Showing posts from May, 2019

Become an Environmental Steward for Tobago

Patricia Turpin, representing the NGO Environment Tobago, spoke at the opening of the   inaugural To­ba­go En­vi­ron­men­tal Part­ner­ship Con­fer­ence held at the Mount Irvine Bay Ho­tel, on   May 13. She invited all Tobagonians to become stewards of the environment. What do you mean by stewardship? Let us dig into the meaning of environmental sustainability and stewardship. For today’s purpose, let us consider the concept: Environmental sustainability means maintaining the ability of natural systems such as forests, wetlands, lagoons, rivers and waterfalls, coastal and marine habitats   (our shores and the sea around us) and their biodiversity   (the creatures which thrive in those habitats)   to provide natural resources and the services upon which we depend for life. You can see that this is a very complex and interconnected proposition; definitely overwhelming for us, one species. Accepting that sustainability – and specifically human sustainability – is so dependent

Sahara Dust

Dr Anjani Ganase, marine scientist, discusses the effects of Sahara Dust. Whether it is beneficial or harmful, the research is still all up in the air! Hazy skies, irritated eyes and dust everywhere is a sign that Sahara Dust is here. These days, with the advent of satellite technology capable of tracking the Saharan air layer across the Atlantic Basin, meteorologists can warn those that may be particularly sensitive to the dust and suffering from respiratory diseases. The Sahara Dust actually originates from multiple sources in the Sahel region in Africa that fringes the Sahara desert. The weather patterns in this area determine the transport of hundreds of million tonnes of dust a year across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Periods of drought in the Sahel savannahs are typically associated with higher transportation of Saharan dust across the Atlantic Ocean. These dust-laden trade winds tend to be seasonal and are known as the Harmattan in West Africa. Interestingly, greater

Conversation among Corals

Shaueel Persadee imagines a discussion among inhabitants of an undersea community facing threats from the world over which they have no control. Persadee is a student of Biology and Environmental Sceince at the University of the West Indies and education officer at the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. He also writes a creative blog One great ocean, spreading around the globe, its waters connected by a complex variety of courses and transformations. One great sun, shining down from the heavens, spreading light and heat more intense than the world could ever hope to use. Yet, beneath the rolling waves near some tropical islands, where the water is blue as the sky, and fish still swim in schools rather than in solitude, there lies a different world. This world of colourful cities and fascinating fellows not only depends on the mercy of the sun and the sea, but the mercy of those who live above the surface of the water. Normally all citizens would car

Underwater Tobago

The Maritime Ocean Collection is a collaboration of Underwater Earth, the Trinidad and Tobago marine NGO, SpeSeas and the Maritime Financial Company to document the reefs of Tobago and present them for online viewing in “virtual reality.” When complete, The Collection will be an education and research resource available on the Maritime Financial Company’s website; as well as on the webpages of the partners.   In the last week of March, marine biologist Dr Anjani Ganase and Jonathan Gomez, Marine Technician with the Institute of Marine Affairs started an exploration of the coastal waters around the northern end of Tobago. The Institute of Marine Affairs  (IMA) is the Trinidad and Tobago government organization (under the Ministry of Planning and Development) responsible for marine and environmental research. This is where Jonathan began his career surveying Tobago’s coral reefs. Here is Jonathan’s story: Jonathan Gomez. Photo by Anjani Ganase, The Maritime Ocean Collection

Celebrating Nature in the Commonplace

Look outside your window, your car, your self, and take note of nature nearby. All around us, in Tobago and Trinidad, says Faraaz Abdool, there’s some small natural wonder to connect us with the living world. If we can enjoy the nature in our backyards, we can to a greater extent appreciate the rare and exotic.(Photos of the birds by Faraaz Abdool) As birders, we’re often jaded when it comes to birds we’ve grown accustomed to. As human beings, this occurs not just with birds but with other facets of our lives. A saying has been coined to reflect this very phenomenon: “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” Why has it become second nature to take things for granted? Have we evolved into a superficial species whose lives are comprised of hurried snapshots of our surroundings – surroundings which are quickly fading into oblivion with the increasing popularity of a self-absorbed culture? With instant gratification a baseline requirement, facilitated by continuou