This week’s guest columnist On Cleaning Up The Mess, Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr ROODAL MOONILAL, gives us the news that Cabinet has approved the policy of greening the Priority Bus Route and tells us exactly what this means for citizens.
T&T’s greenhouse gas emissions for the period 1990 to 2006 indicate that the energy, transportation and industrial sectors account for the bulk of carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector alone have increased by 278 per cent over the period 1990 to 2006. As a small island developing state, Trinidad and Tobago is particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Sectors that are likely to be impacted are agriculture, human health, human settlements, coastal zones, and water resources as well as cross sectoral socio-economic systems. Statistics from the Licensing Division of the Ministry of Works and Transport indicate that there are approximately 630,000 vehicles in the country and this amount is being increased by approximately 30,000 annually.
In this guest column Housing and Environment Minister Dr ROODAL MOONILAL touches on the pressing question of how a small island state, such as ours, that is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry balances development with the preservation of coastal areas moving forward with an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Thrust.
In his guest column this week for Cleaning Up The Mess Dr ROODAL MOONILAL, Minister of Housing and Environment reveals that Trinidad and Tobago will be hosting the second regional workshop on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) between September 20 to 23 and tells us exactly what this will mean for T&T’s environment.
The CDM workshop is expected to be attended by 40 participants including representatives from member States of Caricom, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, members of the Latin American sub-region and the UNs Environment Programme – Risoe Centre. The basic principle of the CDM is simple, developed countries can invest in low-cost abatement opportunities in developing countries and receive credit for the resulting emissions reductions, thus reducing the cutbacks needed within their borders. While the CDM lowers the cost of compliance with the protocol for developed countries, developing countries will benefit as well, not just from the investment flows, but also from the requirement that these investments advance sustainable development goals.
China’s economy is the second largest in the world after that of the United States. During the past 30 years, China’s economy has changed from a centrally-planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented economy that has a rapidly growing private sector. Some of the serious negative consequences of China’s rapid industrial development has been increased pollution, smog, and degradation of natural resources. Efforts to control China’s pollution problem have become a top priority of the Chinese leadership. Beginning in 2006, the Chinese government strengthened its environmental legislation and made some progress in stemming environmental deterioration.
This week we continue our environmental series Cleaning Up The Mess with an ongoing guest column by Minister of Housing and Environment Dr ROODAL MOONILAL who reveals how the changing face of the “make work” programme by CEPEP, is helping to mitigate the effects of flooding, among other environmental challenges, and is instead becoming a tool of national development.
CEPEP has traditionally had bad press and been associated with dependency, creating “make work” jobs. However, this Government is committed to changing the face of the programme by ensuring that workers impact positively on our country while learning skills that will make them employable in the long run. Last year, our Prime Minister, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar initiated a Clean and Beautify initiative which propelled our nation towards environmental awareness. Citizens came out in their thousands to join this environmental drive. The CEPEP company joined this cause with full force.
Recently a prominent columnist criticised the People’s Partnership Government for breaking the promise of having a dedicated Ministry of the Environment. The Government was further accused of awarding 17 quarrying licences without any Certificate of Environmental Compliance (CEC’s). The columnist, Peter O’Conner called for this Government to “begin to fix our country, starting with the most basic items, our forests and our watersheds.” Today Minister of the Housing and Environment, Dr Roodal Moonilal, as a guest columnist in our ongoing series, Cleaning Up The Mess, responds to the nation on what the Government intends to do to preserve our forested lands.
The dumping of more than 50 million plastic bottles (which, when heated, generate some of the deadliest toxins ever studied) and a million glass bottles into our already highly-toxic and overflowing dumps may soon stop. Minister of Housing and the Environment, Dr Roodal Moonilal, has announced that the Beverage Container Bill that which had been gathering dust since 2000 is in its final stages.
For some 50 weeks now, in this series we have been calling for waste management legislation and today we laud Dr Moonilal’s initiative to which he appears committed notwithstanding the powerful lobby of manufacturers of beverages and plastic containers. Today, Dr Moonilal as our guest columnist tells us what to expect with this long-awaited bill by every one of us who cares about our environment.
This week we continue our environmental series Cleaning Up The Mess with an ongoing guest column by Minister of Housing and the Environment, Dr ROODAL MOONILAL. Last week, Dr Moonilal revealed the Government’s position on Climate Change which continues this week.
Trinidad and Tobago as a responsible member of the international community is committed to pursuing a low-carbon development path consistent with the principles of sustainable development through the development and delivery of strategies and actions for maximising renewable energy resources, clean energy and clean production technology as well as adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change through integration within all aspects of national development in its infrastructural, human and socio-economic systems, at an acceptable balance of costs and benefits.
For over forty weeks now, this Guardian multi media series, Cleaning Up The Mess has been creating awareness about our neglected environment which has worsened in the past decade due to the absence of waste management legislation.This week we are heartened as the Minister of housing and the Environment Dr ROODAL MOONILAL begins a guest column series in this space starting with the pressing issue of T&T’s plans to reduce its carbon footprint.
Trinidad and Tobago has no legal binding commitment to reduce emissions but we are committed to pursuing development pathways that will follow a low carbon paradigm as far as is possible.Climate change projections for Trinidad and Tobago include for higher temperatures and lower rainfall. The mean annual temperature is projected to increase by 0.7 to 2.6 degrees Celsius by the 2060s, and 1.1 to 4.3 degrees Celsius by the 2090s.
If you or those close to you suffer from asthma attacks you will be interested in the scientific link between the dust in the environment and your health. In this week’s edition of Cleaning Up The Mess, eco-toxicologist, UWI lecturer Dr Azad Mohammed and Dr Marissa Gowrie, who have worked jointly on a research programme on the magnitude and impact of Saharan dust in the Caribbean are our joint guest columnists on Cleaning Up The Mess.
Every year from February to October, our blue skies periodically disappear behind a blanket of haze which can be attributed to increased levels of Saharan dust in the atmosphere. For those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory distress, it is also a sign to restock the medicine cabinet with extra refills for antihistamines and inhalers. It becomes entrenched in their daily routines, keys, lunch bag, hair brush, and yes the inhaler. Just like we have grown accustomed to wet and dry seasons, asthma sufferers have grown accustomed to the on and off season for symptoms.