Thursday, 22 September 2016

Environmental Pride is National Pride

The International Coastal Clean-up (ICC), held annually on the third Saturday in September, is the world’s largest one-day volunteer effort to clean the marine environment. This year marks Trinidad and Tobago’s fourteenth year of involvement in the ICC. The Ministry of Planning and Development which has responsibility for the Environment was a major sponsor and an active participant in the day’s events. One-hundred and eighty volunteers boarded the C / Prowler at Pier 1 Chaguaramas, among whom the volunteers were the Minister of Planning and Development Mrs Camille Robinson-Regis, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development Mrs. Joanne Deoraj, Planning and Development staff members including representatives from the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD), Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA), and Environmental Management Authority (EMA), volunteers from the Port Authority Sports Club, Hakwai Clan, Trinidad Carnival Diaries, Earth Strong Trinidad and Tobago and members of the public were also aboard the vessel bound for the isle of Chacachacare.

After approximately two hours volunteers amassed over 1,700 pounds of trash but were left feeling disappointed as the island looked much the same as when they arrived. The quantity of garbage discarded throughout the island was a jarring reminder of the need to care for the environment and protect our oceans. Single use items such as Styrofoam cups, plates, containers and plastic bottles were among the most common litter found. Ocean trash is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of people, wildlife and local economies. It has the potential to kill marine animals, injure swimmers, damage property such as boat propellers and poison our waters and seafood. 

Once washed ashore trash becomes an eyesore and can harbor rodents, as was discovered on Chacachacare. These waterborne materials can also enable the transport of invasive (alien) species over long distances, harm marine wildlife through entanglement or ingestion, and release toxins when they begin to disintegrate, which can contaminate the food chain. Reducing the amount of waste entering out waterways is a commitment that we must all make if we are to preserve our environment.
Reducing the amount of waste entering the environment is one of the Government's major environmental commitments. The Government is presently pursuing initiatives for the environmentally sound management of waste in Trinidad and Tobago. The iCARE project is the EMA’s National Recyclable Solid Waste Collection Project which aims to instill an attitude of conservation and recycling through an educational recycling campaign.

The Ministry of Planning and Development once more thanks all participants for the time and effort that they gave towards bringing awareness to and fighting against this national issue, and we encourage everyone to do their part in their sphere of influence as we work to move Trinidad and Tobago from a cleaned society to a clean society. Join the movement. Environmental Pride is National Pride.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

CARIRI and Engineering Institute sign MOU

l-r: Chief Executive Officer of CARIRI, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah and Manager of the Engineering Institute of the University of the West Indies, Professor Clement Imbert
On Wednesday 3rd August, 2016, CARIRI and the Engineering Institute of The University of the West Indies signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see greater collaboration between the two institutions.  The general intent of both parties is to cooperate in the areas of Research, Development and Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Development and Commercialisation. 

The primary objective of this MOU will be a focus on design, manufacture, calibration and marketing of electronic/precision engineered products/instruments and the establishment of joint training and entrepreneurship development initiatives under this partnership. 

Signing the MOU on behalf of the Engineering Institute was the Manager, Professor Clement Imbert and Chief Executive Officer Mr Liaquat Ali Shah represented CARIRI.  Both men accepted the new challenges that lay before both organizations but were looking forward to the collaborative efforts that will see real benefit to Trinidad and Tobago and the region. 

Both CARIRI and the Engineering Institute have highly trained staff and the latest technological instruments which will see more accurate inventions and ideas coming to the forefront as the partnership takes effect.

CARIRI has established an Idea Advisory Service (IAS) over the last year and this is a free service offered to the general public and it allows people to come in with an idea and have it put through a series of tests to determine if it is commercially viable.  The IAS has been gaining traction over the last few months and this new MOU with the Engineering Institute fits in with CARIRI’s overall thrust of highlighting creativity being implemented (innovation) in the diversification of the economy. 

For over 40 years, CARIRI’s multimillion dollar, modern laboratories with - state-of-the-art equipment - together with our highly trained specialist professionals, technologists, technicians, consultants and researchers have been helping Caribbean industries, businesses and small entrepreneurs grow, while keeping the environment safe. CARIRI is not only about general research rather it is about applied research and with the signing of this new MOU, the possibilities for application are endless.  

