991 by Mr. Lennox F. Balah entitled “The Living Resources of the Exclusive Economic Zone of Trinidad and Tobago and their Potential Contribution to National Development”. Relevant Projects The following are relevant national and regional projects related to the sustainable use, management and conservation of the country’s coastal and marine resources: National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Project. National Parks and Watershed Management Project. Investigation of Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities and their Impacts on the Marine Environment. Economic Valuation of Coastal and Marine Resources, Component 7 of the Regional Caribbean Planning for the Adaptation to Climate Change (CPACC). A new project entitled Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC) has replaced the CPACC Project. Environmental Management of the Gulf of Paria. Coastal Conservation Project for Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean Coastal Monitoring Productivity Programme (CARICOMP). 27 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Fish Age and Growth Studies funded by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM Fisheries Resources Assessment Programme (CFRAMP). An Investigation of Fisheries Resources, Resource Users and Fisheries Management by Communities to Establish a Framework for Co-Management: Manzanilla to Guayaguayare, East Coast Trinidad – A Component of a regional project funded by the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the International Ocean Institute of Latin America and the Caribbean (IOI, Costa Rica). Investigation of Contamination in the Marine Areas of Chaguaramas. Investigation of Contamination in the Marine Areas of Chaguaramas: Phase II – Marine Fauna. Monitoring of the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Sediments of the Gulf of Paria. Investigations on Bacteriological Water Quality and Popular Recreational Water- use Areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Recommendations of Laws, Policies and Institutional Arrangements for the Improvement of Trinidad and Tobago’s Marine Surveillance Capability for Protecting its Marine Environment and Resources. Inventory and Monitoring of Wetlands and Seagrass Beds of Trinidad and Tobago – Preliminary Assessment of the Ecological status of the Godineau Swamp, South Trinidad. 28 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Constraints The following are key national constraints related to the implementation of the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the area of coastal and marine resources: Inadequate awareness appreciation of the value of biodiversity and its importance to the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago. Gaps in the policy and legal framework. Inadequate implementation and enforcement of policies and legislation. Inadequate data and research in this area. Absence of proper methodologies and systems for valuation and environmental accounting of these resources. Poor communication and co-operation within and among agencies. Insufficient use of financial incentives for the conservation of coastal and marine resources. Absence of a strong political commitment. Weak institutional support for the management of these resources. Management Approaches An integrated approach has been recommended for the management and protection of the coastal and marine resources, including coastal and marine biodiversity resources. Management plans have been developed and recommended for wetlands and marine parks, which have been threatened by anthropogenic activities. For example, management plans have been developed for wetland areas such as Nariva Swamp, Buccoo Reef Marine Park and the Speyside Reefs, which emphasized the need for an ecosystem approach to the management of these resources. These plans have hitherto not been fully implemented. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been used to assist in the sustainable management of the country’s marine and coastal ecosystems. The Environmental 29 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Management Act 2000 is the primary vehicle for achieving this objective. The Act calls for Certificates of Environmental Clearance including the conduct of an EIA where activities are likely to impact negatively on these areas. Rules for the designation of environmentally sensitive areas and environmentally sensitive species have also been made. Certain areas and species have already been designated as such and are now awaiting final approval. These areas include the Nariva Swamp and the Buccoo Reef Marine Park. These and other areas are also to be declared protected areas under the National Parks and Conservation of Wildlife Act, which was drafted but is now being reviewed. Inter alia, the Act seeks to establish a system of national parks and protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Intersectoral Committees such as the Interministerial Committee on the Law of the Sea and its Sub-Committees on Fisheries, Delimitation of Boundaries and Marine Scientific Research have been in operation in Trinidad and Tobago for many years. The National Wetlands Committee, which has developed a National Wetlands Policy, is another of these Intersectoral Committees. Others include the National Monitoring Committee on Foreign Fishing, The West Coast Master Plan Committee and The Cabinet Appointed Intersectoral Committee to Oversee the On-going Matters Relating to the Implementation of a Marine Pollution and Compensation Regime for Trinidad and Tobago. These are all used with a view to promoting the sustainable management of the country’s marine and coastal ecosystems. A National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan has been developed for the management of Trinidad and Tobago’s biodiversity as part of the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This plan is being implemented. Regulations have been put in place to eliminate certain destructive fishing practices. These include regulations outlawing trawling in certain designated areas, as well as regulations outlining the mesh size to be used in fishing. The use of monofilament nets is also restricted. Persons operating commercial multi-gear boats are prohibited 30 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report from fishing within a distance of two nautical miles from Trinidad and Tobago’s coastline. In addition regulations have been made on the use of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and on the protection of turtles and turtle eggs. 4.1.4 Land Resources including Terrestrial Biodiversity Overview Trinidad and Tobago signed the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on July 20, 2000. The State is the single largest landowner with control over 52% of the total land mass. Both the land and marine ecosystems of Trinidad and Tobago are under environmental threat from land-based and marine activities. Issues of concern with respect to the land resources include degradation of watersheds and wetlands due to human activities, poor land use practices and coastal erosion. Many of the watersheds continue to be degraded by human activities, which include urbanization, squatting settlements, shifting agriculture, quarrying and deforestation by fires and indiscriminate felling of forest trees. The most significant impacts of these activities are soil loss due to erosion, water quality degradation and flooding. The Northern and Central Ranges of Trinidad have been severely affected by the problem of land degradation. The Northern Range of Trinidad comprises over thirty- three (33) sub-watersheds, occupying more than 50,000 hectares of the most highly populated and built up areas of the country. The steep topography, together with intense rainfall in the wet season and human activities, combine to cause land degradation, deterioration of water quality and flooding in the lowlands of the Northern Basin and Central Plains lying at the base of the mountain range. Urban land uses (mostly residential) occupy approximately 25% of the Northern Range watersheds. There has been rapid intensification of urban developments over 31 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report the last 20 years particularly in the Western Northern Range where private ownership of the land resources dominates. A number of development related grading and land clearing practices have resulted in increased erosion, sedimentation, downstream flooding, unstable slopes and riverbanks. The current regulatory framework does not discourage or adequately penalize those who pursue inappropriate development site preparation. The rapid growth of the urban population of Port of Spain has driven squatting to the steeper slopes of the Northern Range where squatter settlements are established by clear felling and burning of forested areas and are characterized by poor road access and drainage. These areas, therefore, contribute to erosion, increased runoff and sediment loads in the watercourses of these watersheds. The slash and burn form of shifting cultivation is generally practiced on the steep hillsides of the Northern Range, with minimal soil and water conservation measures being undertaken. These practices lead to uncontrolled forest fires and erosion. Repeated annual fires in certain locations within the Northern Range watersheds have given rise to grassland and shrub vegetation, which provide 38 times more water runoff and soil loss than from the natural forest. Quarries in Trinidad are generally small. However, their siting and method of operations have huge land degradation impacts. The quarries of Trinidad are concentrated in the Northern Range and in the eastern part of the Northern Basin. These areas are critical for forest and watershed protection. The initial removal of forest and vegetative cover and topsoil contributes greatly to watershed degradation and are the source of high surface erosion, which produces silt that finds its way into the watercourses. No remediation is done after excavation is completed. Deforestation is mainly caused by forest fires set to clear land for agriculture or clear felling and removal of logs for timber. This has left several denuded areas in 32 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Trinidad and Tobago, particularly on the southern slopes of the Northern Range. This denudation has contributed to erosion of the landscape and significant reduction in the wildlife population and overall degradation of the forest ecosystem. Downstream effects include rapid and high volume runoff, which has shown an increase by at least 25% over the last 20 years. The Southern Basin of Trinidad is the location of most of the tarsands in the country. Extensive oil and gas fields producing petroleum products exist throughout the area. Land degradation in this Basin is mainly the result of oil spills and seepages into the watercourses and deforestation to establish drilling sites. In addition, a significant amount of beach erosion and silting has occurred in the southern peninsula area by the land disturbances associated with the clearing of vegetation for the siting of large liquefied natural gas plants and berthing facilities. Many of the soils in Trinidad, particularly in Central Trinidad are highly acidic. They are mostly held under sugarcane cultivation that is fertilized mainly with urea. No lime is used and most of the organic matter is removed from the sugarcane fields to the sugar factory. Tobago has suffered less extensively from urbanization, squatting, shifting cultivation and forest removal than Trinidad. In Tobago, cultivated lands occupy less than 10% of the watersheds. Where agricultural activities are focused on steep slopes some contouring and mini-terracing are carried out to prevent erosion. The main causes of land degradation in Tobago are the illegal mining of gravel and sand from the rivers and beaches, and hotel and resort activities, to a lesser extent. Policies, Programmes and Projects Related to the Sustainable Use, Management and Conservation of Land Resources 33 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Strengthening of Policy Framework In 1998, the Forestry Division enunciated a new Forest Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. The Policy seeks to ensure that “all lands best suited for the provision of forest produce and services for the community remain under permanent forest cover.” A major objective of the Policy is the protection of areas of critical watersheds; areas needed as critical windbreaks for agricultural lands and rehabilitation of damage areas. In July 2001, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago approved a National Wetlands Policy. This Policy emanated from the deliberations of a National Wetlands Committee established in 1995, and on the basis of consultations at the local and national levels. The overall objective of the National Wetland Policy is to ensure that wetlands of Trinidad and Tobago are protected, managed and restored in order to sustain and enhance their ecological and socio-economic values and function for current and future generations. The Policy is currently being implemented. Rehabilitation Programmes The rehabilitation of the San Fernando Hill in south Trinidad is one example of activities being undertaken by the State to address the rehabilitation of degraded land areas. The San Fernando Hill was a steeply sloping landform covered with natural forest comprising some 26 hectares of privately owned property. It was extensively quarried since the 1850s for road-building materials. In the 1970s, a decision was taken to halt quarrying operations on the Hill. Government acquired the land and determined that it would be converted into a public recreational facility. This involved the replanting of trees, establishment of a Visitor’s Centre and Park Headquarters, a playground, hiking trails, rest areas and other park amenities. The rehabilitation of the Nariva Swamp began after Government halted large-scale agricultural activities in 1996. The major activities included filling in the artificial 34 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report channels dredged by the farmers to drain the swamp, in order to restore the water catchments patterns within the swamp. Other activities included: The removal of heavy land clearing and digging equipment and other human activities. The reintroduction of species, particularly the blue and gold macaw. The rehabilitation of the manatee ponds. The replanting of moriche palms and other trees species. It is expected that over time, the indigenous swamp species will re-generate themselves and the natural hydrology of the swamp will be re-established. However, this still remains a challenge in the face of evidence of some persistence of unsustainable uses. Programmes Re: Reforestation and Prevention of Forest Degradation The Forestry Division of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment has an on-going and active reforestation programme. This includes the replanting of forest trees both in natural forests and in the plantation forests (Pine and Teak) to promote conservation and production forestry. With respect to the latter coupes of trees are clear-felled and replanted in rotation. Areas that have been burnt or illegally clear- felled are also replanted, as resources become available. In addition, the Forestry Division has increased its efforts to protect pristine forested areas from forest fires and clear felling. Community-Based Initiatives Several community-based organizations are actively involved in the reforestation of denuded watersheds, particularly in the Northern Range. A 1997 reconnaissance of thirteen (13) communities in the Northern Range, for example, found significant evidence of community-based efforts. Other community-based re-vegetation projects are being developed in the Lopinot area by the Protectors of the Environment. 