IMA, and Cuban firm Inversiones GAMMA, sign MOU for Technical Corporation
For Immediate Release
19th October 2023
Port of Spain – The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) is set to expand its research capabilities in the areas of coastal engineering, water resource management and other related fields, to address the challenges facing the marine and coastal regions. The IMA, on Thursday 12th. October 2023, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cuban firm INVERSIONES GAMMA S.A. The Cuban firm is a government entity reporting to the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment of the Republic of Cuba The MOU allows both parties to share technical expertise for sustainable marine and coastal management. Signed at the Ministry of Planning and Development, Level 14, Eric Williams Financial Complex, the MOU is a landmark agreement paving the way for joint efforts to enhance marine research, conservation, and management.
Witnessing the signing of the historic agreement was the Minister of Planning and Development, the Hon. Pennelope Beckles Robinson who said the “IMA has over the years established itself as the premier organisation for marine and coastal research, and we look forward to a continued beneficial relationship between Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago”.
Her Excellency Tania Diego Olite, Cuban Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, was also present
for the signing and expressed her country’s enthusiasm regarding the collaboration. Her Excellency welcomed the holistic approach to addressing environmental issues and the groundwork for the deepening of the blue economy in both nations that would be made possible by the agreement.
Representing GAMMA and signing the MOU on the firm’s behalf was Mr. Pavel Morales Diaz, Director of Research and Development, a Specialist in Coastal Dynamics and Beaches Rehabilitation by profession. Signing on behalf of the IMA, was the organisation’s newly installed Director, Dr. Ava Maxam. She conveyed her optimism about the partnership saying, “This is a perfect opportunity to fill gaps with respect to the Blue Economy Circular initiatives. Through this partnership, we have the ability to affect change in a modern way, using hard and soft types of engineering that is more sustainable, so that we can protect our livelihoods and shorelines and industries that rely on coastal resources.”
The MOU will remain in effect for a decade, until October 11th. 2033. This strategic alliance demonstrates the commitment of IMA and GAMMA to promote sustainable marine practices, conservation, and responsible resource management in the region. It underscores their dedication to advancing research, collaboration, and technology transfer in marine research and governance.
By way of background, GAMMA is a Cuban corporation with vast experience in environmental issues, disaster recovery, and climate change mitigation, and the IMA is a multidisciplinary research organisation specialising in marine research and conservation in Trinidad and Tobago and across the region. The collaboration between the two entities is deeply rooted in their shared vision to enhance the management of marine and coastal resources.
The partnership will focus on several critical areas, all with the aim of promoting sustainable marine practices, conservation, and responsible resource management. The areas are:
Coastal Engineering: encompasses sediment analysis, geophysical and bathymetric surveys, integrated coastal zone management, and rehabilitation of marine and coastal ecosystems. This will also involve projects related to beach rehabilitation, artificial beach creation, and the construction of coastal defense structures.
Water Resources Management and Bioremediation: focus on hydrology and will involve assessing water supply sources, eutrophication in coastal reservoirs, and the use of plants for water reservoir rehabilitation.
Management of Hazards, Vulnerability, and Risks: Both parties will work on natural, structural, and technological risk studies and management. This includes implementing Geographic Information Systems for disaster reduction and studying occupational health and safety risks.
Socio-Environmental Management: The partnership will encompass environmental impact studies, strategic environmental assessments, climate change protected areas management plans, and audits of socio-environmental management systems.
Geology, Engineering Geology, and Geotechnical Studies: projects will include engineering-geological and hydrogeological studies, including mass movement mapping and forecasting.
Waste Treatment and Reverse Osmosis Plants: Efficient wastewater treatment systems, assembly of reverse osmosis, and the evaluation and management of residues and solid wastes.
Ecological Assessments: Research, monitoring, management, and restoration of coastal ecosystems, fisheries ecology, fisheries assessment, and mariculture technology will be critical areas.