Sunday, September 22, 2013

Photo story: Taking care of the environment

Contributed by: Vicky Khadoo, Corporate Communications Manager
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources - Tel: (868)623-2158 ext 210

Hundreds of volunteers in Trinidad and Tobago took to the nation's beaches on Saturday morning for the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC). The annual event is the world’s largest volunteer effort to remove millions of pounds of discarded material and debris from oceans and waterways.

This year, volunteers removed litter and marine debris from nineteen beaches across Trinidad and five beaches in Tobago.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has been the major sponsor of the local chapter of the ICC as well as active participants. Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh joined five hundred volunteers from the Ministry’s Head Office, Divisions and Agencies at Chagville, Chaguaramas.

Singh stated: "I am very happy with the level of participation this year. Whilst we have more volunteers for 2013, we hope to collect less garbage. We are optimistic that this coastal cleanup will help to build a greater level of environmental awareness, especially amongst the young.”
He said the ICC is part of an overall environmental campaign to remove major garbage from the nation’s coastal areas. He emphasised the need for more stringent legislation to effectively maintain a ‘green Trinidad and Tobago’.

The minister added, "From the ridge to the reef, it is our intention to work with the Ministry of Local Government to increase the enforcement of the Litter Act. Plastic bottles were popular items collected in today’s clean up. This will soon change. The proposed Beverage Container Bill when enacted, will certainly aid in the collection, documentation and disposal of discarded beverage containers throughout Trinidad and Tobago.”

Besides beautifying the nation’s beaches, important data on the types of waste materials in the nation’s waterways was also collected from the cleanup activities. 

Assisting in this data collection were representatives from the MEWR’sHead Office, Environmental Policy and Planning Division, Forestry Division, Drainage Division, Water and Sewerage Authority, Institute of Marine Affairs, Environmental Management Authority, National Reforestation Watershed and Rehabilitation Programme, Green Fund and the Meteorological Services.

Trinidad and Tobago has been an active participant of the ICC and this year was the country’s 11th year of involvement. Traditionally, the event is held on the same day as the global event in Trinidad, while in Tobago it will take place on Saturday 5th, October.

The MEWR remains dedicated to promoting a greener Trinidad and Tobago and looks forward to sponsoring and participating in the 2014 edition of the International Coast Cleanup.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai