The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago will commence a scientific assessment of potential climate change risks to heritage sites in downtown Port of Spain and Nelson Island in January 2022 in collaboration with the University of Florida’s Historic Preservation Program.
The project will be financed through a grant awarded to the Trust, exclusively for the purpose of supporting climate change resilience, through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) in the amount of US $200,000.00.
Following the announcement by the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago, Chairman of the National Trust Margaret McDowall said the Grant was a watershed moment for tangible heritage conservation in Trinidad and Tobago and thanked the US Embassy for its support. She noted that this grant will allow the first ever climate resilience project of this kind to be initiated in Trinidad and Tobago and may serve as a model for other Caribbean island nations with a similar challenges of managing the impact of rising sea levels on heritage sites.
McDowall indicated that the goals of this project are to:-
- Develop a framework for conserving and adapting heritage sites across Trinidad and Tobago to be more resilient to rising sea levels. This includes a stakeholder engagement strategy for enhancing awareness of climate change, sea level rise and the impact on heritage sites which will benefit students, academics and communities in particular.
- Create digital documentation and coastal hazard risk assessments for the two selected sites: downtown Port of Spain and Nelson Island with associated conservation and adaptation management plans.
McDowall said “It is an honour for Trinidad and Tobago to be chosen within the top 32 countries, given that the Trust’s submission was one among more than 172 proposals considered from around the world. We will work to ensure that we manage these funds according to the grant’s guidelines to the benefit of our local heritage sites impacted by rising sea levels.”