IMA’s 4th Community Symposium
Caroni to Pointe-a-Pierre
“Conserving Our Coastal Environment”
On March 28th 2018, the Institute of Marine Affairs held its fourth community research symposium under the theme, ‘Conserving our Coastal Environment’ at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation. In attendance were members of the EMA, Regional Corporation, Met Office, private citizens and other organizations. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Ahmad Khan Director of the IMA, Mr. Hayden Alexander, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the IMA, His Worship the Mayor of Chaguanas, Alderman Gopaul Boodhan and Malikha Henry on behalf of Mr. Henry Awong, Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation. The feature address was delivered by Ms. Joanne Deoraj on behalf of the Minister of Planning and Development.
The goal of this symposium was to provide relevant scientific information to all stakeholders of the area (from Caroni to Pointe-a-Pierre) and to create a space for pertinent discussions on the state of the coastal environment as well as possible solutions and mitigation measures.
Presentations were delivered by IMA Research staff on the hydrology of the Caroni River basin, heavy metal content and water quality along the coast as well as human health concerns related to oyster consumption. External presentations were also conducted by various entities including NAMDEVCO, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, PLIPDECO and FAO/UN. These presentations covered topics such as good agricultural practices, methods to reduce bycatch and options for expanding the protected area of the Caroni Swamp.
Questions were fielded after each presentation where issues such as water quality pollution, fish processing, mangrove preservation, coastal erosion and compliance with regulations were addressed. The symposium facilitated a multi-stakeholder discussion which would foster future cooperation in national policy development. The IMA will continue to present forums such as these to provide the public and relevant associations with the information needed to make informed contributions to national policies.
Dr. Rahanna Juman, Deputy Director- Research (Ag.) Institute of Marine Affairs