In an effort to address the burgeoning threats of coastal erosion and flooding, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) through the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), Coastal Protection Unit (CPU), has initiated the Comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Programme (CNCMP). The CNCMP will provide a comprehensive approach to monitoring the state of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal areas while serving as a much-needed central repository for coastal data. Through this programme, the CPU aims to mitigate the risks of coastal erosion and flooding by equipping coastal managers with relevant information to assess overall risk and to inform sustainable shoreline management decision making. In collaboration with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE), this programme seeks to position Trinidad and Tobago as one of the regional leaders in shoreline monitoring and management practices.
The effects of coastal erosion and flooding have been felt extensively throughout Trinidad and Tobago. In November 2014, the Manzanilla/Mayaro community was cut-off from the rest of the island after facing three days of persistent rain, that left the coastal zone submerged destroying several points along the main access road. In the area, critical infrastructure was severely damaged and residents grappled with flooding of their homes and agricultural plots. In Tobago with its smaller land mass, there is a greater dependence on the coast to support the livelihood of people in communities. Consequently, the effects of climate change and sea level rise cannot be ignored. Most notably in 2016, the threat of coastal flooding to Tobago’s tourism product was felt when waves inundated the iconic Pigeon Point Heritage Park rendering the closure of the facility at a time when cruise ships were in port.
In January 2016, former President of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Anthony Carmona, exposed the reality that, “we are in fact suffering from the ravages of coastal erosion and as small island developing states, it is in fact a monster that beckons.” With roadways, bridges and other public infrastructure, homes, and private enterprise in jeopardy, the horrors of this ‘beast’ are significantly impacting the lives of Trinbagonians from Matelot to Toco, Manzanilla/Mayaro to Guayaguayare, Moruga to Cap de Ville, Mount St. George to Lambeau, Pigeon Point to Buccoo.
To demonstrate its leadership and commitment to tackle this global phenomenon, The Ministry of Works and Transport will launch the Comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Programme.
WHAT: Comprehensive National Coastal Monitoring Programme
WHO: Ministry of Works and Transport, Coastal Protection Unit
WHEN: Friday May 24, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port of Spain Ballroom