Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries Sen. Clarence Rambharat receives a copy of 'The Mangroves of T&T' from Acting Director of the IMA Dr. Rahanna Juman.
The Institute of Marine Affairs launched the book for World Wetlands Day 2021
by Zico Cozier
Local wetlands can be found on all four coasts of Trinidad and in Tobago. Juman explained that readers can expect to learn about what makes each wetland area notable and unique. The Nariva swamp is the largest wetland on the island while Caroni Swamp is home to the largest mangrove forest; The Tobago Bon Accord Lagoon is at risk of encroachment while mangrove forests in the Point Lisas area are making a comeback. Juman said the book shares history on past plans made to develop wetlands for agriculture or industry and also shares details about ongoing initiatives for rehabilitation and restoration of mangrove forests – now that policymakers are starting to better understand their value.
“We show where these wetlands have changed, what lives there, who uses it and what are the management interventions,” Juman explained.
The Minister of Agriculture Land & Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat, addressed attendees at the launch where he touched on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and said that conservation efforts become even more important as a country faces challenging times.
“The reality is that the more difficult the economic circumstances are, the more important it is to manage and take care of our natural resources because it is to our natural resources that we end up turning – and more importantly, even in these challenging times, we have to ensure that we have the quality of the physical environment to keep our people healthy, happy and performing at their optimum.”
The book “Mangrove Forests of Trinidad and Tobago” is written in simple non-technical language so that decision-makers, land use planners, students and people from all walks of life would be able to access and enjoy the information. Point Lisas Nitrogen Limited (PLNL) funded the creation of copies of the book, some of which will be distributed to national schools and libraries. Dr Juman was joined by co-authors Gyasi Collins, Nikia Gooding and Hamish Asmach in writing and publishing the book.