Hiking Association launched ... for 'people who love the outdoors'
July 21, 2017: Delivering the Keynote Address at the Launch Ceremony of the Hiking Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries said ‘I was very fortunate to grow up in the home of one of the early environmentalists in the country – my father – who eventually became a Forest Officer working in the Ministry that I now have the opportunity to lead and I have hiked and hiked and hiked’. Minister Rambharat highlighted some well-known hiking trails that he had the privilege to trek and to ‘see up close and first hand’. Sharing with the audience his recent hiking experience to the now famous Salt Water Volcano in South East Trinidad.
He pointed out that ‘we have on our hands a battle to educate and encourage people to do the right and responsible thing’. Further that ‘all of us are here because we love ourselves, love physical activity and physical challenges, love the environment and what has been granted to us by nature – a beautiful place to live and enjoy – but we are up against the failure of individual responsibility in this country’. Senator Rambharat shared that he will ‘continue to do what is within [his] reach to do, within [his] areas of responsibility’ because of his strong belief that ‘whatever we have here should be enjoyed [responsibly] by all’.
He also called on the Executive of the newly formed Association to ‘place attention on standards and certification’ since that provides assurance to the public that ‘this group knows what they are doing and the [details of the] hike are known, the safety provisions are well established’ and that in the event of an emergency, there exists a system that allows for an effective response.
The Minister highlighted the all-encompassing, multi-faceted and far reaching nature of hiking, saying that ‘maybe the whole Cabinet could have been suitably invited to this [Launch]’, since hiking and the outdoors include the areas of tourism, planning (the environment), health, national security, sport, among others. He also highlighted the upgrades currently being made to the Emperor Valley Zoo, all intended for the enjoyment by the young ones in our country.
Also speaking at the event were:
- Mr. Glen Wilkes, Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalist Club who delivered a message of ‘enjoyment and protection of nature’;
- Mr. Michael Jattan, Interim Secretary, HATT who said ‘HATT is an umbrella Association for all hiking clubs’ with a mantra to provide ‘a safe hiking experience for all’, since the statistics show that on a weekly basis over one thousand persons participate in hikes; and
- Mr. Dave Jacob, HATT Executive Member who urged all enthusiasts and professionals alike to ‘leave footprints only and take pictures’.
The core message at the evening’s event was ‘we need many more people to become eco-warriors’.
Attending the Launch were Mrs. Camille Rambharat, wife of Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat; and senior representatives of stakeholder organisations, including the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Planning and Development, Police Service, Fire Service, Trinidad and Tobago Incoming Tour Operators Association. The event was hosted at the Horticultural Society’s Headquarters in Port of Spain on Tuesday 19th July, 2017.
The aim of the Hiking Association is to ensure that hiking is promoted as a recreational, sporting and tourism oriented activity in Trinidad and Tobago, to encourage the responsible use of trails and their conservation and above all to set safety standards which will serve to foster the protection of the hiking public.
Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries as he tours the Exhibition at the Launch of the Hiking Association of Trinidad and Tobago (HATT) and interacts with author, Ms. Annela Rajkumar while flipping through the pages of her publication ‘Waterfalls of Paradise’.
Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries as he tours the Exhibition at the Launch of the Hiking Association of Trinidad and Tobago (HATT).
For further information please contact:
The Corporate Communications Unit
Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries