East Trinidad which comprise the administrative district of Sangre Grande and Mayaro/Rio Claro. This region represents the new geographic scope for Nature Seekers. However the area is relatively an undisturbed part of Trinidad and is poised for the development of ecotourism and expanded conservation initiatives. Among other important natural assets, two of the popular but sensitive attractions are the nesting of the giant leatherback turtles and three of the six proposed National parks (Matura Environmentally Sensitive Area, Nariva and Trinity Hills) are part of this area.
The area’s weaknesses are grouped according to the administrative district of Sangre Grande and Mayaro/Rio Claro which has been ranked lowest on the National Human Development Index 2012 as:
- Lowest in the dimensions of health, education and income for the regions
- High in gender inequalities in the country
- Lowest in secondary and higher education attainment rate in the region
- Lowest in loss in Human Development due to inequality
- Highest in poverty levels in the country
The area comprises a number of communities along the Northeast and East Trinidad. Poor road conditions and limited transportation services in this geographic area is one of the factors that makes it difficult to access basic services such as health, education and security. This geographic uniqueness is one of the factors that makes it difficult to access basic services such as health, education and security. However this challenge is the same reason why the environment gets impacted and monitoring is difficult. The increase in coastal erosion and the rise in sea level is threatening the way of life for these communities. This in part is leading to a decline in traditional agriculture and the fishing industries.
However, recent research has indicated that floods and accelerated coastal erosion associated with projected rises in sea levels could lead to a loss of 44% and 68% of viable habitat for turtle nesting along with impacts to other coastal resources, community infrastructure and private property. Additionally, a change in climatic conditions can impact the ecological viability of the turtle populations as well as endemic and endangered forest species like the Piping Guan, Howler Monkey and other important species in the area.
Over the years there has been many environmental NGO’s and community groups that contribute to the protection and support of this region together with relevant State agencies. A few of these groups are listed below:
|Community||Name of Group||Contact #|
|Cumana and Anglais||Toco Foundation||868 358-0736|
|Grande Riviere||Grande Riviere Nature Tour Guide Association||868-292-2544, 868-469-1288|
|Matelot||Pawi Sports Culture and Eco Club||868 337-6322 868 702-0789|
|San Souci||Sans Souci Wildlife & Tourism Developmental Organisation||868 728-352, 868-324-8049, 868-709-5761|
|Toco||St. David Empowerment Development Organisation||868 350-3085|
|Mission||SAD for Toco||868 372-1423, 868 670-1447|
|Fishing Pond||Fishing Pond Turtle Conservation group||868 350-9939|
|Manzanilla||Wildlife Watch Environmental Group||868 295-4641|