Official Hand-Over of Resources for Enforcement Officers
11th December, 2019: At a Handing –Over Ceremony at the Kapok Hotel in Maraval, the Ministry Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF), the Ministry of Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations presented a suite of resources to assist Enforcement Officers in the performance of their duties in the enforcement of the country’s environmental laws.
In delivering the feature address on behalf of the Minister of Planning and Development, Camille Robinson- Regis, Deputy Permanent Secretary Melanie Noel said, “enforcement of our environmental laws is germane to our national development, it’s not just our starting point but it keeps on the path for a secure future. Our national environmental goals as outlined in Theme V of Vision 2030 and our regional and international obligations under agreements such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Convention on Land Degradation are wholly dependent on our ability to enforce our laws”.
Prior to the presentation a series of workshop was held amongst representatives of the Forestry Division, Game Wardens, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, Customs and Excise Divisions and the Environmental Police Unit of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA). Officers from these agencies contributed significantly to the compilation of these resources, as they were able to outline their needs and the specific day –day challenges they faced on the field of work.
The suite of resources was produced under the project the Project “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” and was implemented by the FAO on behalf of the Government. The items distributed were:
- An Enforcement Officers Guide Book, the document was developed with the intention to identify different protected area and also includes, key laws governing these protected areas, the relevant provisions that the officers should familiarize themselves with and the respective agencies that should be contacted in the event of a breach.
The Guide Book was drafted by Mr. Andrew Dalip, Consultant and on its cover it depicts an image of one of this country’s Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS), the Ocelot, Leopardus Pardalis.
- A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Manual
- A Quick Reference Card, the card has a ten (10) step rule to follow when conducting an investigation of capture/ possession of Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS). The ten steps replicate those found in the SOP Manual
Also present at today’s event were the FAO Representative for Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, Mr. Reuben Robertson, Mr. Steve Lalbeharry, Regional Coordinator, Emergency Response & Investigations, Environmental Management Authority (EMA).