Since its establishment in 2005, SERVIR Global has collaborated with numerous countries worldwide to promote the use of satellite and geospatial information in decision-making to strengthen weather and climate resilience, agriculture for food security, water security, ecosystems, carbon management, air quality, and health.
In late 2018, the project expanded its reach to the Amazon region through the SERVIR-Amazonia Program. Subsequently, in September 2021, the Program was invited to create a geospatial tools training for the Caribbean. After researching existing actors and technology, countries of the southern and eastern Caribbean were selected, including Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic.
During 2022, efforts were undertaken to approach organizations interested in enhancing their capacities. These efforts included an assessment of technical capabilities, existing services, key collaborators, opportunities, and needs in each country. The outcome of these activities was the selection of a focus area: geospatial tools for data collection in monitoring mangroves and hydrological events. Under these conditions, SERVIR-Amazonia designed a training plan under the guidance of the Spatial Informatics Group (SIG) and commenced its implementation in December of that year, with the assistance of local partner entities.
In October 2023, after conducting 60 sessions in the region, the training program concluded. The materials provided are accessible on five new websites hosted on the SERVIR-Amazonia GitHub platform. They can also be accessed individually at:
|Barbados, Grenada, and Saint Lucia||https://servir-amazonia.github.io/barbados-training/|
|Trinidad and Tobago||https://servir-amazonia.github.io/trinidad-and-tobago-training/|
To mark the end of the training program, a closure ceremony was conducted in each of the five countries to award certification to a total of 104 professionals representing public, private, and academic institutions, as well as NGOs. Among the attendees were the U.S. ambassadors to Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, five USAID representatives, and delegates from the national governments.
In this regard, Carlos Gasco, Director of SERVIR-Amazonia, stated “From now on, trained professionals will be able to deliver accurate and timely information to their countries’ decision-makers. This will enable them to strengthen their alert systems to prevent disasters and protect mangroves, which are crucial for the climate resilience of islands, coasts, and local communities, thus contributing to safeguarding the Caribbean from future environmental impacts. We thank NASA, USAID, and all local partners for their support in making this possible”.
Trinidad and Tobago
With the Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO) as a local partner, this was the first country to complete the training plan in April 2023.
Certification was awarded to 22 participants from 11 institutions, including the Tobago Emergency Management Agency, the Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Division of the Tobago House of Assembly, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management, the Institute of Marine Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, the Environmental Management Authority, the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, the Water Resources Agency, the Coastal Zone Management Unit, the University of the West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
U.S. Ambassador Candace Bond attended the closing ceremony.
With Lybra as a local partner, the training was successfully concluded on September 6, 2023.
Certification was awarded to 17 professionals from 8 organizations, including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Spatial Planning and the Environment, the Ministry of Public Works, the Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname, the Foundation for Forest Management and Production Control (SBB), the Amazon Conservation Team, the Green Heritage Fund Suriname, and the Stichting Planbureau Suriname.
During the closing ceremony, in a virtual statement, the Minister of Land Planning, Marciano Dasai, emphasized that the program has successfully enhanced capacities by fostering the development of knowledge and skills in forecasting, monitoring, and data collection. These newly acquired capabilities will empower Suriname to make informed decisions on national resource management.
The U.S. Ambassador Robert J. Faucher also attended the ceremony
With the University of Guyana as a local partner, the training program was successfully concluded on September 14, 2023.
Certification was awarded to 23 professionals from 7 organizations from the public, private, and academic sectors, including the Guyana Hydrometeorological Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Guyana Defense Force, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, the Guyana Forestry Commission, OutSourceRox, and the University of Guyana.
With the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology (INTEC) as a local partner, the training was successfully concluded on September 22, 2023.
Certification was awarded to 21 professionals from 7 organizations, including the Ministries of the Environment and Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs, and Economy, Planning and Development, SINI, the National Geographic Institute, the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, INTEC, USAID, and the REDDOM Foundation.
The closing ceremony was attended by Mariana Pérez, Director of Environmental Information in the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, and Carlos Sanlley, Acting Vice-Rector for Research and Engagement at INTEC.
Barbados and Grenada
With the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) as a local partner, the training was successfully completed on October 10, 2023.
Certification was awarded to 21 professionals from 11 entities, including the Barbados and Saint Lucia Meteorological Services, the Grenada Airports Authority, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Lands and Surveys Department, the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), CIMH, the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), The Nature Conservancy of Grenada, and the University of the West Indies.
Officials from the island of Saint Lucia also attended some sessions.