Joanne Deoraj, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Planning & Development, sixth from right, EU ambassador Aad Biesebroek, fourth from right, Nicole Leotaud, executive director CANARI, second from right, and Reuben Robertson, acting resident coordinator of UN T&T, right, stands with Davin Jagessar, assistant programme co-ordinator from the Ministry of Planning & Development, fifth from right, and CSOs representatives, from left, Talya Mohammed (IAM Movement), Curmira Gulston (CYEN-TT), Candice Ramkissoon (CANARI) and Kemba Jaramogi (Fondes Amandes Community Project).
SDG Knowledge Platform launched
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) unveiled its Caribbean Civil Society Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Knowledge Platform on Tuesday, July 30, 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 United Nations (UN)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.

The SDGs were championed by the United Nations in 2015 for which 193 nations have signed.

The all-encompassing goals aim to overcome global challenges such as poverty, hunger, inequality and climate change by 2030 and is the foundation for T&T’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030.

Key officials from government, members of civil society, the acting resident co-ordinator for the UN T&T and the head of delegation of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago (DEU) were presented with a live demonstration of the platform’s capabilities. The Caribbean Civil Society SDGs Knowledge Platform was created as part of a European Union (EU) supported project CSOs4GoodGov which aims to empower civil society to better contribute to T&T’s development.

In his feature address, EU ambassador Aad Biesebroek stated: “We believe that civil society has an important role to encourage behaviour change that the SDGs require, embracing change as an opportunity rather than as a threat, and to 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 CSOs in general and why we were happy to give our support to this project in particular.”

From educating society on positive environmental and social change to advocating for key policy changes, CSO representatives from Habitat for Humanity T&T, IAMovement, Caribbean Youth Environment Network—T&T Chapter (CYEN-TT) and Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project highlighted key issues faced in T&T, 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.

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.”

Reuben Robertson, acting resident co-ordinator of United Nations T&T, highlighted the importance that CSOs played in achieving the SDGS and commended the emphasis that has been placed on supporting local civil society.

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: sdg/ For more information, contact Candice Ramkissoon (Technical Officer) at or 638 6062