The villagers of Brasso Seco will tell you that their village name means “dry arm of river”. The village lies about thirty-five km north of the town of Arima, in the Paria Valley on the southern slopes of the Northern Range in Trinidad and Tobago. Brasso Seco sits at the base of Trinidad’s highest peak, El Cerro Del Aripo, which provides the perfect environment for growing cocoa and hence this was the main livelihood for many residents until the 1960s. Today the village has a small population of about three hundred people and the main source of livelihood is from the forest.

In 2011, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago approved a new Forest Policy giving stakeholders authority to participate in management of the nation’s forests. There are many communities engaged in forest-based livelihoods in Trinidad and Tobago, but none have attempted to develop a formal plan to sustainably manage the use of the resources on which their livelihoods depend.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has provided a grant to CANARI to implement a pilot project for the formulation of a community-based site plan for sustainable use of forest resources in Trinidad and Tobago. CANARI has begun working with the Forestry Division of Trinidad and Tobago to undertake this pilot project in the community of Brasso Seco.


To pilot community-based forest management planning for the sustainable use of forest resources within a selected community in Trinidad and Tobago


The project utilizes an innovative community-based approach to forest management planning through the production of an interactive map. The process for the production of the map includes:

  • facilitated discussions to identify forest resources;
  • building the capacity of villagers to use Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to plot the location of forest resources;
  • documenting plans for forest resources through the facilitated use of video and photography in the field/forest; and
  • facilitated discussions to generate forest resource profiles which include a description of each resource and a plan inclusive of measures for monitoring and evaluation.


Project outputs are: