Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt April 12 - 2017
DIQE sensitises public
on 'green' alternatives
Councillor Kwesi Des Vignes, Secretary
of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Envi-
ronment told the one hundred participants
at last week's "If it's Green, It's Good"
stakeholder meeting he was encouraged by
their response and interest.
Some of the issues discussed by the stake-
holders included the way forward to preserve
the environment, the creation of a manu-
facturing plant at Cove Eco-Industrial Estate
and Business Park and the island's food stock
The meeting, which is part of the consul-
tative process to phase out the use of sty-
rofoam products in Tobago, was held by the
Division of Infrastructure Quarries and the
Environment (DIQE). Des Vignes piloted a
motion at last month's, 1st Sitting of the
2017-2012, Plenary Session to gradually end
the use of styrofoam and find alternatives
products for use on the island.
At the consultation, the Secretary told
participants, "When it comes to preserving
the environment, it (protective policy) can
never be frivolous." He cautioned them that
a degree of inconvenience was expected as
Tobago rethinks its consumption pattern and
its effects on the environment.
"You may have to step out of your com-
fort zones if we're serious about this [phas-
ing out of polystyrene foam products]," Des
And Director of the Department of Envi-
ronment, Linford Beckles, said stakeholders
do not need "to wait for legislation to act
In presenting green alternatives at the
meeting, supplier, Hello Green displayed an
array of biodegradable and compostable alter-
natives products made from bagasse, corn
and palm leaves.
The company's, Managing Director, Van-
dana Mangroo, said the meeting was import-
ant as Tobago joins other Caribbean islands
and the rest of the world in preserving the
She noted that "going green" meant that
Tobago could seek to determine its carbon
footprint. She said its footprint depended
on the use of its landfill space and the extent
to which it maintained ethics and sustain-
ability throughout the supply chain.
Yet another "going green" provider, Sian
Cuffy-Young, Siel Environmental said edu-
cation was a key component of the "green"
initiative as children and young people had
to be taugh "pro-green" lessons. She said
they would take the lessons into adulthood.
Siel Environmental is hoping to assist the
Assembly in developing a "Pro-Green" com-
prehensive behaviour change campaign for
DIQE Secretary: Licensing office to resume regular working hours
Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and
the Environment Kwesi Des Vignes is mak-
ing a commitment to ensure normal service
resumes at the Tobago Licensing Depart-
The promise comes after years of the
Licensing Department opening its doors
to members of the public between 8 am
and 11 am. The office was closed on July
23, 20115 after an assessment from the
Occupational Safety and Health and
Department highlighted health and safety
Public Services Association (PSA) presi-
dent Watson Duke deemed the building's
structure was "compromised" and workers
were sent home on paid vacation.
Back then the situation was said to be
resolved and the office relocated.
However, since then the office has been
closed from time to time for repairs.
Last week, Des Vignes said, "Origi-
nally we were hoping for an opening of
April 1, unfortunately, we were not able
to keep that despite the efforts of the
Des Vignes said although repairs are also
being conducted on weekends, the work
suffered several setbacks, including a col-
lapsed cesspit tank and a leaky main.
Licensing staff is currently in training on
afternoons to prepare for regular service at
DIQE conference room.
"This is very much a priority for the Divi-
sion," the Secretary said.
"The public cannot continue to suffer."
Kwesi Des Vignes chats with a guest
attending the stakeholders meeting.
Stakeholders and other guests, among them Secretary for Infrastructure, Quarries and the
Environment, Councillor Kwesi Des Vignes, left foreground, listen to a presentation during the event.
"Hello Green" managing director Vandana Mangroo, left, shares information on "green"packaging being sold by her company.
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