Signing of the MOU

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP) participates in Discovery Roundtables

The International Development Bank (IDB) in its continued effort to foster the Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) Sector and, thus, contribute to the consolidation of a more diversified economy, assisted in the organizing of discovery roundtables. The conversation was accommodated at the Courtyard Marriott on Tuesday 16th August and Wednesday 17th August 2016.

Contributing were the senior representatives of noted invitees including:
•       The Ansa McAL Group,
•       The Massy Group,
•       Fujitsu,
•       Teleios Systems,
•       Medullan,
•       CTTL,
•       Liberty/Cable & Wireless,
•       The Energy Chamber,
•       TTCSI,
•       TTMA,
•       AMCHAM,
•       E-Business Roundtable,
•       TTIFC,
•       NTA,
•       CARIRI,
•       UTT, UWI, NESC and SBCS

There is great potential for Trinidad and Tobago to develop the ITeS industry:
  •  We are a native English speaking population with a high level of educational attainment
  •  We are of similar time zone to the US and
  •  We have good ICT infrastructure when compared to the regional standards
However, Trinidad & Tobago remains a relatively small player in the ITeS Sector. Something that, according to a recent survey among companies in the sector, is partly due to the lack of sufficiently qualified human resources. To overcome this barrier, the IDB is supporting GoRTT with a series of initiatives and interventions to provide sector-specific training aligned with the demands of the ITeS economy and under the aegis of the Global Services Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Planning and Development.  The “Skills for Global Services” intervention is expected to assist and support the identification and allocation of the necessary resources and generate the incentives for an ITeS-centric Skills Development Strategy.
Through this intervention, it is expected that Trinidad & Tobago can:

• Increase the availability of human capital to support the growth and international competitiveness of firms in the ITeS sector
• Equip individuals with world-class certified ITeS-related skills thereby improving the competitiveness of the workforce
• Secure a participatory and transparent process of resource allocation for ITeS skills development
• Foster closer relationships between the public and private business sector for ITeS skills development.

Click to view photos of Day 1 and Day 2  of the discovery roundatables.

Friday, 9 September 2016

We are a proud partner in the International Coastal Cleanup 2016

On Saturday September 17th, 2016 the Ministry of Planning and Development will be leading a team of 180 volunteers to the island of Chacachacare as we partner with groups all across Trinidad and Tobago and the world in the international effort to cleanup our oceans and waterways.
Marine litter while unsightly has the potential to cause serious injury or death to marine life. Both the ocean's flora and fauna are at serious risk due to entanglement, ingestion, smothering of the seabed as well as the accumulation of toxic substances into the water. Likewise, marine litter poses a danger to humans, land creatures, property and machinery, through a number of means including but not limited to; contaminated foods, beaches, harbours, damage to fishing boats, gears, oil spill cleanup equipment, oil spill volunteers and rescue workers.
A list of cleanup sites and contact information
While September 17th is dedicated to the international coastal cleanup each year, we as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago must make every effort to end littering whether it be on land or at sea. Litter disposed on land easily makes its way into drains, streams, rivers and eventually the sea and endanger all living things on this planet.
The Ministry of Planning and Development advocates that Environmental Pride is National Pride and we ask each and every citizen to share this message. Please join us and the other organizations on Saturday September 17th in our national effort to cleanup T&T's coasts and waterways by contacting site captains in the image below or by cleaning up litter within your neighbourhoods, recreation centres, church, school etc. However you decide to join us in this effort please share your photos with us via our Facebook page  or Instagram page with the hashtag #EnvironmentalPrideisNationalPride 

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Stay to Get Away Cruises

Tour Dates & Booking Information 

1) Western Isles Boat Tours – short sight-seeing trips around the islands off the western peninsula

Dates: Wednesdays 3rd, 10th and 24th; Fridays 5th, 12th and 26th August 2016 
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (departing from the Water Taxi Terminal – North)
Cost: TT$75.00 per person
Tickets Available at: the National Trust Office, Water Taxi Terminal (North and South)

2) Nelson Island Heritage Site Tour
Date: Saturday 20th August 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Cost: TT$200.00 (adults) TT$75.00 (children)
Tickets Available at: the National Trust Office, Water Taxi Terminal (North and South)

Contact the National Trust for more information at
68-70 Sackville Street, Port of Spain 
Phone: 1(868) 277-6105 or 225-4750

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Passionate about flavour?

