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Trinidad and Tobago pursuing shared environmental recovery with Latin America – Caribbean

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad  Promoting environmental resilience the ministry of planning, institute of marine affairs and volunteers from the public engage in a mangrove replanting exercise in the Caroni Swamp.

The ministry of planning and development announced that matters related to the environment, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity loss and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change among others are still among the top of the ministry’s priorities going into 2021.

This is further strengthened by the ministry’s current representation of Trinidad and Tobago in the XXII meeting of the forum of ministers of environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, which takes place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, February 1-2, 2021. The government of Barbados currently holds the presidency of this Forum.

The Forum over the years has been able to mainstream international cooperation related to the environment in the region. The Forum has also succeeded in enhancing the participation of Latin American and Caribbean countries in international conferences and other multilateral environment agreements.

Through participation in this Forum, Trinidad and Tobago will share experiences and best practices with regional nations and organisations with regard to addressing levels of poverty and inequality, while at the same time integrating environmental and social concerns. The Forum has emphasized the need for cross-cutting action across all sectors, which the government of Trinidad and Tobago has been exercising through the National Development Strategy; Vision 2030 and via a number of projects and initiatives aimed at Trinidad and Tobago achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the environment at the centre of economic and social development.

One of the key areas of focus is the environmental dimension of a COVID-19 sustainable development recovery plan of action, not only for Trinidad and Tobago but for the wider region which has experienced a 9.1 percent contraction in regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020.  The Forum will enable participating nations to develop plans and build partnerships in areas which will support economic reactivation, generate new and better jobs while dealing with issues such as pollution, biodiversity loss, the illegal trade of wildlife, the management of protected areas, climate change and more.

Considering the inter-linked nature of other challenges such as innovation and resource efficiency, waste management, water and sanitation, chemicals management and air pollution and their impact on human health, it is important that investment by countries and international organisations integrate environmental dimensions.

In light of this, the government of Trinidad and Tobago is pursuing solutions outside of our borders in the spirit of shared challenges and solutions, therefore participation in the XXII meeting of the Forum of ministers of environment of Latin America and the Caribbean is one area where we can find worthwhile solutions that can facilitate sustainable national development.



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