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IMA > Posts tagged "Climate Change"

Increasing Ambition for Climate Change: Integrating Ocean-Climate Action

Prepared by: Ruqayyah Thompson (Research Officer), Institute of Marine Affairs This month, while countries are preparing to conclude the first-ever global stocktake at the twenty-eight session of the Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the outlook appears daunting with the window for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement quickly closing. The main goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5°C. While records do not imply that the world has exceeded the 1.5°C...

Bleaching Coral

Coral Bleaching Alert for Tobago

In September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coral Reef Watch has placed Trinidad and Tobago under Bleaching Alert Level 2, where severe, widespread bleaching and significant coral mortality are very likely. Reports of moderate coral bleaching have been received from several sites around Tobago including Store Bay, South Coast, Mt Irvine, and Englishman’s Bay by marine users. Bleached boulder brain coral at Castara in August Bleached grooved brain coral at Mt Irvine in September As part of Tobago’s Bleaching Response Plan, the Institute of Marine Affairs has alerted all stakeholders that work in the marine environment, and have made an appeal for any observations of...

Dr Anjani Ganase monitoring coral reefs - Institute of Marine Affairs

Tides Are Changing

By  Ruqayyah Thompson, Research Officer. International days are a powerful advocacy tool used to raise awareness on matters of public concern, garner political support and resources to address global problems as well as to celebrate humanity’s achievements. This month, we join with the global community to recognise World Oceans Day on June 8th under the theme, “Planet Ocean: Tides Are Changing”. The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and forms 95% of the biosphere, the part of the Earth where life exists. It produces at least 50% of the world’s oxygen and is a main source of protein for over a billion people. The...

World Biodiversity Day 2023 - Attish Kanhai - IMA

From agreement to action, build back Biodiversity

By: Mr. Attish Kanhai, Benthic Ecologist, Institute of Marine Affairs. “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”, French filmmaker Jean Luc-Godard was quoted as saying. Well, actually he was quoting someone else while making this quote, another filmmaker D.W. Griffith.  The implication here is that action and romance keep us glued to our screens, the gun of course representing action and the girl romance Give the girl and the gun then we’re in for a doubly good time I suppose. But I digress. Action movies take it one step further by introducing big explosions, things burning and who doesn’t...

Seagrasses

Blue Carbon is no reason to feel blue

Have you ever described yourself or someone else as “feeling blue”? In that case you are using a phrase coined from a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships. If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to homeport. I would like to think that this is true because it perfectly fits my narrative but given that the internet source was quite dubious it probably isn’t.  Another source indicated that the use of the colour blue to mean sadness goes all the...

acid ocean

Acid Oceans

“Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface … Far beneath, in some cases” (The Ocean, 2016). Well not exactly a quote by the ocean itself. I am intentionally being a bit cryptic, because these words make more sense in the context of the movie they were taken from, Moana. Moana is the Maori word for ocean. The Maori being the native peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand. The belief system of the Maori holds nature in very high regard. The kinship between humans and the environment in Maori culture is expressed through kaitiakitanga, a way in which the environment is respected and managed, something that...

The Marine Resilience Initiative, Tobago (Pilot Project)

Tobago waters are rich in marine biodiversity, home to unique and interconnected ecosystems, such as the Buccoo coral reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Complex made up of seagrass and mangroves. Most of Tobago’s Caribbean coast is fringed by coral reefs extending to the northeast Tobago, UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. For over ten years, the Institute of Marine Affairs has been monitoring the health of coral reefs and seagrasses around Tobago. Unfortunately, we have observed several disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring conducted by IMA has...

Mangrove Trinidad and Tobago - Red mangrove

Taking time to appreciate our Mangrove Forests

Our coastlines, especially the Gulf of Paria, were once lined with large trees with  entangled roots beaming with wildlife, where our grandfathers and fathers hunted crabs to put in the Sunday callaloo, and for oysters sold in spicy sauce around the Queen Parks Savannah.  Back then we did not fully understand he importance of these coastal forests, so as much as 50 % were cleared to build houses, businesses and ports. What are you talking about, you may ask? It’s our mangrove forests. Mangrove forests are spectacular and prolific ecosystems that are usually located on the boundary between land and sea.  Mangrove trees are salt-tolerant trees, also called...

Seagrasses in Bon Accord Lagoon

Only One Earth

The theme for World Environment Day 2022 asks us to remember that “in the universe are billions of galaxies, in our galaxy are billions of planets, but there is Only One Earth,” the habitat upon which the survival of the human species depends. Since 1974, the observance of World Environment Day serves as a platform for issues such as human over-population, marine pollution, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime. This year, the issues are more critical than ever as peoples around the world struggle to bring carbon emissions in line with the prescribed “1.5⁰ C above the pre-industrial average.”    Seagrasses and Mangroves in...

Groundwater - out of Sight but not out of Mind

Groundwater: out of Sight but not out of Mind

By Aleisha Dennie, Institute of Marine Affairs If compelled to, what aspect of our lifestyle do you think we can sustain without the input of water? The answer should be clear. Water in its liquid form fuels the lives of humans, animals, and ecosystems at large. Though much of the world’s freshwater is locked within ice caps, a great portion is available to us in the form of groundwater. Groundwater is said to represent 98% of the world’s accessible freshwater (Farrell 2007). With human demands for freshwater reaching an all-time high in recent years, it is no surprise that utilisation of groundwater has become essential...