New telephone survey to give citizens a chance to speak on climate change and its impacts on daily life
The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Ministry of Planning and Development, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), and the National Red Cross, has embarked on a nationwide survey to capture citizens’ knowledge, attitude and practises towards climate change and its impact on Trinidad and Tobago.
Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis is urging citizens to participate in this survey which will be conducted via telephone using a random sample of the national population. According to the Minister, “This is one of a broad suite of activities which the government is leading to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago is at the forefront not only in the region but globally regarding climate change mitigation and building resilience to its effects.”
Minister Robinson-Regis adds that as a small island developing state we need to ensure our survival by increasing citizens’ awareness of and getting them involved in climate change mitigation and this knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey with the Ministry of Planning and Development, the European Union, and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre does just that.
Minister Robinson-Regis also serves as Chair of the Ministerial Committee to co-ordinate the execution of the Implementation Plan for the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Trinidad and Tobago to the Paris Agreement (2017-2030). Work is in train through the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of the Planning Ministry to prepare for Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in the Twenty Sixth Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in November 2021, in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) survey is a key output of the communications component of the project, “Enhancing Climate Resilience in CARIFORUM Countries”, which is funded by the European Union (EU) under the Intra-America Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+). The project is part of a global programme seeking to support the climate compatible development of the CARIFORUM countries to combat the negative impacts of climate change and disasters.
While predictions are that Caribbean countries are expected to face more adverse extreme weather events, many citizens have not connected extreme weather events to climate change. Awareness of how climate change can and will intersect every aspect of daily life is also lacking. The findings from Trinidad and Tobago’s KAP towards Climate Change and its subsequent use in developing a National Climate Change Public Education and Outreach Strategy will assist in making these connections and narrow knowledge gaps.
The Ministry of Planning and Development, which serves as the National Focal Point to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate encourages citizens to welcome the Red Cross team, and make their voices heard.
The Planning Ministry if of the view that it is important to hear from our citizens so that their specific information needs and recommendations concerning climate change is obtained. It is the only way we can enhance our awareness and tailor capacity-building strategies to inform and empower citizens, decision- makers, and all layers of society to make changes that will build climate resilience and reduce their carbon footprint.
“Building awareness of climate change and variability at all levels of the Caribbean society is important for us to achieve climate compatibility and strengthen national development, that is why the KAP survey is being launched in some of our Member States, to gather the baseline that we need to set the context for the public awareness drive that is to be subsequently initiated”, says Ms Tecla Fontenard, Communications Specialist at the CCCCC.
Trinidad and Tobago is one of five (5) CARIFORUM countries participating in the survey. The others are The Bahamas, Belize, the Dominican Republic and Saint Kitts & Nevis. In Trinidad and Tobago, the National Red Cross team will call randomly selected households to administer the survey. The implementers encourage citizens to accept this call and let their voices be heard.
The National KAP Survey on Climate Change commenced on September 1, 2021 and concludes in October 2021.