CARIRI's Biotechnology Unit invites you to attend their fourth workshop entitled, " Techniques for making signature sauces into successful businesses" on Friday 22nd July 2016 at CARIRI's Head Office located at U.W.I. Campus, St. Augustine at a cost of $500.00 inclusive of lunch and beverages throughout the day.
Sauces and seasonings are at the heart of great cuisine. Participants will spend one day understanding both the practical and theoretical aspects of mastering fundamental sauces while introducing fundamentals of Food safety through case studies . Topics covered include:
  • Basic Food Microbiology
  • Cleaning & Sanitation techniques
  • Intense case studies keeping in theme with sauces
  • Processing of Pepper Sauce, Barbecue Sauce and Green Seasoning

Participants will also leave equipped with the right tools and strategies to start or propel their 
business forward. The session features expert speakers from the Intellectual Property Office as well as CARIRI's Business Hatchery who will be providing information on:
  • Fundamentals of business planning
  • Challenges for Startups
  • Making your brand work for you
By the end of the session participants will have the confidence to add a new dimension to their delicious sauces that can take not only their meals but their business dreams to the next level. Any questions or queries please feel free to contact Ms. Jessica Ramoutar at 299-0210 ext. 5687/ 310-4529 or

Tuesday, 12 July 2016


The landscape of Trinidad and Tobago's IT enabled services is about to reach new heights with the advent of the Global Services Promotions Programme championed by the Ministry of Planning and Development. "Diversification" is no longer a buzz word but a reality; the objective of the program is to promote exports and foreign direct investment in the IT enabled services industry in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The Global Services Promotion Programme and the Ministry of Planning and Development exhibited at the Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) from Thursday July 7th to Saturday July 9th, 2016. We took the opportunity to promote the IDB funded project 'Global Services Internationalisation Hub' (GSI Hub),  as well as collect a database of businesses that can potentially service the hub and members of the public who may benefit from the hub. 
The GSI Hub is located  at 25 Ramsaran Street , Chaguanas.

How can your business supply goods and services to the hub?

Contact Ms. Melissa Ramkumarsingh, Procurement Specialist. 

Areas of need include but are not limited to;

1) Goods: IT Equipment, Office Supplies, Sinage, Supply and maintenance of a Generator etc.
2) Works: Construction and Outfitting of Hub
3) Non-Consulting Services: Insurance, Security Services, Janitorial Services, Advertising Services, Catering Services, Website Hosting and Design etc. 
4)Consulting Services: Market research, Branding and Advertising Services, Curriculum Development, Research Services (IT Sector and Diaspora) 
5) Individual Consultants: Child Care Facilitator, Office Manager, Data Analyst etc. 

For students the hub offers everything you need for success

Centre for ITeS training and development, Transition-centre from tertiary to workforce, Employment Opportunities, Modern Work-space, Mentors and Coaches, Consulting and Support, Networking opportunities.

Email: for more information on how you can be part of the GSI Hub.

Animation and Visual Effects Company, Second Floor Studios, displayed a showreel of their animations at our TIC 2016 booth

Visiting persons were able to enter their contact information and areas of interest into our data capture stations

Potential clients entering contact information into our data capture stations

Ms. Ramkumarsingh, Procurement Specialist and Ms, Ramlal, Financial Analyst; Global Services Procurement Programme speaks to an interested buyer at our booth

Game producers, Coded Arts, demonstrates their video game Char Sue Great Adventure, developed right here in Trinidad and Tobago

Friday, 1 July 2016

Commemorating the Public Service

The Ministry of Planning and Development took the opportunity at the Public Service Open House week to show the public why we are “Architects of the future”. Hosted by the Ministry of Public Administration, in observance of Public Service on June 23, 2016, the theme focused on Innovating for Excellence in Service Delivery and our Ministry accepted the challenge.

 Present at our booth were staff members from the Environmental Policy and Planning Division, Human Resources Department, Town and Country Planning Division, Central Statistical Office, The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago and the Communications Department who advanced enforcement of our reputation as “Architects of the future”. 

On entering the booth our participants were met with activities, chances to learn about the Ministry and win great prizes. The list of undertakings included; live statistics on the spot courtesy the CSO, career advice and all things Human Resource, unfettered access to ask any and all town and country planning questions, a pro-environment selfie booth from the EPPD, and extraordinary details about our heritage from the National Trust, thus giving the public a holistic view of our Ministry and how we are the architects of the future.  

