Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2015 Contents A29
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The global demand for
rubber tyres is threatening
protected forests in Southeast
Asia, according to a study.
Tropical forests are being
cleared for rubber plantations,
putting endangered birds, bats
and primates at risk, say UK
By 2024, up to 8.5 million
hectares of new rubber
plantations will be needed to
meet demand, they report in
This could have a
"catastrophic" impact on
wildlife, they warn.
Species such as the
ibis, yellow-cheeked crested
gibbon and clouded leopard
could lose precious habitat,
said the team led by Eleanor
Warren-Thomas, from the
School of Environmental
Sciences at the University of
"The tyre industry
consumes 70 per cent of all
natural rubber grown, and
rising demand for vehicle and
aeroplane tyres is behind the
recent expansion of
plantations. But the impact of
this is a loss of tropical
biodiversity," she said.
"We predict that between
4.3 and 8.5 million hectares of
new plantations will be
required to meet projected
demand by 2024. This will
threaten significant areas of
Asian forest, including many
protected areas." (BBC)
Errol Fabien is executive director
of the community TV station
Gayelle the Channel, with expe-
rience as an actor, TV and radio pre-
senter, comedian and media producer.
Born in Gonzales Village, Guapo, he
was one of nine children. Today he is
the single father of seven of his own
children, with three different women.
He raises them himself.
The T&T Guardian asked him in an
interview at his St Joseph home about
his experiences, observations and opin-
ions on family violence and parenting,
both growing up as a boy, and as an
adult and parent.
"I grew up in a relatively peaceful
community, but when there was vio-
lence, it was horrendous. I remember
seeing a man soon after he got chopped
in his head with a cutlass, and the man
who chopped him, forced him to get
it back out, to chop him again...I also
saw a man who was victim of an
ambush by an entire family: they beat
him up, and he couldn t walk after. I
saw a man get hit with a pigfoot (a
crowbar), in Guapo.
"Although in one case it was family
violence in the sense of feuding, the
other incidents were alcohol-related.
Rumshop ole talk get into violence and
people run out with weapon and that
kind of thing."
'Licks' the norm
He said physical punishment of chil-
dren was very much accepted in his
community in the 1960s-early 70s:
most of the boys in his village "got
"In my own boyhood, I got a lotta
licks. I earned it regularly. From both
parents. More from Mommy because
she was around more. But I got a lot
of love from them too. My mother was
very, very caring, very very loving, but
she d tear in your tail at a moment s
notice. I got myself in trouble a
lot...from before I was a teenager. I
never knew when to stop so I d always
go overboard with things, and it would
invoke the belt."
He noted punishment wasn t only
physical: his parents would also do
things like lecture him on the need to
learn about responsibility. Once, he
remembered, they gave him $20 and
sent him on a two-mile trek to buy
two goats, which he then had to walk
back, and take care of, to learn how to
be caring and nurturing.
"I remember getting licks in school
for just being near some other boys
who were playing...My father was prin-
cipal, and he told me when he cutting
mih tail: I can t spare you because you
are my son. So I take the licks.
"I became a parent pretty early in
my life; at 22 or 23 my first child was
born. Those bigger children today, who
are in their early 30s, would tell me
they got a different parent than the one
I became later on. The older children
would tell me my 10-year-old and 11-
year-old now get away with things that
they never used to get away with. But
I have not been a parent who beat my
"I disciplined, but never beat my
children like how my parents beat me.
Let me tell you, one day I remember
my sister was washing de wares, and
my mother come and say: You call this
wash? Dis wash? Eh? ---And break de
plate on her head."
Fabien said he thought his mother
was frustrated, and that s why she
resorted to violence to discipline her
"When she give you a cut-tail, you
get a cut-tail."
Fabien said parenthood is a learning
process, and that he s become very
socially aware of the impact that actions
have on people.
"I m aware that violence begets vio-
lence. I m aware that if I beat someone,
they may come to understand that that
is normal. And it is not normal."
'The whole society violent'
Demand for rubber 'threatens forests'
...Errol Fabien on family abuse
and the 'ram goat' culture
Continues on Page A30
Fabien says he
never beat any
of his children.
I'm aware that violence begets violence.
I'm aware that if I beat someone, they
may come to understand that that
is normal. And it is not normal.
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