Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 31st 2015 Contents B4
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt May 31, 2015
The Environmental Management Authority
(EMA) is pleased to celebrate its anniversary every
year on June 5, World Environment Day, as it
increases our profile as a regulatory body charged
with the responsibility of protecting our environ-
World Environment Day is the United Nations'
principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness
and action for the environment. Over the years, it
has grown to be a broad, global platform for public
outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in
over 100 countries. It also serves as the people's
day' for doing something positive for the environment,
galvanising individual actions into a collective power
that generates an exponential positive impact on the
World Environment Day is the opportunity for
everyone to realise the responsibility to care for the
earth and to become agents of change. This year, the
EMA celebrates its 20th anniversary and will be
reaching out to schools, particularly those where the
EMA has established environmental clubs, and will
be encouraging them to plant a ceremonial tree in
commemoration of World Environment Day, in its
'Plant, Snap and Win' club activity.
This activity will take place on June 5, where 35
schools, both primary and secondary, will be par-
ticipating. The EMA will be visiting three of these
schools where the EMA will give a short lecture about
World Environment Day and its significance, conduct
a question and answer session with eco-friendly
giveaways, and then culminate with the tree planting
Tree planting exercises have been viewed as a long-
standing commitment to our planet's future well-
being and provide a host of benefits to our surround-
ings. Trees are our best natural defence against climate
change by absorbing carbon dioxide whilst releasing
oxygen back into the atmosphere. Trees also absorb
odours and pollutant gases, provide a cooling effect
on our streets and cities, help prevent water pollution
by reducing storm water from transporting pollutants
into the sea, help prevent soil erosion, provide a
canopy and habitat for our wildlife, and add an invalu-
able aesthetic value to any natural setting. Besides,
most of our childhood memories are spent playing
in and around trees!
In the past, the EMA has incorporated reforestation
as part of its World Environment Day activities by
distributing plants at public exhibitions in collaboration
with the Forestry Division, much to the appreciation
of the public. This activity is also repeated for events
such as the International Day of Forests as trees were
made available to staff and members of the public
visiting our offices.
For this year's World Environment Day challenge,
planting the tree is only the first step. Each club
must document the life of the tree in a scrap book
and pass to the new members for record keeping.
The clubs must provide annual updates, inclusive of
photos of the tree's survival. The clubs actions of
sustainability in ensuring the tree's survival will con-
tribute towards the EMA's Biennial Green Leaf Awards
where their special environmental projects may be
eligible for entry.
The EMA is always seeking innovative ways to
reach out to the youth who will eventually inherit
this earth. Managing director (Ag) of the EMA, Ms
Gayatri Badri Maharaj anticipates the active partic-
ipation of several schools in this project and urges
students to understand the valuable contribution of
plants to our ecosystems. "T&T has unfortunately
suffered from rampant deforestation over the years
which have led to the degradation of several of our
esteemed natural environments. This small gesture
is a significant step in culturing environmental respon-
sibility among our youth and nurturing environmental
consciousness in their everyday lives."
Now is the time to shape a positive mindset and
instil environmental action among our youth so that
their children, and their children's children can enjoy
a safe, clean and flourishing environment.
To learn more about this 'Plant. Snap and Win'
initiative, visit www.ema.co.tt
The usually majestic Avocat Falls in Blanchisseuse, may not be so majestic due
to the dry season but it still managed to draw a crowd last weekend.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2015...
to 'Plant, Snap and Win'
decisions may seem
small in the face of
global threats and
trends, when billions
of people join forces
purpose, we can
make a tremendous
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