35 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report More recently, the Tropical Re-Leaf Foundation (TRF) has initiated two pilot projects to promote reforestation through social forestry projects at the level of local communities. This involved two already operational community-based reforestation projects in Trinidad (the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project in St. Ann’s, Western Northern Range and the Toco Research Forest in the Eastern Northern Range). As a result of the success of these two pilot projects, the TRF is now seeking to replicate the initiative in other communities in the Western Northern Range, with assistance from the UNDP/GEF-SGP and British Petroleum of Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT LLC). In addition, the Government has been actively promoting the co-management approach to the management of its forest resources. Towards this end in the execution of its reforestation/aforestation programmes increase use is being made of community based organizations. Constraints to Sustainable Management of Land Resources and Measures to Remove Constraints. Implementation of UNCCD: The Trinidad and Tobago Government is seeking to mainstream UNCCD implementation within the planning framework for land management in Trinidad and Tobago. There is an urgent need to establish a National Co-coordinating Body to enhance co-ordination among the different agencies and Ministries that have responsibility for fulfilling the objectives of UNCCD. The Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment will need to oversee the establishment of the National Co-coordinating Body, and act as secretariat to the Body, when established. In the short-term, it is critical that the Ministry receive additional financial and technical co-operation to support the early stages of UNCCD implementation. 36 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Administration of State Lands: The State, as noted earlier, is the single largest landowner in the country with control of 52% of the land and some 80% of the forests. This situation creates a responsibility for the State to engage in sustainable land management practices. This situation can be seen as opportunity to facilitate improved public management of State lands since no costs of land acquisition would be necessary. The system for administering State lands must be improved. This would include, inter alia, expediting processes for granting and managing leases, greater monitoring and oversight of State lands, enforcement of lease conditions and prevention of further unauthorized occupancy. Clear tenure gives occupiers of State land greater incentive to care for it, and the lease provides a mechanism to regulate unauthorized activities. The institutional arrangements for the administration of State lands also need to be improved to improve efficiency and reduce the need for inter-agency co- ordination. One approach would be to establish a State Land Management Authority that combines the Lands and Survey and the Land Administration Divisions. Lands Records Management: The system for recording land information, such as titles and cadastral surveys needs to be enhanced. Some improvements have already been realized in this area, particularly with passage of the Registration of Title to Land Act, the Land Adjudication Act and the Land Tribunal Act 2000. Deeds have been scanned and are now available electronically, and a Lease Management System has been implemented for all State land leases. However, further work is necessary to implement these Acts and improve the land records management system. Further work is also necessary to streamline the land transaction process, by reducing the steps, time and transactions costs associated with private and public land transfers. Needed improvements include reducing the costs and time required for cadastral surveying and valuations and adjudicating claims for each parcel of land under the Registration of Title to Land Act. 37 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report National Physical Development Planning: It is essential to establish land use plans that reflect a national and local consensus as to the long-term vision for sustainable land use and land characteristics in specific areas and the aggregate. Conservation progress can then be measured against those plans. Degradation will occur if those plans are not fulfilled. What is critical is that the Plan is predicated on a model of sustainable development and takes into consideration the potential short and long- term aggregate impacts of changes in land use and its characteristics. The system for national physical development needs to be improved. This would include developing a New National Physical Development Plan and local development plans, establishing clear zoning requirements, monitoring physical development and stringently enforcing the planning requirements. One critical need is to increase public participation in and ownership of the planning process, while also increasing the role of local government bodies. In this regard, local government authorities need more autonomy – particularly financial autonomy. Local government bodies are currently entirely dependent on central government for financial support. As part of this process, it will be important to develop an updated comprehensive National Land Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. Current policy is derived from a number of different documents. There is also a need to enhance human resource capacity for land use planning. There are currently only a limited number of trained and experienced land use planners in Trinidad and Tobago. Upgrading the Legal Framework: In many respects, the legal framework to prevent land degradation in Trinidad and Tobago needs to be upgraded. There are however, a number of areas where this framework must be strengthened, particularly in the areas of pesticides and toxic chemicals management, coastal zone management, water resources management and solid and hazardous waste management. Specific pending or proposed legislation to be considered under this initiative includes the Planning and Development of Land Bill, the National Parks and Other Protected Areas Bill and the Conservation of Wildlife Bill. 38 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Best Practices in Soil Conservation: There is an urgent need to promote best practices in soil conservation in the agricultural sector. Limited soil conservation measures that have been implemented through technical assistance have been successful. As a complement to this, there is a need to enhance existing incentives for land users to adopt best practices – irrespective of land ownership or tenure status. Government extension services and soil conservation incentives, limited as they are, are not generally available to individuals with unauthorized tenure. Government needs to consider legal and institutional mechanisms, such as working through NGOs that would allow for the provision of technical services to individuals with unauthorized tenure without the actual or implied conference of rights. Improving the understanding of land practices: There appear to be many assumptions that influence land use decisions in Trinidad and Tobago; however, the actual nature of people’s relationship with the land and the actual benefits and costs of specific land use practices, are not well understood. For example, it is assumed that unauthorized occupation of lands per se (“squatting”) contributes to land degradation. However, there is another view that poor squatter communities may actually be better caretakers of land than wealthy communities with proper tenure. There are many cultural, socio-economic and gender aspects to land management. These aspects must be understood to provide for informed and effective policymaking. Enhancement of empirical base for decision-making: The empirical base for integrated land use planning and management is less than adequate. To provide an upgraded empirical data and information for setting priorities for land use planning and management, and the socio-economic conditions for sustainable economic development, it is proposed that the following initiatives be undertaken: 39 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Make greater use of aerial photography and satellite imagery for empirical analysis of land use trends, and the status of the physical and biological resources. Undertaking a forestry inventory given that the last such Study was in the 1940s. Conduct multi-disciplinary studies on the differing impacts of the agents of land degradation, including economic valuation in terms of both in-situ and downstream effects of the actions of the responsible agents. Conduct a needs assessment of the long-term effort to rehabilitate denuded landscapes and wetlands. Consider the introduction of site value taxation and a system of tax relief as incentives for development and maintenance of private forests. Reassess the relative merits of the use of nitrogenous fertilizers as well as the withdrawal of subsidies on fertilizers, which increase soil acidification as against the use of organic fertilizers, which will increase soil productivity. Improving practices in the use of agricultural chemical: There is an urgent need to improve the system for agricultural chemical use. This would include strengthening the regulatory framework to control the use of pesticides and agricultural chemicals, educating farmers on best management practices for pesticides and fertilizers, encouraging the use of limestone to counteract increasing soil acidity and increasing efforts to introduce integrated pest management and organic farming practices to reduce reliance on pesticides and other chemical inputs. Strengthening fire prevention and control measures: The system for preventing and controlling brush and forest fires needs to be strengthened. Measures to achieve 40 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report this include addressing the tenure and administration issues described above, increasing education and awareness, engaging individual communities in fire prevention activities, providing more resources for fire mitigation measures such as cutting of fire traces and providing better equipment, training and additional human resources to detect and control fires. Enhancement of agricultural land use practices: There is a need to study current trends in soil and land capability, to assess the sustainability of current land use practices and to identify necessary interventions. It has been suggested, for example, that even modest inputs of local limestone can dramatically improve the conditions of soils that have become acidified and depleted. There is also a need to promote measures to increase the retention of organic matter in soils, through mulching and reduced burning. Promoting co-management: Co-management, in which NGOs and community- based organizations take on some or all of resource management responsibilities, presents a significant opportunity for improved land management. There are several good examples of co-management projects in Trinidad and Tobago, such as the Fondes Amandes Community Re-Forestation Project, Nature Seekers (turtle conservation), the Manatee Conservation Trust (wildlife and habitat conservation) and the Northern Range Community Forest Rehabilitation Project. Existing programmes, such as the Honorary Game Wardens Programme and the Fire Wardens Programme, involve community residents directly in stewardship activities. There is a need to transform these individual experiences into a systematic programme that embraces co-management as the preferred option for land stewardship in Trinidad and Tobago. Enhancement of hazard assessment: Trinidad and Tobago is below the traditional “hurricane belt”. This does not mean however, that Trinidad and Tobago is not vulnerable to hurricanes or severe tropical storms. Furthermore, Trinidad and 41 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Tobago is susceptible to earthquakes. It is critical that hazard assessment be considered in land management decisions. 4.1.5 Energy National Projects Re-Development and Provision of Sustainable Energy Resources and Systems Including Energy Efficiency and Conservation and New and Renewable Energy Sources. The petroleum sector of Trinidad and Tobago is by far the most important contributor to the country’s GDP, Government revenues and foreign exchange. How the Government manages its valuable petroleum resources, therefore, has serious implications for the sustainable development of the country. