On World Environment Day, 5th June 2018, IYORTT hosted its 1st Screening of the Netflix Documentary Chasing Coral at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. The event was well attended.
The “talk back” session that followed was led by SpeSeas’ own Dr. Jahson Alemu I, Coral Reef Ecologist and Dr. Ahmad Khan, recently appointed Director of the Institute of Marine Affairs. Dr. Alemu I and Dr. Khan were able to address many of the questions and issues raised by the very interactive and curious audience. Questions ranged from the resilience of coral to climate change to management for change. But, the main messages were:
- Trinidad and Tobago has unique coral reef biodiversity which we should conserve
- Our coral reefs are being severely impacted by local stressors such as siltation arising from coastal development and nutrient loading, but the greatest impact to coral reefs these days is climate change.
- Science can be used to improve the resilience of coral reefs but ultimately behavioural change is required
- The need to translate science into policy and management
- Citizens have an active and important role to play in reducing their carbon footprint
- The IMA continues to lead the state’s efforts to conserve coral reefs
- There is a need for greater public education and outreach, not only for schools but for the older generation.
- There is a need to find innovative strategies to engage the public.
Some of this discussion was streamed online via the IYORTT Facebook Page (click here to view).
IYORTT thanks everyone who contributed to making this event a success. A special thanks to our volunteers on that day.
Have a look at some of the photos from the event.