Closely linked with the National Forest Policy, this policy is aimed at producing a coherent management approach to protected areas and national parks by consolidating them under the auspices of one overarching Act and Authority. Specifically, the policy provides a course of action for programmes concerned with the protection of the country’s natural heritage and the provision of outdoor recreation activities. It incorporates and integrates the intent of Government policy in a number of related areas including environment, conservation, forestry, tourism and recreation as it relates to the adminsitration of national parks, heritage sites and protected areas. The policy identifies the deficiencies in the existing legislation to protect the country’s national resources and provides the basis for legislation necessary to provide a clear mandate to protect and properly use the outstanding natural heritage areas of the country.
The policy proposes the establishment of a System of National Parks and Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago within the context of the following six (6) categories of management:
- Scientific Reserves
- National Parks
- Natural Landmarks
- Nature Conservation Reserves
- Scenic Landscapes
- Recreation Parks
The units within the System are to be established by Presidential proclamation and be the property of the State with management plans, regulations and penalties to be established.
The two major strategies that have been developed in which policy direction is incorporated are the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the Draft Wildlife Strategic Plan.