Research was planned, developed and is carried out in participation
with stakeholders: local communities, national NGOs (COPE, CFCA)
and Forestry Division.
Various meetings were held with environmental community-based organizations,
village councils and the M2M network in the Matura to Matelot area
to discuss and develop participation.
regional consultation meetings were organised for the general public
the research project was presented to the public, input
was requested into the design of research activities and methodologies,
and desired outputs and formats were discussed. These took place
in Grande Rivière Visitor Centre on Thursday 14 July 2005
and in Salybia Primary School on Wednesday 20 July 2005. At these
meetings the research project for the Matura National Park was presented
to the public; input into design of planned research activities and
methodology was invited; desired outputs for local communities were
discussed and participation was discussed.
This project is carried out in participation with:
Salybia Environmental Group
Balandra Environmental and Nature Group
SAD – Toco
Grande Rivière Tourism Development Organisation
PAWI group - Matelot
And Caribbean Forest Conservation Association
community participants (nominated by the above-mentioned CBOs are
participating in the research).
Forestry Division actively supports this research. Jefferson Quashie and Richie
Singh, foresters with National Parks, FD participate in the vegetation survey.
of The West Indies: Department of Life Sciences
This project is co-ordinated by:
Veerle Van den Eynden
vegetation survey is co-ordinated by:
activities are overseen by:
Of the Department of Life Sciences and Professor
Serwan Baban of the Centre for Caribbean Land and Environmental Appraisal
Plant specimens are pressed, dried and identified thanks to collaboration
with The National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago.
Twenty-six people from local communities, NGOs and Forestry Division were trained
as participants for the participatory baseline survey in the Agro-Tourism
Centre in Cumana, Toco from 16 to 18 August 2005.
At this workshop all participants were trained in field survey techniques by
researchers and lecturers of the Department of Life Sciences; planned research
activities were discussed and scrutinised in detail; survey methods were finalised
by the entire team and survey practicalities were discussed.
Training of the assistants in bird identification was difficult considering our methodology. Note taking and short talks showed promise, but the transect (sector) walk method was not effective in realizing this objective. Nevertheless the method did actually facilitate an interactive, educational environment amongst team members, but this resulted in disturbances which reduced observer concentration and effort, and most likely alarmed shy birds.
Since training assistants was a deliverable of this study, the “transect-walk” method was deemed appropriate for interactive survey sessions. Good relationships and team dynamism were essential in inspiring interest in this project. With a week more or so dedicated alongside an expert at a more convenient birding hotspot, all the assistants may be adept enough to start running birding tours. They all are quite suitable for subsequent scientific research assistantship.