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) has responsibility for the administration, regulation, monitoring and development of the energy sector of Trinidad and Tobago. The MEEI employs various strategies aimed at ensuring efficient operations in the sector, optimizing its returns and promoting a safe and healthy environment. The Government through the MEEI, has been pursuing a number of initiatives in the context of its sustainable development goals and objectives. The major ones are: Creating a facilitative environment for the development of alternative energy projects including renewable energy projects. Adopting a policy stance consistent with reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. In this regard, the Government welcomes projects, which utilize carbon dioxide in their production processes or minimize its release into the atmosphere. Examples of this are methanol technology that utilizes carbon dioxide in its feed gas stream and carbon dioxide injected into oil fields on land to stimulate oil production. 42 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Promoting compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative fuel to replace, as far as possible, diesel from the transportation fuel mix. Special programmes to push CNG use in vehicle fleets, especially those owned by the Government and state agencies. Initiation of a project to completely phase out lead in gasoline. The new brand of unleaded gasoline would be blended so as to be free both of lead and methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). Natural Gas Compression: The National Gas Company compresses low-pressure natural gas at its Teak and Poui platforms for use mainly in electricity generation. The utilization of such gas, that was formerly flared, reduces the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and promotes greater efficiency in the use of the country’s gas resources, while providing a cheap form of energy for producing electricity. The National Petroleum Marketing Company has adopted several measures aimed at minimizing wastage in the transportation and handling of petroleum products. In the current safety and environment drive, double-walled storage tanks are being introduced at fuel retail outlets, while the specifications for vehicles that transport fuel are being upgraded. Promotion of solar water heating to reduce demand for electricity generated by fossil fuels by active involvement in two projects, one in Tobago managed by the Tobago Bed and Breakfast Association and the other in Trinidad managed by the Trinidad Host Homes Association. These projects are to be forerunners for other renewable energy projects in remote areas outside of the existing grid. 43 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Regional Projects Renewable Energy Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Project (CREDP) Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to CREDP, which aims to identify and reduce the barriers to renewable energy development in the region. The UNDP/Global Environmental Facility funds this project with complementary funding by the German Government. A number of specific policy and institutional measures are currently under consideration by CREDP for renewable energy project development in the region. Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS) Trinidad and Tobago is also a member of the CEIS, another regional body whose headquarters are in Jamaica. This body is currently pursuing a Caribbean Energy Efficiency project that is divided into sub-projects. A report on one of the sub- projects relating to awareness and information management was completed in 2002. CEIS has compiled statistics on new and renewable energy and their applications in various Caribbean countries, which is published in “NEWEN”: New and Renewable Energy Statistics in the Caribbean, 1996. This publication is available at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries library. The main renewable projects identified in Trinidad and Tobago in that publication are solar energy, biomass, wave energy and wind energy. Solar energy is the most widely utilized of all new and renewable energy technologies in the country. UWI has been spearheading research in the region in this area. A number of solar dryers, solar cookers and solar stills have been installed over the years in Trinidad and Tobago, some of which are inactive today. In the case of biomass, some bagasse has been used by Caroni to fire the boilers at the beginning of the sugar cane harvesting season. Some experimentation has also taken place by UWI in the development of more energy efficient wood and charcoal burning cooking stoves and cooking 44 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report utensils for use by rural populations. The first biogas plant was commissioned in 1989 and there may be a few still existing in the country. With respect to wind power, the wind resource in Trinidad and Tobago has been determined to be relatively poor. However, some experimentation has taken place in the 1990s with the establishment of a hybrid wind and photovoltaic system at a school in Matelot Village on the North East coast of Trinidad. A pilot wind project was also successfully completed in Tobago in 1999 to establish the conditions under which a wind turbine generator could generate electricity and feed it into the existing power grid. Caribbean Gas Pipeline Project (CGPP) The Ministry of Energy & Energy Industries is working along with the National Gas Company, the Executing Agency for the CGPP and the Gas Export Task Force on this sub-regional project to pipe gas to Guadeloupe and linked along the way to other intervening islands. This project is essentially to economically displace the use of 3% sulfur fuel oil and other liquid fuels in the power market of the islands. The project is in the prefeasibility stage in which such issues as bottom surveys for alternate routes are being assessed and EIAs for the pipeline segments that are entering different islands are being prepared. Key National Constraints Re: the Planning, Production and Distribution of Sustainable Energy Resources and Systems Policy: Energy conservation projects in Trinidad and Tobago at the level of final consumption has not been given the priority it deserves given the relative abundance of natural gas that is obtained at relatively low cost for use in power generation. The low price of gas has stymied the trend to convert our single cycle gas turbines to the more efficient combined cycle gas turbines process that are utilized in generating cheap, clean and efficient electricity. Moreover, Trinidad and Tobago is a net exporter of petroleum products. 45 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Uneconomic Electricity Rates: Except for the small and medium sized industrial customer, electricity rates are below the cost of providing the service. Electricity rates are, therefore, very affordable especially for the residential class. In most cases the cost of electricity represents only a small fraction of their monthly expenditures. This provides a disincentive for renewable energy development. Low Product Prices: With respect to the petroleum retail-marketing sector, product prices are comparatively low and in many cases substantially subsidized. Lack of awareness on renewable energy projects: No coordinated efforts to inform/educate the public on renewable energy. Rural electrification project based on extension of the grid: Despite the almost total electrification of this twin island state (>97% electrification), there are remote areas that do not have access to the electric grid. At present, rural electrification is being undertaken to bring electricity to all the remote areas. The feasibility of providing generation of electricity by renewable energy technology should therefore, be explored. 4.1.6 Management of Wastes and Sanitation Systems & Water Resources Management Management of Wastes and Sanitation Systems The existing solid waste systems in Trinidad and Tobago do not adequately fulfill the need for the provision of environmentally sound management of the nation’s wastes. We live on a small island with limited land mass and, therefore, cannot continue to abuse our environment indefinitely without suffering the adverse consequences. It is, therefore, imperative that we urgently seek to establish creative and cost effective systems to meet the country’s waste management needs. Some major constraints relating to waste management are highlighted as follows: 46 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report There is no single institution/agency responsible for waste management in Trinidad and Tobago. Even though the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) was established in 1995 to address the country’s environmental issues, responsibility for waste management is still shared among several Ministries, statutory bodies and other government agencies. Because there is no one responsible institution/agency, there is duplication of efforts in some areas and negligence in others. The EMA, has however, signed Memoranda of Understanding with various agencies, institutions and companies in order to facilitate cooperation in the management of the environment. The existing legal framework does not comprehensively address the issues facing waste management. Existing legislation is spread over a number of different institutions and agencies making implementation and enforcement somewhat fragmented and difficult. The EMA is at present working on the establishment of comprehensive rules and regulations for the management of wastes. In an effort to improve the system for solid waste management in the country, the present Government proposes to develop and commence implementation of an integrated Solid Waste Management Plan for the country in 2004. Further, the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP), was introduced to undertake community based environmental projects through the employment of small contractors throughout the country. CEPEP has been in operation for just under a year, and has had far-reaching economic, social and environmental benefits, including entrepreneurial development and employment creation. In this regard, over one hundred new entrepreneurs have been established providing employment for over six thousand (6,000) citizens while ensuring a sustainable marriage between the environment and the community. 47 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report In recent years, significant interest has been expressed throughout the Caribbean regarding the environment and the need for better waste management systems. One of the responses to this need is a project called the EuroColumbus Project. The EuroColumbus Project aims at the creation of a Caribbean operational plan for waste reduction and recycling. The project was first introduced by the non-profit organization, Environment West Indies (EWI) in September 2000 and was officially launched on October 7, 2002 at the 1 st CEF Conference held in St Lucia. EWI is a non-profit organization based in Martinique. Its aim is to encourage economic cooperation and transfer of technology between the French West Indies and the neighboring states of the Caribbean regarding environmental matters. Funding for this project is being obtained through European aid programmes. The EuroColumbus Project arose from the necessity of a regional approach to the environmental problem of waste treatment in the Caribbean, taking into account the cultural, economic and social aspects of every island. In the first phase, a one-year feasibility study which will be undertaken with a view to establishing an operational plan for waste treatment and recycling for the Caribbean Region. This is to be followed by implementation of the appropriate solutions. Water Resources Management Current Situation Water availability per capita in Trinidad and Tobago is approximately 2,500 m3/year. The international criterion for water scarcity is less than 1000 m3/year per person. Thus, by international standards, Trinidad and Tobago is not a water scarce country. Average annual rainfall in Trinidad and Tobago ranges from 1,320 mm to 3,800 mm per year. The surface water availability in Trinidad is estimated at 3,500 million cubic metres (MCM) per year. This is more than 10 times the present public water demand. For Tobago, the demand is estimated at 7% of the total runoff of 140 48 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report MCM/year. Compared to surface water, the groundwater availability is estimated at 121 MCM/year, which is only 4% of the surface water availability. The household sector is the biggest single user of water in the country, accounting for approximately 33% of demand. Total industrial demand accounts for 16%, with irrigated agriculture accounting for only 3% of demand. Unaccounted water (i.e. transmission losses) accounts for some 48% of water demand. Current water demand in Trinidad and Tobago amounts to 368 MCM/year while water supply amounts to 346 MCM/year. This means that there is a 22 MCM/year (6%) annual deficit in spite of the apparent abundance of water in the country. Total water demand is projected to increase by 27% by the year 2015, which will lead to further deficits. Approximately 77% of Trinidad and Tobago’s water supply is derived from surface water sources whose availability is strongly influenced by seasonal and spatial variability (i.e. water abundance in Trinidad decreases geographically from north to south). Reliability of supply, due to low water flows during severe dry seasons and high turbidity of surface water results in an even further exacerbation of the deficit on an annual basis. The availability of water is and will continue to be a major limiting factor in the socio-economic development of Trinidad and Tobago if sustainable development of the nation’s water resources is not achieved. The availability of this renewable but finite and highly vulnerable resource is heavily influenced by the condition of its enabling environment: Water Supply and Sanitation: The average per capita water consumption for Trinidad and Tobago is 473 litres per head per day. Over 92% of the population has access to water but 70% receives a scheduled supply. 49 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Twenty percent (20%) of the population is serviced by the central sewer system and 10% by packaged wastewater treatment plants. The remainder of the population is serviced by septic tanks and pit latrines. Watershed Management: Forest cover has decreased from nearly 60% of land area to less than 50% over the past 30 years and urban areas have increased substantially. These changes, which are the result of forest fires, indiscriminate, quarrying, slash and burn agriculture and other inappropriate land-use practices have impacted negatively on the country’s water resources. Water Quality: Increasing levels of pollution from sewage and industrial effluents combined with soil erosion are threatening the quality of potable water while increasing treatment costs. The quality of surface water resources is deteriorating in many places, as evidenced by the high levels of biological oxygen demand, bacteria content, turbidity and the presence of chemical pollutants in rivers. The main threats are uncontrolled point waste discharges, in particular from industries and domestic sources, as well as, the high level of erosion in the upper catchment of watercourses. Pollution of surface water affects the production of potable water and the ability of rivers to sustain productive habitats for terrestrial and aquatic species. Although there are as yet no major incidents of ground water contamination, intermittent high levels of nitrates were detected in three sub-aquifers in the north, while a recent preliminary survey has also detected low levels of trihalomethanes, BETEX, lead and MTBE in the groundwater along the East-West corridor. Irrigation: Although irrigation is at present only a very small part of the water demand, if developed to its fullest potential, it could account for as much as 40% of the national water demand. The cost for abstracting water from the ground or rivers for primary agriculture was reduced in 1998 from 36 cents per cubic meter to 10 cents per cubic meter for farmers registered with the Ministry of Agriculture Land and Marine Resources. 50 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Flooding: Flooding imposes serious economic and social costs to many communities across Trinidad and Tobago. Both urban and rural communities experience losses of property, crop damage, threats to health and severe inconveniences. Perennial flash flooding occurs along the foothills of the Northern Range and in Caparo and South Oropouche basins. Coastal Zone Management: Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal areas are subject to competing development demands while experiencing significant natural and human induced changes. Environmental problems include coastal eutrophication due to inappropriate sewerage treatment, contamination arising from agricultural pollutants, inappropriate coastal development, sand-mining along beaches, heavy contamination from industries and sea vessels, over-fishing, degradation of coastal zone and marine species, including mangrove systems and coral reefs. Institutional Framework: There is a multitude of agencies and institutions involved in the water sector and in the execution of water resources management functions. These include the Environmental Management Authority; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources; Town and Country Planning Division, Ministry of Planning and Development; Drainage Division, Ministry of Works and Transport; Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA); Water Resources Agency; Institute of Marine Affairs; Meteorological Services Division, Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. The shortcomings of this highly fragmented institutional framework are further compounded by the absence of a coordinating agency and coordinating mechanism to facilitate effective water resources management. Legislative Framework: Various water resources issues are addressed directly or incidentally in a substantial body of national legislation and international treaties, which the country has adopted. The major legislative instruments are the Water and Sewerage Act (1980 revised), the Waterworks and Water Conservation Act (1980 51 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report revised), the Environmental Management Act (2000) and the Public Health Act (1950). There is, however, an urgent need to upgrade the legislative framework to give effect to an integrated water resources management approach, the implementation of which is necessary to guarantee that water security is provided for people, food and nature. National Initiatives The following provides a background on the progress towards establishment of an Integrated Water Resources Management Framework to facilitate the effective and integrated management of the country’s national water resources, in support of sustainable national development. In August 1994, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago signed an agreement with the World Bank to finance a Water Sector Institutional Strengthening Project. The Project was geared towards improving the institutional framework of the Water Sector in the country. One of the components was the development of a comprehensive and integrated strategy for the management of the country’s water resources in the medium to long term. The Water Resources Management Strategy Study recommended, inter alia: The establishment of a National Water Resources Management Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. The establishment of a financially autonomous Water Resources Management Authority. The development and implementation of a legislative and regulatory framework for the New Water Resources Management Authority. 52 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The creation of an integrated framework for the various water sector agencies and interest groups involved in or impacting upon water resources management. The refinement and implementation of strategies and measures for the effective allocation of water to meet domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural and ecological demands. The protection of water quality and control of pollution. The development of the capacity and tools to support decision making within the proposed Water Resources Management Authority. To execute the Action Plan the Government established a Water Resources Management Unit (WRMU) within the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment. Through the activities of this Unit, significant strides have been made: A framework for integrated water resources management was prepared with the assistance of an OAS supported Consultant: (January 2002). A Draft National Water Resources Management Policy was prepared with assistance from the IDB. This document was recently circulated for public comment via the media, email, postal service and a series of public consultations involving communities, youths, NGO’s, professional bodies, and wider national community were held: (April 2002). An Associate Applied Science Degree in Water Resources Management and Technology in the areas of training and capacity building was established under the auspices of the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago: (September 2002). 53 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report A forum has been established for deliberation on the inter-institutional arrangements involving the assignment of roles and responsibilities amongst agencies to implement the National Policy on Integrated Water Resources Management: (October 2002). In support of ongoing initiatives to implement a framework for Integrated Water Resources Management nationally, the following would be pursued: Completion and adoption of the National Water Resources Management Policy. Drafting and enactment of the Water Resources Management Legislation to facilitate inter alia, the establishment of a National Water Resources Management Authority. Merger of water resources management and meteorological functions. The Meteorological Office within the proposed Authority would facilitate the establishment of an Integrated Hydro-Meteorological system for water resources planning. Recognizing the medium to long-term horizon for the full implementation of the integrated water resources management concept and faced with the projected growing water demand within the short-term, the following measures have been/are being pursued on the basis of the low gestation periods involved for their implementation: The provision of desalination water at the Point Lisas Industrial Estate has already been introduced and is expected to free up water to boost the national potable water supply. 54 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The implementation of increased groundwater exploration, targeting both traditional and non-traditional deeper aquifers is already ongoing. The optimal management of existing water supply facilities and reservoir systems. Demand management measures such as metering and leak detection and repairs to reduce demand and the level of unaccounted-for-water. Construction of a new wastewater treatment plant for Port of Spain and its environs, Upgrading and rehabilitation of existing wastewater treatment plants. Takeover of private packaged sewage treatment plants. Implementation of an Environmental Management System and Disaster Preparedness Plan for the public water supply and wastewater sector. Overview of the Policy to Guide Integrated Water Resources Management The Water Resources Management Policy (WRMP) is intended to unify all of the various initiatives and provide a strong direction and vision for the effective management of the nation’s water resources in an integrated and sustainable manner. The goal of the policy is to support the socio-economic development of Trinidad and Tobago through the integrated management of the water resources and the environment (land, air, flora and fauna), satisfying and managing the growing demands of all water users in a sustainable, efficient and effective manner, while maintaining and/or enhancing the quality of the environment and the integrity of eco- systems and minimizing damage and losses to life and property due to water related disasters. 55 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The Policy will establish a framework for integrated water resources management, which takes into consideration in a cohesive and holistic manner the many dimensions of water resources including: Water sources including surface water, ground water, coastal water and other sources Water quantity and quality Allocation of water to various sectors and sub-sectors including agriculture Functions and uses of water in various sectors and sub-sectors Organizations, actors and stakeholders involved in water resources management at central and decentralized levels The concepts of availability, demand management and water conservation Cultural and ethical perceptions of water Social, economic and environmental values of water The life cycle of water management interventions, planning design, execution, operation and maintenance. The major objectives are: 1. To ensure sustainable development i.e. improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems. 2. To protect and support human health. 3. To ensure a supply of water of sufficient quality and quantity to meet the needs of all present and future legitimate users at reasonable cost. 4. To ensure the fair and efficient allocation of water. 56 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 5. To promote conservation and wise use of water resources. 6. To establish a financially self-sufficient integrated water resources management programme. 7. To establish an integrated framework for water resources management, particularly as it relates to planning and environmental management. 8. To maintain and enhance the quality of Trinidad and Tobago’s surface, ground and coastal waters. 9. To restore natural water systems in forest, rivers, wetlands and coastal areas to restore water conservation capacity and maintain healthy ecosystems. 10. To protect water systems from pollution. 11. To prevent and minimize the impacts of floods, droughts and other water related emergencies. 12. To protect and enhance the enabling environment of natural water systems (land, aquifers and natural ecosystems). 13. To integrate the management and development of watersheds and coastal areas. 14. To stimulate future economic development and private sector investment. 15. To increase human resource and institutional capacity for water resources management. 16. To promote joint ownership, partnership and collective responsibility between Government and the people in the management of the nation’s water resources. 57 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 17. To promote timely and reliable data and information to inform the design of hydrologic and hydraulic systems. 18. To stimulate research and development activities in water resources management. 