FAO and CSO coordinate Socio-Economic Survey of selected Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago

As a follow up to the recent announcement of the Government’s acceptance of a Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) proposal for Nationally Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis is announcing that the next stage, a Socio-Economic Survey of Selected Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago, has commenced. 

This Survey is a component of the FAO-administered project “Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago” and is studying multiple impacts of Protected Areas on the welfare and livelihood of households neighbouring forested/protected areas. The target population comprises private households living under non-institutionalized housing arrangements in the vicinity of the following six Protected Areas of Trinidad and Tobago:

1. Caroni Swamp

2. Nariva Swamp and Coastal Zone

3. Matura Forest and Coastal Zone

4. Trinity Hills and Eastern Extension

5. Main Ridge Forest Reserve

6. North-East Tobago Marine Area (Pilot)

The main objective of the Survey is to generate the data necessary to assess the economic contribution of Trinidad and Tobago’s forest and wild products to household livelihoods and overall economic welfare.  The process is scheduled to take place from July to the end of September 2019.

As part of targeting the six (6) Protected Areas in Trinidad and Tobago, the survey will cover urban, sub-urban and rural communities. Random selection will be used to choose the 1,400 households spread across the length and breadth of the country from which information will be gathered. Upon completion of the final selection, an experienced field interviewer will visit the addresses and administer the survey via a questionnaire to capture the households’ information. The questions will capture information based on a prior twelve (12) month period so will therefore reflect data for 2018. 

The success of the survey and the quality of the resulting data is largely dependent on the cooperation of citizens who fall within the survey sample. Citizens from selected households are urged to try their best to recall their activities over the last twelve (12) months, so that the correct information can be provided.

The type of information to be collected by this survey include:

  • · How important are forest and wild products to rural communities?
  • · What types of forest and wild products are collected by the household in the community?
  • · How are forests and wild products used by different genders and age groups?
  • · How does income from forests and wild products contribute to household livelihoods?
  • · What are the quantities and values of medicinal plants collected for use and sale?

Minister Robinson-Regis emphasizes that this exercise is a huge part of Government using data to develop policies and make the necessary decisions guiding the welfare of Trinidad and Tobago’s citizens.  This is one of many surveys being conducted by the Central Statistical Office, of which also include the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, which focuses on specific issues and problems faced by women and children.  The CSO is also presently conducting the Survey of Business Establishments, which gathers data on businesses in T&T contributing to the determination of our GDP.  The national Census is also due soon and preparations are currently in train.

As always, all information provided by respondents will be treated with the strictest confidence in accordance with the Statistics Act (Chap. 19:02).

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