Planning & Development Minister encourages environmental stewardship through new digital application
The lionfish is an invasive species destroying local coral reefs and feeding indiscriminately on other reef species.
Planning and Development Minister, with responsibility for the environment, the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis is encouraging citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to increase stewardship of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural environment and ecosystems. Especially now, as this has been made much easier through T&T’s first ever marine environmental mobile application called Sea Information of Trinidad and Tobago or SeaiTT for short.
Developed in house, and officially launched on November 6, 2020 by the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), this new entry into Government’s suite of digital products is an environmental emergency response platform among other things. Through the SeaiTT app, citizens can report sightings of lionfish and other invasive species wreaking havoc on our environment, report oil spills, Sargassum seaweed, illegal activity as well as access maps to beaches, receive updates on tides, currents, sea swells and other vital marine information. Minister Robinson-Regis emphasizes that this new platform facilitates citizen participation in environmental management and preservation, allowing anyone who downloads the app to launch reports with images of any environmentally destructive marine activity to the IMA, who will then take the necessary actions to address. This allows a large part of the population to be extra eyes, working to help the IMA manage our marine ecosystems.
Speaking at the launch last Friday, Acting Director of the IMA, Dr. Rahanna Juman stated that the SeaiTT mobile app will offer IMA the means to collate and analyse the data collected to see long term patterns, trends and relationships which will no doubt add another layer to the IMA’s research and environmental monitoring initiatives.
Marie Hinds, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development emphasised that the SeaiTT app “Literally places power in the hands of citizens to positively contribute to Trinidad and Tobago’s environmental preservation and management.”
The 1st ever SeaiTT mobile application supports Government’s digitalization drive, giving a boost to environmental management and preservation while enhancing citizens’ appreciation of our precious marine environment.
The Minister highlights that the launch of the app is timely, as gradual measures are being taken to open our beaches which have been closed for a significant amount of time due to COVID-19. Also, North East Tobago received a prestigious UNESCO designation as a Man and Biosphere Reserve in October, the largest in the English speaking Caribbean, through this app we want to maintain this status and give ourselves the opportunity for more of our environmental spaces to be given international recognition. All of which will benefit our tourism product and the financial viability of our environmental resources, which according to the 5th National Report of Trinidad and Tobago to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2017, are valued in the region of US $100 million per year in terms of soil protection, water purification services as well as recreation and tourism-based activities.
The SeaiTT mobile can be downloaded for iOS and Android platforms.