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UNESCO Man and the Biosphere designation

Tobago has made history once again.

On this occasion, North East Tobago has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Designation.

The area is now the largest UNESCO site in the English speaking Caribbean spanning 15 communities from Belle Garden in the east towards Moriah in the northern part of the island.

The announcement was made at yesterday’s 32nd Sitting of the Man and the Biosphere International Coordinating Committee.

According to UNESCO, “The Man and the Biosphere programme is an inter-governmental scientific programmes that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments”.

Environment secretary Kwesi Des Vignes was quoted in a release saying: “This is yet another milestone for Tobago and the nation on a whole… T&T is a small nation with a fierce spirit.

North-East Tobago has always been the pearl of our paradise. It is therefore no surprise that the area is worthy enough to attract the attention of the world. This award presents immense opportunities for business, culture and the arts and education, but more importantly, it will allow us to benefit from approaches that can better conserve and sustain the environment and experiences we gain from interacting with it.”

Des Vignes added, “The award could not come at a better time for Trinidad and Tobago…

As the world grapples with COVID- 19, this designation has placed us in an advantageous position as it relates to branding of our destination and attracting financial and technical support from the international community. We in Tobago in particular, are excited and proud of this accomplishment and the many gains that will follow.”

The programme will cover blue and green economic activities including but not limited to tourism, fisheries, agriculture, cultural heritage activities, research and education.

In the coming month, the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will begin the process of formulation a Management Plan for the UNESCO site that will consider further meaningful engagement of communities and stakeholders