One of the female hawksbill turtles being studied by ERIC. (Image courtesy ERIC)

The Tobago-based environment group, ERIC—Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville—has secured funding support from the Green Fund to continue its ongoing research into underwater sea turtles.

According to a release issued by the Ministry of Planning and Development, this will be the first Tobago initiative for the Green Fund.

Financial support will go to ERIC’s project titled, “Linking Tobago Reef Health to Livelihoods: Underwater Turtle Monitoring, Related Eco-Tourism Development, Capacity Building, Knowledge Sharing and Outreach”.

The release explains that the ERIC “initiative intends to achieve a healthy marine turtle population in Tobago, empowering the island to attract eco-tourism activities that financially support ongoing underwater sea turtle monitoring, to improve community livelihoods and inform natural resource co-management decisions”. 

The Ministry says if the initiative is successful, researchers expect to see an immediate increase and anticipate the ongoing availability of an ever-growing cache of sea turtle population data. This opportunity can empower Tobago’s natural resource co-managers, to make an informed decision and policy design for Sea Turtle conservation on the island.

ERIC estimates that turtle tourism already contributes directly and indirectly some $500,000 annually to the tourism market in Tobago. The environment institute believes that this initiative, which includes a strong outreach, marketing and social media component, is expected to further increase this contribution.

The key project objectives include:

●  Provision of continuity of intelligible marine turtle data to the existing Turtle Village Trust (TVT) UW turtle survey database for meaningful decision making by key stakeholders.

●  Establishment of science and eco-tourism products that are able to financially support UW turtle monitoring and community-based livelihoods beyond project duration.

●  Building the capacity of local stakeholders to improve their livelihoods through conservation activities.

●  Sharing underwater turtle monitoring knowledge and conservation issues with local and international stakeholders.

One of the female hawksbill turtles being studied by ERIC. (Image courtesy ERIC)

More information about Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville Tobago can be had by visiting their website at https://www.eric-tobago.org/index.html, and Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ERICharlotteville/.

ABOUT THE GREEN FUND AND GREEN FUND UNIT

The Green Fund Unit of the Ministry of Planning and Development was established to provide financial assistance to eligible community groups and organizations for activities related to: reforestation, remediation, environmental education and public awareness of environmental issues and conservation of the environment.

The Green Fund is capitalized by a Green Fund Levy of 0.3% on the gross sales or receipts of companies operating in Trinidad and Tobago. To date, the Green Fund Unit has contributed approximately $28 million to support environmental projects within Trinidad and Tobago.

For further information on how you can access financial assistance for your next environmental project, contact the Green Fund Unit at (868) 225-3313.