EMA appoints committee for protected Aripo Savannas
The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has appointed a committee to oversee the protected Aripo Savannas, which is an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA).
In a statement issued Thursday, the agency said EMA Chairman Nadra Nathai-Gyan distributed letters of Appointment to members of the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) for the Aripo Savannas Strict Nature Reserve, Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA).
The EMA said MAC is tasked with the responsibility to provide oversight and technical inputs as it relates to the ESA by fostering, establishing and maintaining linkages with stakeholders, as well as to facilitate training, capacity building and coordinate research activities for wise decision making.
The agency said the Aripo Savannas Strict Nature Reserve is the most sensitive of the ESA, which consist of the largest remaining natural savanna ecosystem, with endemic flora and threatened animal species, such as the Ocelot, Scarlet shouldered Parrotlet, White-tailed Golden throat Hummingbird, Red-bellied Macaw, several species of rare orchids, moriche palms, the sundew, etc.
(Photo: EMA’s Chairman – Nadra Nathai-Gyan (Left-front row) and Managing Director – Hayden Romano (Right- front row) stand with members of the Management Advisory Committee for the Aripo Savannas Strict Nature Reserve, ESA. Photo courtesy the EMA.)
Members of the Management Advisory Committee
Caribbean Natural Resources Institute
Dr. Natalie Boodram, Mr. Aaron Peter
Forestry Division (MALF)
Mr. Ryan Abraham, Mr. Raynaldo Phillips
Commissioner of State Lands (MALF)
Aminata Des Etages, Robson Moonswami
Ministry of Tourism
Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club
Renoir Auguste, Linton Arneaud
The University of the West Indies
Dr. Michael Oatham, Dr. Aidan Farrell
The University of Trinidad and Tobago
Dr. Derrick Balladin, Dr. Samantha Chadee
Trinidad and Tobago Orchid Society
Mr. Gopaul Chackan
Sangre Grande Regional Corporation
Dr. Ravi Maharaj, Nesha Serrette
Supporters of Natural Diversity in Ecological Wilderness (Su.N.D.E.W)
Donna Brown, Richard Smith
Lower Cumuto Village Council
Reneasha Stewart, Bernice Copeland
About the Aripo Savannas
The Aripo Savannas Scientific Reserve (ASSR), is the largest remaining natural savanna ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago.
Located in east central Trinidad and encompasses approximately 1800 hectares. The ASSR is the habitat for numerous endemic, rare and threatened species.
Of the 457 species identified so far, 38 are restricted to the Aripo Savannas, between 16 and 20 are considered rare or threatened, and two are endemic floral species.
Despite its name, the Aripo Savannas Scientific Reserve comprises not only savanna ecosystems, but also palm marsh and marsh forest.
In 2007 the Reserve was declared an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) under the Environmentally Sensitive Areas Rules, 2001 and is now commonly referred to as the Aripo Savannas Environmentally Sensitive Area (ASESA).
The ASESA is managed by the Forestry Division and the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) - the Forestry Division has administrative responsibility for the area while the EMA plays a coordinating role in relation to all of Trinidad and Tobago's ESAs and is legally mandated to oversee the development of management plans for the Aripo Savannas as an ESA.
The University of the West Indies, the Trinidad and Tobago Orchid Society and the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists Club have been instrumental in conducting research in the ASSR to aid in the management of its unique ecosystems and resources.