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)
Source :

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

"CARIRI Talks" A look into the life a local entrepreneur featuring CED Graduate Neil Beekie

First installment of CARIRI's video segment "CARIRI Talks" which features Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) Graduate Neil Beekie who gives an insightful look into the life of a local entrepreneur.

Visit CARIRI's website at
Visit CED's website at