We also took this opportunity to launch a host of new activities all of which the public thoroughly enjoyed. Hung upon the wall was a blank canvas in which persons were asked to paint something that represented their ideal Trinidad and Tobago. Persons of every age, creed, race and status did so eagerly and with a love for our country.  With our in house DJ Ewan Headley our booth was quite the attraction and so were the games. The public took turns playing ‘Planning Pictionary’, ‘Planning Jeopardy’, Phrase Party, and Know your Country, all of these games were customized to educate and inform players about the Ministry of Planning and Development and our country.

Mr. Darryl Smith Honourable Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs
 paints on the canvas alongside members of the public
Participants in 'Planning Jeopardy' showcase their winnings

'Planning Jeopardy' participants ponder over the answer to a question

These participants surely know their country and won great prizes to prove it
One Love T&T

Monday, 27 June 2016

Our Ideal T&T: What does it look like to you?

One of the many attractions at the Ministry of Planning and Development’s booth for Public Service week was a blank canvas. On this canvas we asked you the public to express what “Our Ideal T & T” means to you and this is what you said. We will be creating a digital banner for our Social Media accounts and are asking you to add to this canvas, comment below what “Our Ideal T & T” means to you to have your ideal T&T represented. 
Visit us on Facebook to tag yourself and share this photo with friends so that their ideal T&T can be represented also.
Public Service week was held from Tuesday June 21st  - Friday June 24th, 2016 at The National Library of Trinidad & Tobago (NALIS) and hosted by the Ministry of Public Administration and Communications.

Reclaiming Rebellion: A lecture by Earl Lovelace

Friday, 20 May 2016

PCBs – A TOXIC THREAT! Safeguarding Human Health and the Environment

Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs, are a group of man-made, organic chemicals that are highly unreactive and largely resistant to breakdown causing them to persist in the environment. Due to this chemical stability they have a range of applications including as: coolants and insulating fluids in electrical equipment such as transformers, capacitors and fluorescent light ballasts, flame-retardants, plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products, as well as in hydraulic equipment, lubricants, carbonless copy paper, adhesives and dyes.

PCB exposure to humans may occur through the consumption of contaminated fish, meat, dairy products or water, absorption through the skin or inhalation of noxious fumes particularly from waste disposal facilities. Electrical appliances and devices older than thirty (30) years may emit PCBs as vapours when they become heated, thereby acting as another potential source of exposure. Additionally, so too are fires, spills and repair or maintenance of PCB containing equipment. The health effects on humans and animals from exposure vary from incidences of skin conditions such as chloracne and rashes, neurological issues, reduced fertility and other reproductive disorders, to more severe problems such as increased risk of cancers of the digestive system, liver, and skin.

As a result of their detrimental characteristics, PCBs have been classified as a Persistent Organic Pollutant or ‘POP’ under the Stockholm Convention, a global treaty adopted in 2001 with the primary objective of restricting and ultimately eliminating the production, use, trade, release and storage of POPs. Trinidad and Tobago became a party to the Stockholm Convention in 2002.

The safe management of PCBs is therefore imperative to reduce its effects on humans and the environment, and to fulfil the obligations under the Stockholm Convention. This can be achieved by:
  • Monitoring equipment for leakages of PCBs. Laboratory analysis can confirm the presence of PCBs.
  • Always using personal protective equipment (PPE) including chemically impervious disposable coveralls, gloves and disposable shoe covers, respirators equipped with organic vapour filters, rubber boots, and safety glasses, as a minimum when handling PCBs to avoid contact with the skin.
  • Following the control measures specific to the type of PCB material being handled.
  • Ensuring the handling of all PCB wastes, and contaminated PPE is undertaken by licenced professionals. Solid and liquid PCB wastes should be placed in sturdy plastic bags and containers respectively, prior to storage in labelled receptacles of high structural integrity.
  •  Disposing of all PCB wastes only at certified disposal facilities. Avoid releasing PCB wastes into the environment (i.e. air, soil or water).
  • Testing PCB storage sites for potential contamination and having certified personnel remediate them accordingly.
       PCBs are harmful chemicals that require special care during handling and disposal. As such, their environmentally sound management is critical for safeguarding human health, protecting the environment and reducing, or ultimately eliminating the threats they pose.

Written by the Ministry of Planning and Development 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Interested in Renewable Energy?

