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