New signage installed for protected areas

November 13th 2019 marked a significant day in the IFPAMTT project, with the unveiling of new signage at protected areas.  The Matura National Park Environmentally Sensitve Area was the first of six pilot protected areas of focus in the project to be bestowed with these simple yet significant features which are intended to aid in building awareness and valuing of protected areas.  The ceremony to unveil these signs took place at a main entryway to the ESA, at the corner of Salybia-Matura Trace and Toco Main Road in the village of Salybia.  Senator the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and Mr. Reuben Robertson, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization for Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname took part in the unveiling ceremony after addressing a small gathering of about 60 persons; several members of the surrounding community were present at the ceremony. 

A total of 30 signs will be mounted around the ESA, with some of these located within the communities that surround the site.  A survey of persons in these communities that was undertaken in 2016 revealed that persons who lived outside of the village of Matura had little or no connection with the Park that has "Matura" in its name.  As a result of this, stakeholders on the Project Subcommittee associated with the site decided that apart from boundary-demarcating signs, information signs that highlight key assets of the Park should be mounted in these communities, headlined with the words "In Your Neighbourhood" to stimulate a closer connection with the area.  

Similar signage exercises are expected to take place around four more protected areas in the coming months with the intent of building interest, knowledge and appreciation of the value of these sites.