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Monday 3 August, 2020

Green Fund partners with Tobago NGO for turtle monitoring project

File photo.

File photo.

A Tobago-based conservation group has received funding from government's Green Fund to assist with a turtle monitoring project.

The Ministry of Planning and Development said it's Green Fund Unit has partnered with the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville, Tobago (ERIC), on a project titled 'Linking Tobago Reef Health to Livelihoods: Underwater Turtle Monitoring, Related Eco-Tourism Development, Capacity Building, Knowledge Sharing and Outreach'.

The Ministry said the initiative intends to 'achieve a healthy marine turtle population in Tobago empowering the island to attract eco-tourism activities that financially support ongoing underwater (UW) sea turtle monitoring to improve community livelihoods and inform natural resource co-management decisions'

The project's objectives include:- 

  • Provision of continuity of intelligible marine turtle data to the existing Turtle Village Trust (TVT) UW turtle survey database for meaningful decision making by key stakeholders. 
  • Establishment of  science and eco-tourism products that are able to financially support UW turtle monitoring and community-based livelihoods beyond project duration. 
  • To build the capacity of local stakeholders to improve their livelihoods through conservation activities. 
  • Share UW turtle monitoring knowledge and conservation issues with local and international stakeholders.

The Ministry said if the initiative is successful, there is expected to be an immediate increase and anticipated ongoing availability of an ever growing cache sea turtle population data.

'This opportunity can empower Tobago’s natural resource co-managers, to make an informed decision and policy design for Sea Turtle conservation on the island.'

ERIC estimated that turtle tourism already contributes directly and indirectly $500,000 annually to the tourism market in Tobago.

The Ministry said this initiative, which includes a strong outreach, marketing and social media component, is expected to further increase this contribution.

The Green Fund Unit of the Ministry of Planning and Development, was established to provide financial assistance to eligible community groups and organizations for activities related to: reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment.

The Fund is capitalized by a Green Fund Levy of 0.3 percent on the gross sales or receipts of companies operating in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry said to date, the Green Fund Unit has contributed approximately $28 million to support environmental projects within Trinidad and Tobago.

For further information on how you can access financial assistance for your next environmental project, contact the Green Fund Unit at (868) 225 – 3313.

Learn more about Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville Tobago by visiting their website at https://www.eric-tobago.org/index.html and check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ERICharlotteville/

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