A- A A+

UN-backed projects in the Caribbean highlight connection between life on land and life below water

26 May 2017 – The vital role of the world's oceans in human well-being and development is being highlighted next month as the United Nations hosts a global conference aimed at protecting these resources.

Conserving the marine environment is among the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seek to achieve a more just and equitable world for all people and the planet by a deadline of 2030.

SDG 14, Life Below Water, and the Ocean Conference, to be held from 5 to 9 June, has particular resonance for countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island nation in the Caribbean, according to Rissa Edoo with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the capital, Port of Spain.

“The ocean is vital to us because we are a small island developing State. Most of our resources are along our coast and most of our industry is also along our coast, so it is very important for us to understand the connection between life on land and life under water.”

Ms. Edoo is the National Coordinator for the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme, which has funded more than 100 projects since 1995.

Among the recipients is Nature Seekers, a non-profit organization that has become a model for marine conservation in the Caribbean over the past 27 years. The group is based in Matura, a fishing village on Trinidad’s north-east coast, where nesting leatherback turtles were being slaughtered for their meat.  Today, the 2,000 residents proudly protect the female sea turtles that come to the local beach every March through August to lay their eggs.

Leatherback turtles are the largest turtle species on Earth and can grow up to seven feet long and weigh up to 2,000 pounds.  Esther Vidale, Project Director at Nature Seekers, described them as a “keystone species” in the marine environment.

“The leatherback turtles’ primary food source is jellyfish and they really keep the jellyfish population in check by eating their weight or more in jellyfish per day. And jellyfish feed on small fishes or fish eggs. So by keeping the jellyfish population in check through the leatherback turtles, we have a thriving fishing industry so that fisherfolks who use this as their livelihood, persons who just want to enjoy seafood cuisine, and all the industries and persons that are impacted by the use of fish, can now benefit: both in the ocean, and us as man as well.”

Esther Vidale
Project Coordinator at Naure Seekers (Trinidad)

When Nature Seekers began in 1990, up to 30 per cent of leatherback turtles that made it to Matura Beach were being maimed or killed by poachers.

Esther Vidale, Project Manager at Nature Seekers, monitors a leatherback turtle that has just laid her eggs. Leatherbacks are critical to marine eco-systems as they help keep jellyfish populations under control, thus contributing to the availability of fish stocks. Photo: UN News/Lulu GaoSuzan Lakhan Baptiste, the group’s Managing Director and driving force, recalled that the beach once resembled a “graveyard.”

“I live in the community and when I went out onto the beach I saw all these huge turtles with just all the eggs in the stomach, with just a few pounds of shoulder meat missing. I remember seeing turtles with chops all over and no part thereof missing. And I said ‘I have to be a part of doing something and curbing this,’” she stated.

Since then, Nature Seekers has educated the village of Matura about the importance of conservation and showed how the turtles are a resource that can enhance livelihoods.

Residents have been trained as guides to patrol the beach to monitor the nesting leatherbacks which are tagged, measured and weighed, thus contributing to global research on the species.

Matura has become an eco-tourism destination as the group also works on issues such as forest management and sustainable livelihoods, emphasizing what Ms. Edoo called “the ridge-to-reef connection.” Visitors can also purchase beaded bracelets, necklaces and other trinkets made from glass bottles collected during beach clean-ups, marketed under the brand Turtle Warrior.

Today, the greatest threat to the leatherback turtles lies in the water as they can get entangled in fishing nets as bycatch, a term used to describe species caught inadvertently during commercial fishing.

Through UNDP, Nature Seekers is exploring alternative fishing methods such as using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) which allow trapped turtles to escape from nets.

[ read the full story ]

 

Read more...

United Nations in Trinidad and Tobago supports efforts to end Child Marriage

Monday 16 January 2016 - The United Nations System in Trinidad and Tobago (UNTT) welcomed the resurgence of the debate on child marriage in Trinidad and Tobago and reaffirmed its support for all efforts to end this practice. the UN in T&T  said that it was looking forward to "Trinidad and Tobago’s adoption of a bill that would protect girls from child marriage and promote gender equality, for such action could enhance the well-being of its citizens and advance achievement of its sustainable development vision".

Child marriage – defined by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a formal or informal marital union engaged in by a person under age 18 – violates human rights and threatens the health and prospects of, in particular, young girls. In this way, it slows progress towards gender equality, and towards ending poverty – in all circumstances and at all levels; and it undermines all dimensions of sustainable development.   

It has been shown that child marriage undermines the rights of freedom of expression, protection from all forms of abuse, and protection from harmful traditional practices identified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  It deprives the girl child of an education, exposes her to violence and abuse, and can lead to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth that are life threatening for both mother and baby – contravening State obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

 These violations against children’s human rights and opportunities for personal development, also slow achievement of globally established Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as they relate to ending poverty, ensuring good health and well-being, attaining quality education and realising gender equality. Failure to achieve such goals can also directly undermine national development aspirations.  

 

 

 Learn more about  the UN and Child Marriage  extdoc

 

 

Read more...

The United Nations System in Trinidad and Tobago supports efforts to end Child Marriage

unblue 

United Nations System in Trinidad & Tobago

Press Release


Monday 16 January 2016

 

The United Nations System in Trinidad and Tobago supports efforts to end Child Marriage

 

The United Nations System in Trinidad and Tobago (UNTT) welcomes the resurgence of the debate on child marriage and reaffirms its support for all efforts to end this practice.

 

Child marriage – defined by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as a formal or informal marital union engaged in by a person under age 18 – violates human rights and threatens the health and prospects of, in particular, young girls. In this way, it slows progress towards gender equality, and towards ending poverty – in all circumstances and at all levels; and it undermines all dimensions of sustainable development.   

 

It has been shown that child marriage undermines the rights of freedom of expression, protection from all forms of abuse, and protection from harmful traditional practices identified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).  It deprives the girl child of an education, exposes her to violence and abuse, and can lead to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth that are life threatening for both mother and baby – contravening State obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

 

These violations against children’s human rights and opportunities for personal development, also slow achievement of globally established Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as they relate to ending poverty, ensuring good health and well-being, attaining quality education and realising gender equality. Failure to achieve such goals can also directly undermine national development aspirations.  

 

The UNTT therefore looks forward to Trinidad and Tobago’s adoption of a bill that would protect girls from child marriage and promote gender equality, for such action could enhance the well-being of its citizens and advance achievement of its sustainable development vision. 

 

Contacts

Narissa Seegulam, UN Coordination Analyst, Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Trinidad and Tobago: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 1-868-280-8632, 1-868-623-7056

 

Aurora Noguera-Ramkissoon, Liaison Officer, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago Branch Office:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 1-868-623-7056


 Learn more about  the UN and Child Marriage  extdoc

 

 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed

Contact

Email: unic.portofspain@unic.org 

Telephone: 1(868) 623 8438 or 623 4813

Fax: 1 (868) 623 4332 

Address: 

2nd Floor Bretton Hall, 16 Victoria Avenue, 

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 

 

 

  follow us on facebook
Follow us on Google  
128x128 instagram  
 Follow us Twitter  
Follow us YouTube