Krystal Ganaselal Information Officer
ver 4 billion years ago, life began in water. All life, including our own, exists because of the ocean. Despite the fact that
more than 70% of the Earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface is covered by seawater, it is often not realised how critical a role, the ocean plays in our daily lives. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s take a deep breath and dive into some of the essential services offered by the ocean.
School of Ocean Surgeonfish, Speyside, Tobago Photo credit: Jonathan Gomez
Weather and Climate
he ocean has a major influence on the Earth’s climate because of its interaction with the atmosphere. It has the amazing ability to absorb, store and slowly release large quantities of the sun’s heat around the globe. Ocean currents help to distribute this heat by transporting warm water (with a lower salinity) surrounding the equator towards colder water (with a higher salinity) near the cool poles. The colder, saltier waters are heavier (more dense) and therefore sink while warmer, less salty waters rise. A continuous cycle of warm water rising and cool water sinking occurs. Heat exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere also drives the water cycle, and condensation of the water that evaporates from warm seas provides energy for hurricanes and tropical storms. Diversity Of Life The ocean provides an extensive living space with diverse and unique ecosystems. The first organisms were single cell and microscopic; however over many millennia, these organisms developed and became larger and more complex. Over time they slowly evolved into the plants and animals we know on land and in the water today, and there are still many species yet to be discovered. Life ranging in size from the smallest living microbes such as viruses and bacteria to the largest animal on Earth is supported by the ocean. Microbes, which form the basis of all ocean food webs, are important primary producers and are responsible for producing carbon and oxygen on our planet. The ocean provides us with more than half of the oxygen we breathe!
Interconnection Bewteen Humans And The Ocean Being a major source of food, almost one billion people rely on fish as their main source of protein. Raw materials and building materials such as sand, gravel or gypsum are supplied by the ocean. It supports jobs and provides the ultimate highway for transportation of goods, people and international trade. National economies are supported by marine ecosystems- beaches and coral reefs - which generate income from tourism.
Approximately half of the world’s population live in coastal areas and many are susceptible to natural hazards including hurricanes, storms and sea-level rise associated with impacts from climate change. With increased carbon dioxide levels, the ocean is becoming more acidic, impacting animals such as corals and molluscs thus making it more difficult for them to build their protective skeletons or shells.
The ocean is a source of inspiration to many people and offers opportunities for recreational activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, sailing and surfing. The ocean also has the potential to produce a significant amount of the energy that we need.
It is a reality that we humans are to blame for the incessant abuse of the ocean - from pollution, overfishing and global warming. For our continued existence, let us each care for the ocean as it sustains life on Earth. Individual as well as collective actions are essential to ensuring the future of a healthy, productive ocean for all to enjoy and appreciate. The oceans are a resource which needs our urgent help to conserve for the future of humanity.
Our Future During the last 50,000 years, changes in the ocean’s circulation due to global warming have produced large, abrupt changes in climate.
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Cycling Classic 2017
Small Island Style
The best of International cycling rides off in the Capital of Paradise as Tobago will set the perfect stage for the highly anticipated Tobago International Cycling Classic 2017. Over 300 Cyclists from Europe, North America, South America & all of the Caribbean will converge on this island paradise for 5 days of the Caribbean’s biggest sporting exhibition of endurance, skill & speed. Riders will be tested to their limits as they confront the unforgiving conditions & brutal Terrain when they circumnavigate the island’s spectacular coastline in the feature event, the UCI Sanctioned Tour of Tobago. This road cycling event is sometimes referred to in international cycling circles as “The Tour de France of the Caribbean. It is also the only such event in the region that has the full backing of the Geneva-based UCI - the world governing body for cycling. The Cycling Classic will also feature 2 days of exciting Mountain Bike Racing through the picturesque trails of Tobago’s pristine rain forest reserve The TICC will celebrate its 31st. anniversary in 2017 which is a significant milestone, validating the prominence and the sustainability of this event. On this momentous occasion, The TICC Organizers will be staging an event that will be unsurpassed in terms of competition, participation & viewership. The prime objective is to promote & boost Sport & Sport Tourism activities in Tobago & to use this World Ranked Cycling Event with the support of ESPN, Social Media and Live Stream Broadcast as a conduit for attracting a worldwide audience to visit Tobago. When any organization partners with the TICC, it is committing itself to delivering realistic relevance and value to the millions of followers who see the TICC as synonymous with any top rated international sporting event. Through media activations, product integration and social media, the TICC has the tools to engage a captive audience and highlight what sets Tobago apart from other Caribbean tourism destinations. Despite the challenges being faced in terms of sponsorship, infrastructure and the high travel cost for international teams and their support groups coming to the event, the TICC continues to deliver in its ability to outpace and outperform other local and Caribbean sporting events on the international forum.
surf n' turf
What makes this event so popular among the foreign and local participants is not so much the fact that it is the only race in the region from which they can accrue UCI points to improve their world ranking but more-so of the festive-like atmosphere that surrounds the entire weeklong event. The TICC provides a unique forum where there is an atmosphere of friendly rivalry, sportsmanship and social bonding among competitors, support groups, media, sponsors and the locals. The Classic Rum Punch Beach Picnic is a highlight of the week’s activities, with a variety of exciting water sports and entertainment provided by the sweet sounds of the steel band and special appearances by local artiste and entertainers The Event’s 5-day calendar of activities will consist of races that catered to pro and elite cyclists and also casual and rookie bikers, both on and off road. Spectatorship and interest in the event continues to grow with the international circuit races around Plymouth Village and Scarborough appealing to larger groups of supporters. Feedback from various interest groups have been very positive and most of all, encouraging for the future of the TICC. BIG EVENT… SMALL ISLAND STYLE… Come & be part of this Tobago Cycling Adventure…. Dates - on September 27th. Through October 1st.
