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North East Tobago has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO Man and the Biosphere designation and 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 this morning’s 32nd Sitting of the Man and the Biosphere International Coordinating Committee.

“The Man and the Biosphere Programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments,” according to a statement from UNESCO.

Environment Secretary in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Kwesi Des Vignes said: “This is yet another milestone for Tobago and the nation on a whole. Trinidad and Tobago 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 THA will begin formulating a management plan for the UNESCO site that will consider further meaningful engagement of communities and stakeholders.