Description of project:

The impact of forest removal and the current and expected impacts of climate change compromise the availability and quality of freshwater, a critical resource in Trinidad and Tobago. Potable water availability and quality has been compromised and heavy siltation of rivers impacts on water treatment plants increasing downtime for maintenance and interrupting supplies to consumers. Various initiatives to encourage water conservation and to protect and manage watersheds have however not been able to sufficiently nor sustainably reverse nor reduce the causative issues which compromise freshwater quantity and quality.  There is a need therefore to improve the systems which are in place for watershed protection while simultaneously encouraging public awareness and participation in water conservation.

Royal Bank of Canada under its RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant provided CANARI with US$60,000 for 18 months to improve the community-based management of watersheds in Trinidad and Tobago through building the capacity of community groups involved in watershed management. 15 groups were also able to share lessons learnt and best practices in watershed management among each other and to enhance their skills in communicating how their work contributes to clean, safe drinking water.


  • Community watershed management groups learnt erosion control techniques.
  • Community watershed management groups produced a video on the importance of watersheds to water quality in Trinidad and Tobago.

Key activities and results:

  • Capacity assessment. An assessment of the groups involved in watershed management was carried out before the start of the project to determine the capacity gaps.
  • One-day national workshop. The groups were given an opportunity to decide the activities within the 18-month project.
  • Three training workshops. The groups learnt ways to assess and build their capacity for watershed management. They also learnt ways to improve communication with group members and external partners (workshop one and workshop two).
  • Production and dissemination of articles on watershed protection and access to clean and safe drinking water. The articles were shared in newspaper and on CANARI’s Facebook page.
  • One day community showcase. The groups were given an opportunity to share their results with partners such as the Ministry of Community Development and the Forestry Division.

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For more information, contact Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director [email protected]

See related work under CANARI’s Civil Society and Governance and Capacity building programmes.