Join us for an Information Expo and Tour of Renewable Energy Initiatives of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) on June 2nd and 3rd between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm at the UTT Point Lisas Campus, Couva. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Let's do our part to protect the earth, join the green movement

With the assistance of the Environmental Policy Planning Division (EPPD), we have launched a Green Office Initiative throughout the Ministry of Planning and Development. This initiative seeks to make staff more environmentally conscious and encourage them to adopt simple habits that can reduce the harmful effects of our activities on the earth. Conservation of electricity, water as well as recycling are high on our list of priorities. Recycling stations have been set up on many of our floors and to share this great message with you we have created a short video on the right way to recycle plastic, click play above to view.

Let us know how you are doing your part to protect the environment in the comments section below.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Efforts to reduce Trinidad and Tobago's Carbon Footprint

Centre DPS Beverly Khan of the Ministry of Planning and Development hands over the Refrigerant Recovery Units to (Left) Sookdeo Bachan of RRRA (to her right) Vernon Ramjattan of SORAC and Kenneth Boodoo of ARIA
Reducing Trinidad & Tobago’s Carbon footprint was at the centre of a handover ceremony on Wednesday May 11th, 2016. Refrigerant Recovery Equipment was given to three local institutions. The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development officiated the handing over ceremony which took place at Tower C at the International Waterfront Complex.
Trinidad and Tobago has already experienced subtle changes in our climate as evidenced by a hotter and longer than usual dry season, which has in turn affected local water availability and agricultural production. Within recent years, special measures have been taken to tackle climate change which have included the signing of multi-lateral agreements and forest and water conservation efforts.
These efforts were taken a bit further when three (3) portable refrigerant recovery units and six (6) recovery cylinders were handed over on Wednesday by the Deputy Permanent Secretary Mrs. Beverly Khan on behalf of the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD). The School of Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (SORAC), Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Association (ARIA) as well as The Refrigerant Recovery and Recycling Association (RRRA) were the three institutions chosen for the exercise.
The refrigerant recovery units and recovery cylinders will be used to trap harmful refrigerant gases from entering our atmosphere and safely replace them into their respective units when repairing refrigeration units.
These three institutions were strategically chosen because of their geographic location in the north and south of Trinidad and Tobago. The institutions will loan the refrigerant equipment and train Technicians throughout the country. 
Managing Director Vernon Ramjattan of SORAC expressed his thanks regarding the initiative and he stated, “the equipment allows us to recover and reuse refrigerant gasses and will save the environment.”

Friday, 6 May 2016

Ministry of Planning meets with Chilean Ambassador

Climate Change, South-South Technical Cooperation and Sustainable Development Opportunities High on Agenda at meeting with Chilean Ambassador  

Photo 1: L-R-Chilean Ambassador Fernando Schmidt Ariztía; Chief of the Horizontal South-South Cooperation Division Mr. Eugenio Pössel; Mr. Terry Mohomed, Assistant Director at the Technical Cooperation Unit and Permanent Secretary Mrs. Joanne Deoraj of the  Ministry of Planning and Development.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, May 05, 2016
 – Improving south-south cooperation in Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM was at the center of a meeting with the Chilean Ambassador Fernando Schmidt Ariztía and Chief of the Horizontal South-South Cooperation Division Mr. Eugenio Pössel. This meeting was hosted by Permanent Secretary Mrs. Joanne Deoraj on behalf of the Ministry of Planning and Development at their Port-Of-Spain Head Office. Also present were Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh, Head of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements Unit (MEAU) and Mr. Terry Mohomed, Assistant Director at the Technical Cooperation Unit both of the Ministry of Planning and Development.

The meeting was part of a two-part platform for dialogue aimed at fostering deeper south-south technical cooperation between the two countries and also to generate ideas for future cooperative opportunities for all in the Caribbean. Mr. Eugenio Pössel spoke on taking a sub-regional approach to five (5) key areas of focus; Food Security, Natural Disaster Management, Governance and Corporate Practices, Climate Change and the Triangularization of these and other similar Projects. The consultation concentrated on a discussion between the Ministry and the Chilean Team on south-south technical cooperation and solutions to achieving their respective mandates regarding sustainable development and achievement of their respective sustainable development goals.