4.1.7 Tourism Tourism has the potential to make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the country and to assist in the structural diversification of the economy. Indeed, in recent years the importance of the sector has been growing, particularly in Tobago where it is the lead sector in terms of income and revenue generation, employment creation and foreign exchange earnings. The aim is to promote the islands as ecotourism centres based on their rich and unique biodiversity, particularly the pristine conditions of their reefs, forests, flora and fauna. The development tourism thrust will also be built around the socio- cultural milieu of the country. The two islands, Trinidad and Tobago, compliment each other. Trinidad has the excitement and activity of Carnival, the flora and fauna, the historical and cultural attractions, while Tobago, one of the Caribbean’s most unspoilt islands, offers the peace, tranquility, beautiful beaches, coral reefs and a Heritage Festival. Tobago is also enriched with history and many of the tourist sites are indicative of the presence of the Spaniards, French and British who occupied the island at some time in the past. Well before 1994, many infrastructural developments had been completed to enhance tourism in Trinidad and Tobago. In Tobago, infrastructural improvements include the establishment of a deep-water harbour and the extension of the Crown 58 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Point Runway. In Trinidad, the establishment of a four-acre Cruise Ship Complex on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, is another example of the infrastructural improvements geared towards tourism. More recently, a new terminal building was commissioned in 2001 at the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad. A number of initiatives have been taken to promote the sustainable development of the tourism sector. Firstly, there has been a rationalization of government agencies responsible for the future of the tourism sector with the creation of the Ministry of Tourism – responsible for formulating a tourism policy and the Tourism and Industrial Development Company (TIDCO) with a mandate to implement such policy. A Tourism Master Plan has been developed which establishes a comprehensive blue print for tourist sector development. The Plan proposes the development of a tourism sector that is sustainable and contributes to the Trinidad and Tobago economy by generating employment and foreign exchange earnings, creating sectoral linkages between the tourism sector and the rest of the economy and promoting Trinidad and Tobago as an international tourism destination. Several niche markets have been identified including business and cultural events, cruise shipping, eco-tourism and sports. The Plan also encourages the development of community tourism, where tourism development projects will be expected to provide economic benefits to the full spectrum of citizens living in the communities or areas where tourism projects are proposed and seek to establish, preserve or enhance the cultural resources of those areas. A form of community tourism is being introduced through the establishment of Renaissance Districts. Renaissance Districts are defined as areas of historic, heritage or cultural value, for which development will be encouraged which seeks to highlight, preserve or enhance their value for the community and visitors alike. Such districts can promote tourism development but perhaps more importantly, they can 59 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report also provide a basis for urban renewal of the City of Port of Spain into an exciting and fascinating City for visitors and nationals alike. At the regional level, private sector interests in the Trinidad and Tobago tourism industry are prominently involved in the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST). CAST was created in 1995 through the initiatives of the Caribbean Hotel Association. CAST is an association of the Caribbean Hotel Association, Green Globe 21 and the International Hotel Environment Initiative and its formation was funded by regional business leaders. The mission of CAST is to enhance the quality of the region’s hotel and tourism operators by offering education and training on sustainable tourism. In pursuing its mission, CAST focuses on the following activities: The implementation of the principles of Agenda 21 in the Caribbean tourism industry. The provision of assistance to hoteliers in the effective management of natural resources. The provision of environmental expertise and service to members. The attainment of international recognition for Caribbean hoteliers. 4.2 CROSS SECTORAL AREAS 4.2.1 Financing and Investment for Sustainable Development Given the relatively vibrant performance of the Trinidad and Tobago economy over the last decade, it would be reasonable to assume that most of the funding required for its sustainable development effort would be internally generated, notwithstanding the fact that over the last five (5) years there has been a significant increase in the inflow of foreign direct investment. However, efforts have been made and continue to be made to put in place dedicated funding mechanisms to support the sustainable development drive. 60 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report In 2001 Government established a Green Fund by Finance Act 2000. The Green Fund is financed from revenue generated from the Green Fund Levy, currently a tax at a rate of 0.1% of the gross sales or receipts of all companies conducting business in Trinidad and Tobago. Resources from the Green Fund are to be utilized to make grants to community groups and organizations primarily engaged in activities related to the remediation, re-forestation and conservation of the environment and provide grants for environmental projects submitted by the Institute of Marine Affairs, the Environmental Management Authority and co-managed with the Ministry with responsibility for the Environment. It is expected that legislation would soon be enacted to, inter alia, widen the scope of eligibility for project funding under this mechanism. 4.2.2 Capacity Building and Co-ordination During the last decade, Trinidad and Tobago has devoted a significant quantum of resources to institution and capacity building for sustainable development. The major institutional achievements have been: The establishment of a Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment, Environmental Management Authority, Environmental Commission and Water Resources Management Unit The strengthening of the Institute of Marine Affairs, the Solid Waste Management Company, the Water and Sewage Authority and the Forestry, Meteorological and Horticultural Divisions of the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment 61 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report During the last several years staff of these institutions have benefited from considerable training both locally and abroad in their respective fields. Such training has taken the form of extended courses, workshops and participation in degree programmes. Moreover, as part of the strategic planning for the Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment a comprehensive training programme involving the Ministry and the agencies operating within its portfolio is being developed for implementation over medium-term. 5. TRADE, INVESTMENT, CAPACITY BUILDING AND COOPERATION AND THE STATUS OF SIDS VULNERABILITY Key Trade Related Concerns Foreign market access Increased competition from cheaper imports Heavy dependence on one extra-regional market – United States Over dependence on the oil and natural gas sector The loss of preferential markets with the proposed establishment of the Free Trade Areas of the Americas in 2005 The negative effects of globalisation/liberalization Summary of Initiatives Related to Trade Practices and Services: The trade policy regime of Trinidad and Tobago is predicated on the concept of building competitiveness and export potential of enterprises. The focus of the trade policy is the development of dynamic export capability and export competitiveness in the following sectors: Non-oil manufacturing Agriculture and agro-processing Services Small business. 62 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Obstacles to the enhancement of Trinidad and Tobago’s export performance include: Inadequate access to information on market opportunities The need to increase product variety, quantity and quality to better serve export markets Inadequate support services for the development and servicing of new markets Transport and utilities infrastructure, which does not adequately meet the needs of existing and potential exporters Dealing with the obstacles identified above will require public sector – private sector collaboration in the following areas: 1. Creation of quality awareness among enterprises to encourage them to produce products, which satisfy both local and international market standards (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000). 2. Acceleration of the process for the introduction of compulsory standards (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000) to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago develops a reputation as a quality producer 3. The conduct of research to assist in product development and/or technology acquisition 4. The provision of assistance to small, medium and large enterprises in accessing and developing export markets Trade, the Environment and Sustainable Development One of the major objectives of trade policy is the expansion of productive capacity to increase exports. It is often the case, that potential export markets are protected by non-tariff barriers based on environmental considerations. There is therefore, the need for local manufacturers to include environmental concerns in their business planning. 63 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report In this regard, it is to be noted that the GORTT is Party to a number of International Conventions/Protocols relating to the conservation and protection of the environment. These include: The Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Phase out of Substances that affect the Ozone Layer, which Trinidad and Tobago acceded to in August 1999. Under this Protocol, the Government is required to implement a system to ensure that imports and exports of ozone depleting substances are controlled. The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. This Convention seeks to control and regulate the international movement of hazardous wastes. Further, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has implemented a Matching Grant Programme to facilitate the certification of manufacturers on the basis of international environmental standards including: ISO 14000 Hazard Analysis Critical Control Programme (HACCP) Key Investment Related Concerns and Needs The issue of performance requirements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a principal concern. A major concern in this regard, is the prohibition of the “trade distorting” effects of investment incentives. This country needs to review its investment policy in accordance with the criteria established under Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and the Agreement on Subsidies and Dumping. It appears that a country’s freedom is being restricted with regard to the instruments that can be used to attract investment and also measures to ensure that the host country benefits from all investments. There is also the need to build and strengthen capacity for the effective handling of trade negotiations. 64 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Mechanisms - Programmes Related to Sustainable Development and Vulnerability Concerns The Hemispheric Co-operation Programme Recognizing the broad differences in the levels of development and size of the countries participating in the FTAA negotiations, the Ministers responsible for Trade, in their Buenos Aires meeting, reaffirmed their commitment to create opportunities for the full participation of the smaller economies and to increase their level of development. The Ministers instructed the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) to formulate, with the support of the Consultative Group of Smaller Economies and the Tripartite Committee, some guidelines/directives on ways of applying the treatment of the differences in the levels of development and size of economies. In meeting this mandate, in the IX Meeting of the TNC, held in Managua, Nicaragua in September 2001, the TNC approved the guidelines/directives. By way of complementary supporting measures to the guidelines, the TNC instructed that the Consultative Group on Small Economies, with the technical support of the Tripartite Committee and based on the contributions of the Negotiations Groups, submit to the TNC a proposal for a Hemispheric Cooperation Programme. The Programme will be developed based on, but not limited to, the following modalities: o Technical and Financial Assistance o Institutional cooperation that complements current and future multilateral bilateral programming o Experience and knowledge transfer related to FTAA topics through workshops and other mechanisms 65 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report The Hemispheric Cooperation Programme (HCP) was approved by Trade Ministers at the TNC Meeting, which was held in November 2002, in Quito, Ecuador. As part of the process to implement the HCP, Roundtable Meetings will be organized which would bring together donors and those countries requesting assistance to strengthen their trade-related capacities. The First Roundtable Meeting was held on October 14-15, 2003 in Washington D.C. Support for the Implementation of WTO Commitments in the Caribbean Community The CARICOM - IDB Project (1999) is an ongoing initiative that provides assistance to CARICOM Member States in implementing their WTO obligations. The project, which identifies critical areas, determines technical assistance requirements and develops national and regional strategies for the same, focuses on obligations in the following WTO Agreements: o Agriculture o Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures o Technical Barriers to Trade (BPT) o Customs Valuation, Pre-Shipment Inspection and Import Licensing o Trade Remedies (Antidumping, Subsidies, Countervailing Measures and Safeguards) o Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) o Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) o Trade in Services A Draft Diagnostic Report on the CARICOM – IDB Project has been completed and has been circulated to Member States. Vulnerability Concerns Affecting Country and Actions/Mechanisms to Address these Concerns o High import dependence 66 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report o Undiversified export structure o Dependence on a selected few foreign markets o Export concentration Trinidad and Tobago’s Trade Policy addresses these vulnerabilities. The objectives include: o Creating a diversified economy o Increased generation of foreign exchange o Diversification of export markets o Provision of a sound macroeconomic policy framework; and o Establishment of efficient institutional mechanism to encourage and facilitate private sector activities, particularly in trade and investment areas, etc. o Expansion of air transportation links Specific Co-operation Initiatives The proposed creation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy constitutes the major co-operation initiative. 6. MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SIDS 6.1 Poverty Eradication In spite of significant economic growth and increases in social capital, poverty remains a social problem in Trinidad and Tobago. Poverty alleviation is one of the important objectives of the country’s economic and social development policies. Accordingly, current national efforts and initiatives aimed at poverty eradication revolve around a wide array of Government remedial and preventive measures as outline hereunder: 67 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Support to Non Governmental Intuitions The Government through some of its Ministries, provides financial support to Non- Governmental Organizations to assist them in meeting recurrent expenditure associated with the provision of social services. The key Ministries involved in this programme are Community Development and Gender Affairs, Sport and Youth Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Health, Education and the Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery). The Non-Government Organizations must meet certain criteria in order to access funding. In terms of the organizations funded by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, assistance is provided to recognized National Sporting Organizations and community-based and Youth Organizations to assist in the promotion and development of their programmes. Funding support is also provided to the large Children’s Institutions such as the St Mary’s and St Dominic’s Children’s Homes and to Religious Organizations under the Ecclesiastical Grants Programme. The latter provides assistance primarily to governing bodies on the basis of specific criteria. The Department of Social Services and Gender Affairs of the Tobago House of Assembly also provides financial support to Non-Governmental Organizations to assist them in meeting recurrent expenditure associated with the provision of Social Services. The Non-Governmental Organizations must meet certain criteria in order to access funding. Funding support is also provided to Children’s Homes and to Religious Organizations under the Ecclesiastical Grant Programme. In the fiscal year 2003, over 1,000 persons benefited from this Programme at a cost of $500,000. In 2004 this programme will expand to a target population of over 2,000 with a planned expenditure of two million dollars. 68 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.2 Chronic Disease Assistance Plan (C-DAP) This programme is administered by the Ministry of Health and seeks to extend the free prescription drugs programme. C-DAP treats the chronic diseases of Diabetes, Hypertension, Glaucoma and some cardiac diseases using a range of about twenty pharmaceuticals that are on the Ministry of Health’s Drug formulary. Persons meeting the criteria are issued prescriptions by participating physicians. Prescriptions are accepted at private pharmacies from medical practitioners in the public and private sectors. The Programme initially targeted persons over 65 years who are in receipt of the old age pension and persons receiving Disability Assistance Grants from the Government. From June 1 st 2003, the Programme was extended to all persons age 60 years and over. The target population is approximately 80,000 citizens. During the fiscal year 2003, 4,739 patients have utilized the service at a cost of thirty million dollars. A total of 5,503 prescriptions are filled at private pharmacies (based on claims received). In 2004 the Programme would be expanded to include Asthma, Arthritis, Prostate Cancer, Psychiatric Diseases and coverage for children with a planned expenditure of $50.0 million. 6.1.3 Financial Assistance to Needy Patients (Medical Aids Committee) This Programme is administered by the Ministry of Health and provides aid for medical diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation to needy persons. The main responsibility of the Committee is to assess cases and submit recommendations to the Minister of Health in accordance with the approved guidelines for the grant of financial assistance to patients. To be eligible, persons must be citizens of this country and be referred by a Specialist Medical Officer or equivalent. In addition, 69 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report the person must be assessed by a Social Worker. These guidelines are currently under review. 6.1.4 Special Programme for Treatment of Adult Cardiac Disease This Programme is administered by the Ministry of Health and offers a reduction in price to adult cardiac patients who cannot afford the current price of treatment at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. The main objective of the Programme is to improve access to cardiac treatment by reducing its cost i.e. the cost of angiograms, angioplasty and open-heart surgery to needy patients. 6.1.5 Hardship Relief Programme The Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment administers this Programme. The Programme provides a rebate on water rates to old age pensioners and recipients of Public Assistance. Customers must be in good financial standing with the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) in order to benefit from the Programme. The main objectives of the Programme are to provide financial relief on water rates for qualified old age pensioners and recipients of Public Assistance and to enhance the real income of beneficiaries of the Programme. In 2003 rebates were given to 93,000 old age pensioners and recipients of public assistance at an estimated expenditure of $1.5 million. The Programme would continue in 2004. 6.1.6 School Crossing Guard Programme The Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development administers this Programme. The Programme trains individuals to perform crossing guard duties at points near to primary schools and provides employment opportunities for individuals on a rotational basis. The major objectives are to provide safe access areas for students attending district schools, and employment for community residents. Presently, the Programme is offered in the East Port of Spain area and targets women between the ages of 18 – 50 years, who are unemployed. 70 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.7 The Duncan Street Outreach Project The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the Executing Agency for this Project. It is an outreach project for homeless persons in Port of Spain and its environs, which facilitates grooming services (baths, haircuts, shaving and provision of a change of clothing) and referrals to assessment centres for further intervention. In 2003, approximately 150 persons benefited from the Project. Sixteen (16) clients agreed to leave the streets and were referred to the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons for admission. In 2004, an expansion of the Project is planned, to include training of formerly homeless persons, to assist with encouraging service users to leave the streets and seek admission at the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons. One hundred and fifty (150) persons are expected to benefit from this project in 2004. 6.1.8 Social Help and Rehabilitative Efforts (S.H.A.R.E.) The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the Executing Agency for this Programme. The SHARE Programme is designed as an emergency measure aimed at alleviating the unfortunate situation of the new poor. Its approach is holistic and encompasses two methods: (1) Satisfying the physical needs for food and shelter; (2) Making the individual/household self-sufficient through empowerment strategies and other developmental and collaborative efforts. Both strategies are delivered through collaboration with NGOs and CBOs. This Programme is national in scope and the target group consists of persons 18-65 years of age representing households in receipt of total household income of $1,000.00 or less. The major achievements for 2003 include an expansion of the Food Distribution 71 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Programme by 87% from 8,000 to 15,000 households; the development and implementation of capacity building training programmes for NGO’s & CBO’s and the facilitation of 67 skills training projects from which approximately 12,164 persons benefited. In addition, SHARE facilitated the acquisition of 29 Micro Enterprise Training Grants and the development of micro industries in areas such as interior furnishing, agricultural short crop propagation, garment construction and catering. During this year period, approximately, 2,216 Empowerment Programmes were developed and implemented by NGOs. The number of beneficiaries was 41,555. The estimated expenditure on the Programme for fiscal year 2003 is $19.6 million. In 2004, the SHARE Programme expects to target 180,000 households through 168 NGOs & CBOs. The complement of staff will be expanded and a Conference on Poverty is planned, to identify workable strategies and help inform policy. The capacity building training sessions with NGOs will be continued, as well as micro and macro entrepreneurship development Programmes. Development and implementation of a National Employment Agency Network is also planned. A number of new initiatives will be introduced, including: a Public Speaking Competition on poverty issues among schools; a Calypso Competition on Poverty Themes; Agriculture Competitions among recipients and schools; Work for Food Projects; and a National Outreach Project. The planned expenditure on the Programme for fiscal year 2004 is $43 .8 million 6.1.9 Disability Assistance Programme The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the Executing Agency for this Programme. 72 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report This Programme involves the provision of financial assistance to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago who have been medically certified as being permanently disabled and cannot earn a livelihood. The amount payable per client is $600 per month. This Programme is national in scope. The target group consists of persons 40 - 65 years old who have been resident in Trinidad and Tobago for at least 20 years prior to date of application for the grant, whose income does not exceed $3,600 per annum and who have been permanently disabled from earning. The Division was able to provide disability Assistance Grant payments on a timely basis for the year 2003. It is estimated that in 2003 some 8,300 persons would benefit under the Programme at a projected cost of $63.4 million. For the year 2004, the Division plans to pursue the amendment of the Public Assistance Act to widen the scope of the Programmes to include legal residents. Additionally, plans are afoot to have the minimum qualifying age for receipt of the Grant to be reduced to 18 years. The planned expenditure on the Programme for fiscal year 2004 is $117.0 million. 6.1.10 Old Age Pension Programme The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) administers this Programme. The Programme involves the provision of financial assistance to senior citizens of Trinidad and Tobago from the low socio-economic strata. This Programme is national in scope and targets senior citizens 65 years and over whose income does not exceed $1,000 per month, and who have been resident in Trinidad and Tobago for at least 20 years prior to their application. In 2003 some 63,000 persons benefited from the Programme at estimated expenditure of $789.7 million. The number of beneficiaries is expected to increase to 65,000 in the year 2004 at an expenditure of $833.0 million. 73 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.11 Urgent Temporary Assistance Programme The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the Executing Agency for this Programme. This Programme involves the provision of a grant to nationals who are in dire need of urgent temporary assistance (e.g. in cases of fire where the victims have lost all their possessions, and, in the event of the death of the bread winner of the family). Such persons are also provided with counseling and guidance to assist them to achieve some measure of self-sufficiency. Two hundred and twenty (225) persons benefited under the Programme in 2003 at an estimated expenditure of $1.2 million Expenditure under the Programme in 2004 is estimated at $5.4 million. 6.1.12 Emergency Assistance for Families The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the Executing Agency for this Programme. This Programme was developed to provide immediate relief to individuals and families who are traumatized and rendered needy as a result of disasters such as fires, floods and landslides. The Programme provides a cash grant facility and a system to readily access basic goods. For 2004, a single grant for the purchase of toiletries and clothing would be provided to applicants. Additionally, the Division hopes to provide a quicker response in dispensing grants for purchasing beds, stoves and other critical items of furniture. Expenditure under the Programme for fiscal year 2004 is estimated at $0.4 million. 74 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.13 Tobago Social Investment Fund (TSIF) Programme The Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs administers this Programme. It was established to bring relief to deprived families and communities by providing or upgrading basic amenities, housing and multi-purpose social and recreational facilities. The overarching objective is to improve the standard of living and socio-economic welfare of citizens. The programme targets low-income families and communities. It provides a holistic and integrated approach to development and co-ordination. It also provides relief to senior citizens for minor repairs/reconstruction of their homes. Assistance is provided in the form of grants for the purchase of material and services, and technical support. Expenditure under the Programme in 2004 is projected at $0.5 million. 