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eem (Azadirachta indica) originated in India and has been spread around the world through Asia to Africa and into the United States, because it can grow in almost all soil types. Neem has a myriad of uses for humans assisting us in protecting our health and the health of our gardens and food. Extracts from Neem, whether from its seeds, bark or leaves can be used to improve the garden. Neem can assist farmers by providing them with an important tool for pest protection without using harmful chemicals. When planted as a cover crop, Neem also increases the quality of the soil around it as well as improving the soilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water retention ability. Additionally, Neem extracts function as natural fertilizers that can either be sprayed on plants directly or sprinkled on the soil. The beneficial compounds are absorbed by the roots, pass up through the stem and into the upper parts of the plant protecting them from within. The rapid spread of nutrients and pest control compounds into the plant reduces the amount that may be washed off through subsequent watering or rains. Even new plant growth shows signs of protection. Studies also show that the use of Neem as pest control neither affects bees, predacious insects, nor other organisms that do not chew plant tissue. US trials confirm that the leaves and stems of rice, sugarcane and tomatoes, just to name a few examples, treated with Neem, have been protected from certain types of damaging insects for up to 10 weeks from the point of application. Did you know that traditional cultures in Africa, India and other parts of Asia put Neem leaves in their stores of dry grains? Neem leaves have been shown to contain an ingredient that disrupts certain types of toxic mold that grows on peanuts, corn, and other dry foods.
(leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, roots and bark) has been used traditionally to treat inflammation, infections, fever, skin diseases and dental disorders. Studies have shown that its seeds and leaves contain compounds with demonstrated antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antiinflammatory, hypotensive, and anti-ulcer effects. Neem leaves taken regularly (as part of your herbal tea for example) can lessen digestive problems by protecting your stomach and bowels, can help your body pass out and remove harmful bacteria and help your kidneys flush out toxins. This helps your body fight infections and lowers your blood pressure improving your kidneysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ability to perform under less stress. When added to your skin care regime, research shows that compounds found in Neem leaves can help treat several fungi that affect humans, including those that cause athleteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foot and ringworm. Neem can also help treat eczema, psoriasis, lesions, scaling and other skin irritations. In conclusion, the addition of Neem in agriculture has shown positive results when used as either a pesticide or as a fertilizer limiting the need for the use of agricultural chemicals. Even planting a Neem tree will have a positive overall effect on the surrounding soil and crops. With regards to human health, using Neem leaves internally and/or topically gives us all a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. Neem has no negative side effects and is cheap and easy to grow in almost any condition; indeed making it a viable solution to global chemical use.
Neem products are growing in popularity due to their benefit to human health. Every part of the Neem tree
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Graduates pose with Secretary Stewart-Phillips and Her Excellency Coromoto Godoy Calderón
Tobagonians Graduate from Cultural Exchange Programme with Venezuelan Embassy Courtesy THA, Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation A cultural partnership forged between the Department of Culture and the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Trinidad and Tobago bore fruit as 26 Tobagonians graduated yesterday from a collaborative music and language development training programme called “The Exchange: Breaking Barriers and Connecting People through Culture and the Arts”. This is the first graduation exercise from phase one of the programme, launched in November 2016, that celebrated the success of eighteen participants from various backgrounds who are now fluent in conversational Spanish, and eight participants with no prior training in Music who are now able to read music and play the cuatro. The courses are certified through the Instituto Venezolano para la Cultura y La Cooperacion “Andres Bello” (the Venezuela Institute for Culture and Cooperation, Andres Bello). Her Excellency Coromoto Godoy Calderón, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was present at the ceremony to personally congratulate the graduates and to assist Secretary Nadine Stewart-Phillips in distributing the certificates. The Embassy played a critical role in this collaborative programme as they would have provided musical instruments, training manuals and tutors.
Music graduates show off their new skills during a performance
In her feature address to the graduates, Secretary Stewart-Phillips not only congratulated them on their significant achievement, but lauded their commitment to self-development and the cultural enhancement of Tobago. “I would like to take this opportunity to commend you for your commitment, but also applaud you for your foresight in understanding the significant role this project plays in enhancing our island as we seek to build an all-encompassing, all-inclusive and culturally sensitive home for Tobagonians and destination for our visitors,” Secretary Stewart-Phillips stated. “The work you have done over the past few months has allowed you to grow exponentially and your future is now ripe with exciting opportunities for cultural exploration.” The objective of this ongoing collaboration between Tobago and Venezuela is not only to encourage Tobagonians to become bilingual in order to compete in the global market, but also to strengthen ties between the people of Tobago and Venezuela and foster a deeper appreciation for Venezuelan culture.
Secretary Stewart-Phillips (right) and Her Excellency Coromoto Godoy Calderón (left) present Hazel Peterkin (centre) with her certificate.
Thus, in addition to Spanish and Music, participants were also able to explore and learn about the history and culture of our Spanish Speaking neighbours in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Spanish influence in Trinidad and Tobago.
Graduates of the programme perform a song in Spanish