Photo 2: L-R-Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh, Head MEAU; Chief of the Horizontal South-South Cooperation Division Mr. Eugenio Pössel; Ambassador Fernando Schmidt Ariztía ; Permanent Secretary Mrs. Joanne Deoraj  and , Mr. Terry Mohomed of the Technical Cooperation Unit.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Appointment of the Advisory Town Planning Panel (ATPP)

Center Mrs Camille Robinson-Regis Honourable Minister of Planning and Development distributes instruments of appointment to Chairman Ms Lynn Hiliaire, from left Mrs Joanne Deoraj Permanent Secretary and ATPP Board Members Mr Jamel Reid and from right Ms Gitanjalie Gopeesingh and Ms Nathalie Atkinson .Excluded from the photo was Michael Jerome Keens-Dumas who joined the ceremony via Skype.
Congratulations to the newly selected Advisory Town Planning Panel, who received their instruments of appointment on April 20th, 2016. The board, in accordance with the Town and Country Planning Act Chapter 35:01 was established for advising the Minister on any matter within their knowledge or on which the Minister may seek advice.

From a policy level the board has a key stake in the spatial development and therefore impacts meaningfully on the Ministry of Planning and Development’s mandate towards national development. The newly appointed Chairman, Ms Lynn Hiliare assured all present of her competence and willingness to do the work that is ahead, understanding that it is not an easy task and extended this position to represent other appointed members. The full panel include:

  •   Ms Lynn Hilaire –Chairman
  • Ms Nathalie Atkinson
  • Mr Jamel Reid
  • Ms Gitanjalie Gopeesingh
  •  Mr Micheal Jerome Keens-Dumas – Representative from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA)

To the above mentioned, Mrs Camille Robinson- Regis, Minister of Planning and Development projected the ground breaking work the task of the board promises to bring to the development of Trinidad and Tobago, and the selfless service of the position . She emphasised that one of the critiques of our governance model over the past few years, was “the apparent penchant for ad hoc decision making, and the creation of policy on the hoof.” She goes on to mention that equity and equality must be ensured at all levels, especially as land use and space is important to ensure environmental sustainability and structurally enriching regulated space of our Small Island State.

 Also present at the ceremony were the Ministry of Planning and Development’s Permanent Secretary Mrs. Joanne Deoraj and Mrs Ayleen Ovid, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Protect yourself against Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

In fulfillment of the obligations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), in 2013 the Environmental Policy and Planning Division (EPPD), through funding from the United Nations Development Programme, completed and submitted Trinidad and Tobago’s National Implementation Plan (NIP). The NIP is a five (5) year road map that identifies mechanisms to measure, manage, reduce or eliminate the threat of POPs in the country.

View the video and picture below to learn more about POPs and how you can protect yourself and your family


Need more information on POPs and the EPPD? Visit

Friday, 1 April 2016

Nelson Island: Where History Comes Alive

Students board the Calypso Sprinter

Three hundred students from across Trinidad visited Nelson Island on Tuesday 22nd March, 2016 with the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago. Including, Mayaro Government Primary, Happy Hill Hindu Primary and Laventille Girls Government to name a few . This tour of the island intended to impart both knowledge and appreciation of our heritage to the students, their teachers and parents who were also in attendance. Filled with facts, anecdotes, and expert tour guides visitors began learning about the rich history of Nelson Island from the moment the ‘Calypso Sprinter’ set sail.

When the ship docked smiling faces disembarked onto Nelson Island, there history came alive as students and other visitors were treated to dramatizations by the ‘SR Ideal Theatre Production Company’ who reenacted the historic people who once inhabited Nelson Island. An Amerindian, enslaved Africans, an indentured labourer and Tubal Uriah ‘Buzz’ Butler were present in all their glory to elaborate on  their heritage, culture and what the island was like in their time. The most engaging dramatizations came from the “King Slave” (name derived from the enslaved Africans from nearby estates of “King Negroes”). Students gathered as the King Slave delivered a powerful monologue on freedom, in front the oldest standing roofed building in Trinidad built by enslaved Africans marked AD 1802. Chants of “freedom” could be heard throughout the island as the students made their way around to view other dramatizations.

An Amerindian climbs, swings and jumps from tree to tree
An enslaved African drumming as the King Slave delivers his monologue
The King Slave delivers a powerful monologue on freedom,
he looks up at the building seen below
The oldest roofed building in Trinidad, built by enslaved Africans in AD 1802

An Indentured Labourer quizzes students on foods brought from her homeland

A student admires the view from the Calypso Sprinter
Children gathered on Nelson Island after their tour for songs and games

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Ministry of Planning Celebrates World Forestry Day

