The Main Ridge Forest Reserve, Tobago is the oldest forest reserve in the Western Hemisphere and is of significant conservation importance. As part of their GEF SGP UNDP funded project, the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville (ERIC) launched Forest Check in August 2017. Forest Check is an innovative, globally unique initiative that offers tourists the opportunity to work with local tour guides and make a direct and tangible contributions to improving conservation and co-management of the Main Ridge Forest Reserve. Through this initiative, visitors can collect invaluable data leading to improved conservation management. Additionally, this initiative supports the sustainable livelihoods of community members that are inherently dependent on healthy forest ecosystems in North-East Tobago.
This GEF SGP project is also linked to the IFPAM (Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago) project currently being implemented by the Government of T&T in collaboration with the GEF and UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Under IFPAM, the Main Ridge has been earmarked as a national Protected Area to be co-managed by the surrounding communities. As such the activities being implemented by ERIC are currently building the capacity of several CSOs and community members to be engaged in meaningful and effective co-management of the shared resources within this ecosystem.
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