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Grounding the Environmental Revolution
March 24 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pmFree
The needs and concerns of citizens and communities have often been viewed as secondary to that of the state and private interests in managing the trade-offs between economic development and environmental (and social) sustainability, particularly within the extractive sector.
In this tug-of-war, the State and private interests often win – with the dollar superseding the desires of communities to provide a space for its citizens to live lives that are safe, healthy and happy. In fact, many communities rarely get a say in how their own resources are extracted and managed, even though (on paper) their voices are meant to matter. In many cases, communities and citizens are not able to fully access and use the necessary information to make their voices heard and count in these issues of national importance.
In Trinidad and Tobago, transparency and accountability of decision making remain revolutionary ideals. However right now, there are communities all around Trinidad and Tobago that are raising their voices and building their skills to hold all stakeholders responsible for the sustainable management of all the benefits that nature provides – through the European Union-funded Action, ‘CSOs for Good Environmental Governance.’
Building this revolution of accountability and transparency from the ground up is vital to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago makes the best decisions for its future. In looking forward, we also hope to learn lessons from the diversity of experiences from communities and civil society in their actions and advocacy around the environment and extractive industries.
This round of conversations on grounding the environmental revolution would be led by several community groups and civil society in Trinidad and Tobago, who are currently participants in the Action ‘CSOs for Good Environmental Governance.’ Join them and share in their experiences, achievements and lessons learnt in the pursuit for accountability and transparency in the extractive sector.
Key questions to be answered
- What makes community environmental action and mobilisation successful?
- What sustains community environmental activism and advocacy around the extractive sector?
- What are the institutional and cultural barriers that prevent a true environmental revolution?
- How can we work better together as a community of communities?
The Conversations (2 hours):
Each presenting group will be situated separated from one another and give a 10-minute introduction of their experience with the topic of environmental action and the extractive industries. Participants will have already received summaries of the groups’ experiences.
- Open and frank conversation: The audience will be encouraged to start a conversation with the presenters, as well as fellow participants around topics that are related to the theme. It is hoped that the conversation will be fluid and organic. Minimal moderation will be undertaken with the intention of keeping the conversation moving and ensuring that everyone has a chance to be heard
- Free to mingle: Participants will be able to move among conversation groups during the 2-hour session and integrate themselves into new conversations as they see fit.
Expressing yourself (2 hours):
- After lunch, participants will have the chance to artistically represent what they have experienced in the conversations using guided mural painting and upcycling clothing through art. These murals will then be available for public display
- Mock Court: this activity will be primarily aimed to the secondary school participants. Participants will be exposed to an ‘ongoing case’ of resource extraction vs environmental sustainability and be asked to be a court of the people and argue both sides
Presenting Groups (Preliminary list)
- La Brea General Council
- Maracas Valley Action Committee
- Environment Tobago
- Caura Valley Village Council
- Trinidad and Tobago Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TTEITI)
Venue: San Fernando Hill
Date: March 24th, 2020
Time: 9:30 am (launch), 10:00am – 2:00 pm
Audience: Community and civil society members, secondary school students