6.1.14 Textbook Rental/Loan Programme The Ministry of Education is the Executing Agency for this Programme. Under the Programme, textbooks in four subject areas - Mathematics, Language Arts, Spanish and Science, will be loaned to students in forms 1 and 2 in all public and private secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago. The books are to be returned to the school at the end of the academic year for loan to the next intake of students. Schools will have reserve stock to be used as replacements for books that are lost or damaged beyond repair. In 2003 procedures/systems were put in place to implement the rental/loan programme and invitations to tender issued to publishers for the procurement of the textbooks in order for books to be available by the start of the 2003/2004 academic year. Some 47,000 students are expected to benefit from this Programme in 2003 at an estimated cost of $22.0 million. It is planned to expand the Programme in 2004 to embrace 23,000 students at an estimated cost of $40.0 million. 75 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.15 Provision of Medical and Psychiatric Services at the Centre of Socially Displaced Persons The Office of the Prime Minister (Social Services Delivery Division) is the executing agency for this Programme, which entails the provision of on site medical screening, evaluations, advice and referrals for residents of the Centre for Socially Displaced Persons in targeted communities. Medical examinations are also completed for socially displaced substance abusers who have been referred for drug rehabilitation. The coverage of this Programme extends to Port of Spain and its environs. The target group consists of socially displaced persons resident at the Centre and those referred for substance abuse rehabilitation. In 2003 an improved system for meeting the health care needs of the residents of the Centre for socially displaced persons in Port of Spain was implemented. There are 72 beneficiaries at present. In 2004, plans are to improve and/or increase medical equipment and supplies to support the provision of medical and psychiatric services. 6.1.16 School Nutrition Programme Currently the Programme provides 90,000 lunches and 25,000 breakfasts five times weekly to needy children enrolled in 495 primary schools, 123 pre schools and 102 secondary schools throughout the nation. In 2003, some 25,000 students benefited under the Programme in Trinidad at an estimated cost of $117.0 million. It is planned to expand this component of the Programme by providing 95,000 lunches and 30,000 breakfasts at an estimated cost of $117.0 million. The Programme is also conducted in Tobago by the Tobago House of Assembly. In 2003 the THA introduced the Breakfast Programme into Primary and Secondary schools with 11,000 children benefiting from the Programme at an estimated cost of $14.0 million. In 2004 it is planned to expand the Programme as it relates to secondary schools at an estimated cost of $17.8 million. 76 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.1.17 Save the Youth in Marginalized Communities The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is the Executing Agency for this Programme. This youth development project was initiated in three communities in 1998 and is now being extended to other communities such as Moruga, La Brea, Bon Air and North Arouca. The Programme focuses on construction activities, social education, sporting and recreational programmes and social action. The target group consists of young persons 12-29 years in marginalized communities. In 2003 expenditure under the Programme is estimated at $0.6 million and this is expected to increase to $17 million in 2004 with planned expansion of the Programme. 6.1.18 Guidance and Counseling The Ministry of Education is the Executing Agency for this Programme. The National Guidance Programme is a comprehensive school guidance and counseling Programme that delivers prevention as well as intervention services to all students. The Programme is research-based and outcome driven. It provides students with opportunities to acquire skills to enhance their personal social and academic development. This Programme targets students and their parents in schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago. In 2003, some 39,000 students benefited under the Programme some expansion of the Programme is planned in 2004. 6.1.19 School Book Grant This Programme is administered by the Ministry of Education and provides book grants of $1,000 to each student of Forms 3, 4, and Lower 6. The Programmes’ objectives are to ensure equal access to educational opportunity and to assist parents with the purchase of books and materials for schooling. 77 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report In 2003, some 53,000 students benefited under this Programme at an estimated cost of $55.0 million. In 2004, expenditure under the Programme is expected to continue at the same expenditure. 6.1.20 Provision of Textbooks for Primary Schools This Programme is administered by the Ministry of Education and provides a stock of four (4) textbooks, a Dictionary and an Atlas to primary schools for use by students. The Programmes’ objectives are to ensure equal access to educational opportunity. In the fiscal year 2003, parents of some 156,000 students benefited under this Programme at an estimated cost of $40.0 million. 6.1.22 Free Student Transportation The Ministry of Education is the executing agency for this programme, which provides students with adequate, safe and reliable transportation to and from school. The programme targets secondary school students and some primary schools located in remote areas throughout Trinidad and Tobago. Expenditure of the Programme is estimated at $34.0 million in 2003. 6.2 Education and Reduction of Child Mortality 6.2.1 Education The enhancement of the country’s human capital is considered to be fundamental to efforts to promote sustainable development and improve the quality of life of the population. Education and training is thus seen as the primary vehicle to attain these objectives. Accordingly, an essential focus of the Government’s development strategy is to improve the quality and equity of access to education and training at all levels of the society and to sustain a culture of life long learning. An important initiative in this regard is the provision of free and universal access to basic and secondary education to all citizens. Towards this end, the Government will continue the upgradeing and expansion of educational facilities. This effort is supported by the Fourth Basic Education Project, which includes provisions for Early Childhood 78 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Care and Education and the Secondary Education Modernization Programme funded by the World Bank and IDB respectively. Increased access to secondary school places will also be provided at approved private secondary schools. Special attention will be placed on expanding the availability of sixth form places. Reforms in the education sector are being undertaken in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Priorities for the quantitative perspective include the provision of the following student support services: Expansion of the School Nutrition Programme Continuation of the School Transportation Programme Provision of text books to primary school students Provision of initial book grants to secondary school students and introduction of text book rental programme Development of a National Guidance and Counseling Programme Aural and Visual Testing Scholarship Programme Qualitative improvements in the education system will be pursued by means of: Curricula Reform Upgrading of educational professionals Improvements in security and discipline Continued computerization of schools Modernization of libraries Establishment of a school based management system Institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Education In 2001 Trinidad and Tobago enjoyed an adult literacy rate of 98.4% and a youth literacy rate of 99.8%. Between 1998 and 2000 public expenditure on education was 79 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report some 4.0 of GDP and some 16.7% of total government expenditure. Over this period, 60% of public expenditure on education was directed to pre-primary and primary levels with 32.0% and 8.0% allocated respectively to secondary and tertiary levels. A major challenge in the education sector is to equip students with skills, which will enable them to remain marketable in a highly specialized and volatile labour market. 6.2.2 Reduction of Child Mortality Infant mortality rates in Trinidad and Tobago fell dramatically from 49 per 1,000 live births in 1970 to 17 per 1,000 live births in 2001. The following are the key national efforts and initiatives spearheaded by the Ministry of Health: 1. Effective prenatal care All pregnant women are encouraged to present themselves at the antenatal clinics on discovery of pregnancy. This allows for close monitoring of the state of health as pregnancy progresses: Example of monitoring - Hemoglobin estimation - Sexually transmission disease monitoring and treatment - Mother to child HIV transmission monitoring and treatment - Nutritional and other health promotion activities. 2. Intrapartum - 98% do deliveries occur at a birth unit with the necessary presence of trained staff. 3. Postpartum - Follow up of state of health of mother and child 80 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report - Breastfeeding initiated within 30 minutes as per policy 4. Infant Health - growth monitoring - continued breastfeeding - enteric disease and respiratory disease monitoring 5. Health Promotion to prevent morbidity and mortality due to accidents at home. 6. Adolescent care - availability of information and counseling - STD prevention programme - Rapport programme to prevent HIV 6.3 Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Current national efforts and initiatives related to gender equality and empowerment of women. Legislative Review and Reform, Conventions, Agreements The Gender Affairs Division of the Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs collaborates with relevant Agencies to promote legislative review and reform in support of gender equality and equity. In the recent past, such issues included unwaged work, domestic violence and maternity protection. The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a signatory to the Convention the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. Between 200-2001 several key meetings and consultations were held, and a Report was prepared for the United Nations on the status of fulfillment of the Articles of the Convention. 81 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Other important Agreements which targets the mandate specific action for women’s advancement and empowerment, to which Trinidad and Tobago is a party include the OAS/CIM Belem do Para Convention, Beijing Declaration, the Commonwealth Plan of Action, the CARICOM Plan of Action. Gender Policy A National Gender Policy and Action Plan is currently being formulated. The National Gender Policy would mandate all state and private agencies to promote gender equality in their sphere of operations. The Action Plan will articulate concrete initiatives, with measurable indicators to advance gender equality. Gender Training and Sensitization The Gender Affairs Division provides routine gender training to public and private agencies at all levels to promote an understanding of gender issues and to encourage the mainstreaming of gender. These agencies include the Policy Service, Defense Force, Government Departments, Schools, and Non-Governmental Agencies. Inter-ministerial Committees The Gender Affairs Division of the Ministry of Community Development and Gender Affairs functions with the support of an Inter-ministerial Committee comprised of focal points within Government Agencies to promote gender mainstreaming and to advise the Division on relevant initiatives in support of gender and development. The National Council of Women is a Committee of Non- governmental Agencies, which advises the Division in a similar capacity. Participation of Committees Staff of the Division serves on several Committees to promote the mainstreaming of gender issues in the sustainable development strategies. These include Child Rights, Human Rights, Legal Review and Crime. 82 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 6.4 HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases 6.4.1 HIV/AIDS The rapid increase in the number of cases of infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has become an area of great concern in Trinidad and Tobago. During the period 1983 - 2000, 9,020 HIV/AIDS cases were reported of which 916 cases occurred in 2000. By 2000, 37% of the new cases were females and 7% children. Over 50% of new infections occurred in young people aged 15-24 years, with 70% being in the age group of 15-44 years. The Government has responded to the HIV/AIDS epidemic primarily through the establishment of the National AIDS Programme (NAP), a Division of the Ministry of Health, responsible for AIDS prevention and for the co-ordination of related activities. A National Strategic Initiative has been developed, in which the completion of a situational analysis has been cited as a priority. As part of the health sector reform process, which is currently being undertaken, the HIV/AIDS services will be restructured. The NAP also makes informal interventions such as the establishment of the RAPPORT Youth Information Center, which is aimed at educating youth about AIDS. Various programmes have been launched aimed at youths between the ages of nine to eighteen. The Ministry of Health also assists People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) by providing drugs and financial support for attendance at regular regional meetings organized by the Caribbean Regional Network of PLWHA. Government has also started sourcing drugs at reduced prices, which will reduce monthly cost of treatment. Other specialized programmes administered by the Ministry of Health include the: 83 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Anti-Retroviral Treatment Programme which seeks to offer free anti-retroviral therapy at public facilities for HIV/AIDS patients, including children. Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV Programme, which seeks to reduce the mother to child transmissions of HIV/AIDS through tertiary, counseling and treatment. Focus on Youth, which seeks to create a supportive environment to bring about behavioral change to reduce the risk of HIV infection among youth. The Government has sought to address the issue of HIV/AIDS discrimination by the recent enactment of the Equal Opportunities Act, which provides for the equal treatment of those living with HIV/AIDS with particular reference to employment and insurance. The Government also allotted $10 million under the Capital Programme (2002), for the treatment and care of infected persons, as well as the strengthening and broadening of education and counseling programmes. At present, public awareness of HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago is relatively high, with approximately 85% of the population already being sensitized on issues relating to HIV/AIDS. There are a number of NGOs working in the area of HIV/AIDS, under the umbrella of the Trinidad and Tobago HIV/AIDS Alliance. The Medical Research Foundation, a part of this Alliance, is one of eleven international sites conducting HIV vaccine trials. The Foundation also offers Voluntary Testing, Counseling Services, Prenatal Treatment and some HIV/AIDS management care for PLWHA. Another key member of the Trinidad and Tobago HIV/AIDS Alliance is the Health Economics Unit of the University of the West Indies which has developed a comprehensive Five-year National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan (2003-2007), two principal goals of which are: (1) to reduce the incidence of HIV infections in 84 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Trinidad and Tobago; and (2) to mitigate the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on persons infected and affected in Trinidad and Tobago. This strategic plan has been accepted by the GORTT and now forms part of the country’s sustainable development policy agenda. 6.4.2 Malaria and Other Diseases The main objectives of the Vector Capital programme of the Ministry of Health are: (a) the elimination/control of the Aides Egypt mosquito, the vector of Dengue Fever (b) surveillance and management of Malaria (c) Aedes albopictus surveillance Dengue Fever Dengue Fever has been endemic in Trinidad and Tobago for the past thirty (30) years. The occurrence of the disease over the past five (5) years is displayed in the following Table: YEAR 1999 2000 2001 2002 MAY 2003 Dengue 1,159 2,066 1,926 6,314 398 * Dengue 113 53 73 218 17 Haemorrhagic Fever Suspected Deaths 12 13 19 12 0 *Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever – the complication of Dengue fever, which may result in death. The Ministry of Health at present, conducts a National Vertical Programme through the Insect Vector Control Division employing an integrated vector control strategy. The key elements of this approach are: 85 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 1. Insecticide Application: Area wide spraying Residual spraying Larviciding 2. Source Reduction: Inspection and elimination of breeding sites 3. Intersectoral Collaboration: Governmental Agencies NGOs Dengue Intersectoral Committee of the Ministry of Health 4. Community Participation: Church Groups Schools Youth Groups Community Development Ministry 5. Health Promotion: Health Promotion Council Media Health Education Enforcement of Legislation (Yellow Fever and Litter Act) 6. Aedes aegypti and Dengue Fever, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever Surveillance 7. Clinical Management and Update to medical community 8. Research: 86 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report Biological Control Alternatives Insecticide Resistance 9. West Nile Virus Surveillance Malaria Eradication The essential elements of this Programme are: (1) Mosquito surveillance (2) Insecticide application (3) Early detection and treatment of imported cases (4) Disease surveillance (5) Prevention of local spread of the disease 7. CONCLUSION Trinidad and Tobago has been reasonably successful in implementing the SIDS POA. Some progress has been made in all the areas identified for priority action. However, implementation could be considerably enhanced by taking the following initiatives. Ensuring greater coordination/cooperation among agencies Eliminating the gaps in the institutional legal, regulatory and policy frameworks Mobilizing a wider civil society involvement in the implementation process Ensuring that the sustainable development effort in its entire dimension is adequately funded in a timely and predictable manner. Accordingly, Trinidad and Tobago will need to focus on the following priority areas. 87 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 1. Inadequate ownership of the SIDS/BPOA due to the top-down approach in its development. 2. No meaningful involvement of civil society towards the implementation of the SIDS/BPOA. 3. Indifference and apathy with respect to the implementation of relevant international agreements. 4. Weak institutional support for coordinating SIDS/POA implementation. 5. Inadequate human and financial resources committed to the implementation of the SIDS/BPOA. 6. Inadequate data collection, documentation and dissemination. 7. Incompatibility of the participatory process with the political system. 8. Inadequate capacity at the level of state and civil society to facilitate implementation of international agreements. 9. Inadequate inter and intra sectoral communication. Emanating from the above constraints were some 14 recommendations, which may be referred to in the Appended Report on the National Consultation. The essential thrust of these recommendations focuses on: the integration of BPOA implementation into the national planning process full involvement and participation of civil society in implementation of the BPOA strengthening of institutional arrangements for effective implementation the adequacy of financial, technical and human resources With respect to Millennium Development Goals, Trinidad and Tobago’s current national efforts and initiatives should command a rating of medium to high as evidenced by the existing and annunciated proposed programmes in relation to 88 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report poverty eradication, education and reduction of child mortality, gender equality and empowerment of women and HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. 89 Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report APPENDIX REPORT ON NATIONAL CONSULTATION TO REVIEW THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES AND THE NATIONAL REPORT OF CSEDNET SURVEY OF NGOs/CBOs THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 11 TH 2003– TRINIDAD TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH 2003 - TOBAGO Summary of Working Group Discussions Working Groups discussed and responded to the following questions: - 1. What are the needs and priorities of Trinidad and Tobago in its pursuit of sustainable development, taking into consideration the special vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States? 2. What are the constraints and limitations to the implementation of the Barbados SIDS Programme of Action? 3. What recommendations would you make for the successful implementation of the Barbados SIDS Programme of Action? 4. a) What should be the role of civil society in the sustainable development process? b) By what mechanisms can the role of civil society be enhanced and facilitated in the sustainable development process and in particular the SIDS Programme of Action? The Summary is presented under the following headings: - National Needs and Priorities Constraints and Limitations Recommendations National Needs and Priorities: 1. Environment: - a) Management of waste (sorting/recycling) b) Safe disposal of hazardous waste c) Management of water resources (Supply/ Water Quality) d) Sustainable Land Management including land tenure/land use/ forests/watersheds/sustainable agriculture Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report e) Coastal zone management, particularly with respect to Tobago – conflict between tourism and fishing, management of marine resources (straggling fish stocks) f) Sea-level rise g) Air Pollution h) Biodiversity – management of national parks, sensitive species and sensitive areas. . 2. Energy: - a) Alternative, renewable sources of energy 3. National Institutional/Administrative Capacity: - a) Ownership of Barbados SIDS POA by the government. b) Clarification of roles of state agencies with respect to the implementation of sustainable development initiatives. c) Adequate record-keeping/documentation. d) Appropriate collaboration between state agencies in Trinidad and those in Tobago. e) Clarification of the role of TIDCO versus the role of the Division of Tourism of the Tobago House of Assembly with respect to tourism in Tobago. f) Commitment to implementation of national, regional and international agreements. g) Capacity-building/education of civil servants. h) Incorporation of sustainable development issues in all national development plans. i) Institutionalisation of the participatory process – recognition of participation as a right. j) Needs-based holistic Public Education/National Sensitisation and Awareness Programmes /timely and widespread dissemination of information including Tobago. k) Improved national s particularly with respect to crime. l) Enforcement of existing legislation. m) Facilitation of export of products from Tobago – availability and cost- effective charges re cargo space. n) Reflection of special situation of Tobago in national reports – ensuring input and participation of Tobago. o) Meaningful engagement of youth in the development process. p) People-centred approach to development q) Terms and conditions of Trade Agreements and their impact on national sustainable development. Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 4. Tourism: - a) Sustainable tourism b) Equitable distribution of the economic benefits gained from tourism particularly in Tobago. c) Need to address sex tourism and its impact on the spread of HIV/AIDS in Tobago. 5. Human Resource Development: a) Holistic, people-centred education. b) Population control particularly with respect to the impact on natural resources. c) Adequate, affordable provision of essential services. d) Facilitation of the timely flow of information on sustainable development issues to all levels of the society. e) Capacity building of civil society at all levels to ensure meaningful participation in the development process. f) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Skills Development – particularly in rural communities. g) Gender and Youth Equity in the all programmes pertaining to the SIDS/ POA. h) Increased awareness, support and involvement of the corporate sector. i) Capacity building of regional corporations. j) Improved Health Care System. k) Control of the spread of HIV/AIDS l) Unemployment m) Strategic, effective use of human and financial resources. n) Food Security. o) Strategies to address the rural–urban drift and its consequences - unemployment, overcrowding, strain on resources etc. p) Clean, comprehensive database of civil society organisations. q) Effective networking, collaboration and partnerships within and among sectors. Constraints and Limitations 1. No national ownership of the SIDS/BPOA due to top-down approach in its development. 2. No meaningful involvement of civil society towards the implementation of the SIDS/BPOA. 3. Indifference and apathy with respect to the implementation of international agreements. 4. No administrative nor policy framework to facilitate SIDS/POA implementation. Trinidad and Tobago National Assessment Report 5. Inadequate human and financial resources committed to the implementation of the SIDS/BPOA. 6. Inadequate data collection, documentation and dissemination. 7. The participatory process is incompatible with the political system. 8. Need for improved capacity at the level of state and civil society to facilitate implementation of international agreements. 9. Inadequate communication within and among sectors. Recommendations 1. The development of a SIDS National Action Plan for Trinidad and Tobago. 2. The establishment of a National Coordinating Mechanism to facilitate the implementation of the SIDS/POA. 3. The allocation of adequate financial resources for sustainable development programmes – operationalisation of the Green Fund. 4. The promotion of local and regional environmentally sustainable technologies. 5. The establishment of partnerships between the state and civil society organisations to ensure effective implementation of national action programmes 6. An interactive participatory approach needs to be applied in the development of policy in order to ensure effective implementation. 7. It is essential to conduct education and training programmes to sensitise and inform public servants at all levels about sustainable development issues and relevant international agreements. 8. The SIDS/POA should be integrated into the National Development Plan but monitored and evaluated independently. 9. There is need for capacity building at the level of the village councils or parallel, non-partisan community based organisations, to allow for meaningful involvement of communities in the sustainable development process (including leadership, lobbying and conflict management skills). 10. Participation must be seen a right of the citizen. To this end, there needs to be an institutionalisation of the participatory process. 11. There needs to be a more efficient use of financial and human resources with a greater focus on implementation. 12. A comprehensive National Public Awareness and Education Programme on Sustainable Development needs to be developed and implemented. 13. Civil Society must play a more proactive role in bringing sustainable development issues to the forefront of national debate and attention. 14. Non-government organisations have the capacity for a more efficient use of resources particularly with respect to implementation at the grassroots level and should be considered as partners in the development process.