From left: Minister of Planning The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development Mrs. Joanne Deoraj and City Engineer of the Port-of-Spain City Corporation Mr. Jason Lalla plant one of six black poui trees at the POS Central Market
The Ministry of Planning and Development celebrated World Forestry Day, on March 21st 2016, with an internal plant distribution to staff and the planting of six (6) black poui trees at the Port of Spain Central Market this morning (March 22, 2016). The trees were donated by the Cumuto Forestry Division Nursery of the Ministry of Agriculture and were planted at the southern entrance of the market as part of a joint effort between the Planning Ministry and the Port of Spain City Corporation.
Present at the event was the Minister of Planning and Development, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis who spearheaded the planting of the young trees.  Also in attendance were the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Planning and Development, Mrs. Joanne Deoraj and City Engineer Mr. Jason Lalla of the Port of Spain City Corporation.
The event which took place this morning at 9:30am, was the first step in a greening initiative currently underway by the Port of Spain City Corporation. The Ministry was first off the bat with the planting of the six black poui trees.
The entire event was the culmination of an internal initiative put on by the Ministry of Planning and Development that also recognised winners of a ‘Win -A- Tree’ competition launched internally for World Forestry Day. The competition saw the distribution of fifty special “carbon sink” plants to Ministry staff, encouraging them to plant within their communities.

The term “Carbon sink” describes how trees store carbon in the form of cellulose. “Carbon Sink” plants are those that greatly aid in the reduction of one’s carbon footprint. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and use it to sustain themselves, creating oxygen as a by-product. Currently, trees are critical to sustainable development by reducing our carbon footprints, as about 18 percent of carbon emissions are absorbed by existing forests every year. The Honourable Minster congratulated the Port of Spain City Corporation on their initiative and also commented that she looked forward to seeing the trees cared for and grow.
Some of the winners of the 'Win-A-Tree' Competition

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Are you a Game Changer?

The Ministry of Planning and Development is hiring!. Have you got what it takes to join the Planning staff? Click the 'Vacancies' tab above or follow this link to see vacant positions.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day #PledgeforParity

In commemoration of International Women’s Day the Ministry of Planning and Development presents #PledgeforParity

We want to know your #PledgeforParity in the comments section below. 

Monday, 7 March 2016

The future of wildlife rests in our hands by Petal Howell (Chevening Scholar and member of staff at the Ministry of Planning and Development)

World Wildlife Day (WWD) commemorates the 1973 signing of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
This year’s theme, ‘The Future of Wildlife is in Our Hands’, is a prime opportunity for us to reflect on our role in protecting at-risk species. This theme reinforces that we, as individuals, literally have the power to drive species conservation in our own regions and in the world. My thoughts on this theme have brought me to consider my region, Trinidad and Tobago, and the plight of the endangered Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi.
The Pawi is one of only two endemic birds of Trinidad and is registered as 'critically endangered' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is also the second most threatened species of the Cracid family, a native forest-dwelling bird of the Americas.
The Pawi thrived in the forests which criss-crossed Trinidad up to the early 20th century. Over time, and as the human population grew, the areas of natural habitat sharply contracted, giving way to housing developments, agricultural fields and quarries. The birds, being slow, easy game, were also hunted mercilessly. Today, the Pawi is mainly confined to the eastern corner of the forested Northern Range of Trinidad. Its population size has fallen to less than 200 individuals, and despite legislative structures which span from 1958 to 2005, the Pawi is still under threat.
I pause, and wonder at the effectiveness of legislation in the realm of conservation. 
The case of the Pawi, although less severe by several orders of magnitude, takes the same general form as the plight of other endangered species. The African and Asian elephants, saltwater crocodile and leatherback turtle have all been sacrificed at the altar of development, growth and greed for decades. As if in mock repentance, legislation has long since provided ‘protection’ for these species.
As we have all witnessed, legislation by itself, has failed.
Regulation in conservation can only be effective if it provides the superstructure upon which citizen engagement, education and community based decision making can be built. These initiatives are the only things that can engender a change in the way individuals engage with the environment.
Individual and community action are, by no means, magic bullets for solving the threatened species issue. Cooperation among governments, NGOs and specialists is obviously critical, however, conversations needs to start with us as individuals and our communities.  
Whether or not we have direct interaction with threatened species, we are intrinsically linked with them and are dependent upon the environments in which they are critical contributors. It is therefore our responsibility, and in our best interest, to ensure that no part of these environments are compromised.
Our future, and the future of our wildlife therefore, rests in our hands.

Article written by : Petal Howell (Town and Country Planning Division, Ministry of Planning and Development)
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