Public Sector

The Ministry of Planning and Development is the National Focal Point (NFP) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with primary responsibility for the conservation of the biological resources of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry implements its biodiversity-related policies and programmes through the following agencies and divisions:

  1. Environmental Policy and Planning Division
  2. Green Fund Executing Unit
  3. Environmental Management Authority (EMA)
  4. Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA)

Other institutions that support the Ministry in the conservation and sustainable use of national biodiversity are:

  1. Forestry Division
  2. Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA)
  3. Emperor Valley Zoo
  4. Fisheries Division
  5. Horticultural Division
  6. THA: Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
  7. THA: Marine Resources and Fisheries Department

  • Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD)

The EPPD is a division within the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources that helps to facilitate sound environmental management through developing, monitoring and coordinating the implementation of national policies, programmes and obligations under the multilateral environmental agreements. The Division also assists in ensuring that there is a balance between Government’s efforts to increase the pace of socio-economic development and the need to ensure conservation of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural resources. The EPPD has one sub-unit, the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit (MEAU), which focuses mainly on issues relating to the implementation of the MEAs and other international obligations of Trinidad and Tobago. Click here to visit the EPPD's blogsite.

  • Green Fund Executing Unit

The Green Fund Executing Unit is the enabling unit through which grants are made to community groups and organisations primarily engaged in activities related the remediation, reforestation and conservation of the environment.

  • Environmental Management Authority (EMA)

The EMA is responsible for the enforcement of the Environmental Management Act and its subsidiary legislation, which includes the Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Species Rules. The Environmental Management Authority to date has designated three areas in Trinidad and Tobago as environmentally sensitive, which are the Matura National Park, the Nariva Swamp Managed Resource Protected Area and the Aripo Savannas Strict Nature Reserve. Click here to visit the EMA's website.

  • Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA)

The IMA is a multi-disciplinary organisation which is mandated to collect, analyse and disseminate data relating to the economic, technological, environmental, social and legal developments in marine affairs generally and to formulate and implement specific programmes/ projects to achieve the overall objectives both locally and regionally. Click here to visit the IMA's website.

Other Institutions

  • Forestry Division

The Forestry Division has responsibility for managing the Forest Reserves, Prohibited Areas and Game Sanctuaries as well as the exploitation of timber and game resources under the Forests Act and the Conservation of Wildlife Act. The Division also functions as the country’s technical focal point for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). As technical focal point the Division is responsible for ensuring that the country meets its international mandate under these two conventions.

Management and administration of the Forest Reserves are carried out within six (6) Forest Conservancies which are the regional geographical units established for the purpose of forest administration and watershed management on state lands. The Division also has two specialized sections that are responsible for wildlife and national parks management.

  • Wildlife Section (under Forestry Division)

The Wildlife Section was developed in 1981 from a sub-unit of the Forestry Division in the 1950s consisting of Game Wardens, supervised by a Forester. Since its inception the role and function of the Section have expanded to include:

  1. enforcement of the Conservation of Wildlife Act
  2. management activities in game sanctuaries
  3. research
  4. management of game and controlling over abundant wildlife
  5. invasive species management
  6. wildlife farming
  7. managing the exploitation of species collected and kept for research, breeding, education and as pets in Trinidad
  8. evaluating the impact of activities on the habitats and ecosystems
  9. evaluating the socioeconomic contribution of wildlife to the national community
  10. management of wildlife trade
  11. implementation of CITES and Ramsar Conventions

The Wildlife Section has also pioneered work in community co-management of wildlife resources in Trinidad and Tobago through its marine turtle protection and Honorary Game Warden programmes.

  • National Parks Section (under Forestry Division)

The National Parks Section has responsibility for protecting in perpetuity those areas of the country which represent significant examples of the country’s natural heritage in such judicious ways and means which will leave it unimpaired for the benefit of future generations. A primary focus of the Section has been environmental education and sensitization in schools and communities particularly in the north east region, and the development of interpretive centers in the areas under its direct management. These areas include:

  1. San Fernando Hill National Landmark
  2. Caura Recreation Site
  3. Quinam Recreation Site
  4. Cleaver Woods Recreation Park
  5. Aripo Savannas Scientific Reserve

It is to be noted that the only area recognized legally is the Aripo Savannas, which is a Prohibited Area. The Forests Act does not provide for the designation of areas of the country as national parks or recreation areas.

  • Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA)

The Chaguaramas Development Authority is responsible for the management development of the North-West Peninsula of Trinidad. Click here to visit CDA's website.

  • Emperor Valley Zoo

The mission of this institution states that it is committed to excellence in conservation and the promotion of positive community attitudes toward wildlife and the environment. The Emperor Valley Zoo provides and manages a zoological park and allied facilities for education, research, captive breeding and recreation. The Emperor Valley Zoo has approximately 221 species of animals. Click here to visit the Emperor Valley Zoo's website.

  • Fisheries Division (under the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs)

This is the central agency responsible for national fisheries development policy and planning, via Ministerial mandates and legislative authority under the Fisheries Act. The Division carries out the following functions to fulfill its mandate:

  1. Providing extension and support services
  2. conserving, stock assessing and managing living marine resources
  3. administering fisheries regulations
  4. negotiating bilateral and international fisheries agreements
  5. advising the Minister and giving technical advice regarding issues related to marine fisheries
  6. administering aquaculture, inland fisheries and ornamental fish farming programmes

Click here to visit the Fisheries Division.

  • Horticultural Division (under the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs)

This Division seeks to facilitate, support and ensure the sustainable utilization of botanic landscapes and plant biodiversity for the development of agriculture, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism. The Division aims at ensuring that ex-situ conservation and survival of our indigenous plant species and more so, the rare, threatened, endangered or endemic wild species. The activities of the Division can be classified under the broad categories of:

  1. Conservation and Introduction Programmes
  2. Public awareness, Education and Training Activities
  3. Landscape Management Programmes and Plant Propagation
  4. Production and Product Evaluation

Click here to visit the Horticultural Division.

  • Tobago House of Assembly: Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is primarily responsible for environmental management, watershed management and forest industries, parks and protected areas and wildlife management. Click here to visit THA's website.

  • Tobago House of Assembly: Marine Resources and Fisheries Department

This Department is responsible for the sustainable management of Tobago’s marine resources from the coastline to a distance of 6 nautical miles off shore. This division is subdivided into the Fisheries and Aquaculture Unit and the Marine Area Unit. Click here to visit THA's website.

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