The Main Ridge Forest Reserve declared a National Heritage Site
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development with responsibility for the environment, is announcing to the public that the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has declared the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago a National Heritage Site under Section 5 (b) of the National Trust Act. Chapter 40:53. It is also one of the Forest and Protected Areas of T&T.
This provides for the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago, which is part of the Ministry of Planning and Development, to permanently reserve lands that are property of interest and as far as practicable, retaining their natural features and conserving the animal and plant life. The broader aim is to next have the site declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Tobago House of Assembly approved this motion in March 2018, promoting the Main Ridge Forest reserve as a protected area as part of a Tobago Protected Area Assistance Plan focusing on North East Tobago. The THA has appointed a team to compile the necessary information to produce the National Heritage Dossier in keeping with the guidelines set out by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, which will be of major importance to the nomination of World Heritage Status by UNESCO. Also encompassed in this plan are the Marine Protected Area which includes Little Tobago, Goat Island, St. Giles Island all of which belong to the State and are already deemed protected areas. This decision will augur to save the reefs and mangroves found in these areas.
These initiatives all seek to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of the area, which is considered as outstanding value. Trinidad and Tobago has been ratified under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in February 2005. Trinidad and Tobago stands to benefit from the inscription of the Tobago Main Ridge on the World Heritage List not only from an environmental conservation standpoint, because the Government believes that tourism development, heritage conservation and protection, education and awareness as well as social and economic development are all areas where significant benefits can be acquired for Trinidad and Tobago.
For background information on the Tobago Main Ridge please visit https://www.protectedareastt.org.tt/index.php/profile-of-sites/198-main-ridge-profile.