Habitat for Humanity seek to make housing & land accessible to vulnerable groups: Disabled, Persons living with HIV/AIDS & the LGBTQIA in T&T by 2030

The Ministry of Planning and Development hosted the launch of the Caribbean Civil Society SDGs Knowledge Platform on Tuesday 30th July, 2019. During the launch, members of the Civil Society Group known as the SDGs Catalyst Network comprising of 22 NGOs within Trinidad and Tobago. Habitat for Humanity gave a dynamic presentation on the SDG entitled; Sustainable Cities and Communities which placed focus on reducing discrimination and improving housing & land access for vulnerable groups - the disabled, those living with HIV & AIDS and the LGBTQIA communities in Trinidad and Tobago by the year 2030.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) unveiled its Caribbean Civil Society Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Knowledge Platform on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, a dynamic virtual space that showcases and strengthens the work of local and regional Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). CANARI is a non-profit organisation that has spent the last 30 years promoting and facilitating effective management of natural resources that are critical to regional development in order that citizens enjoy a better quality of life. The online platform features a mix of stories, case studies, videos and photos covering the transformative work of Caribbean CSOs in implementing the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides organisations working on sustainable development issues with a convenient nexus to share, learn, network and collaborate with one another.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted and championed  17 Sustainable Development Goals for which 193 nations have signed and have again to work towards its achievement by the year 2030. The all-encompassing goals aim to overcome global challenges such as poverty, hunger, inequality and climate change is the foundation for Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030.

In his feature address, EU Ambassador His Excellency Aad Biesebroek stated, “We believe that civil society organizations are the answer. They have a critical role to play in the achievement of the SDGs, as they can bridge the gap between the policies of Government and the needs of the people. This is why the EU is committed to supporting the work of CSO's in general and why we were happy to give our support to this project in particular.”

Mrs. Joanne Deoraj, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Planning & Development, said “While Governments invariably establish the broad policy, planning, regulatory and institutional frameworks in which the SDGs are to be achieved, it is the collective work of all parties in the public sector, the private sector, civil society, academia and the media which make achievement realisable. In this vein, the Ministry of Planning and Development congratulates the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute  and the European Union for the creation of this Knowledge Platform.”

Mr. Reuben Robertson, Acting Resident Coordinator of United Nations Trinidad and Tobago, highlighted the importance that CSOs played in achieving the SDGS and commended the emphasis that has been placed on supporting local civil society.

From educating society on positive environmental and social change to advocating for key policy changes, CSO representatives from, IAMovement, Caribbean Youth Environment Network - Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (CYEN-TT) and Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project highlighted key issues faced in Trinidad and Tobago, examples of how their work contributes to the SDGS and how the Knowledge Platform will enhance their local and regional implementation efforts of the SDGs.

CANARI currently has an open call for proposals for members of civil society to submit their projects to the Knowledge Platform.

The online platform can be accessed at: www.hub.canari.org/sdg/. For more information, contact Candice Ramkissoon (Technical Officer) at candice@canari.org or 1 868 638 6062.

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