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UWI Partners with Rotary for Wildlife Conservation in T&T

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The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine campus proudly announces a landmark partnership with the Rotary Fellowship of ‘Wildlifers for Conservation’ in the establishment of its Trinidad and Tobago Chapter.

In a statement, the UWI and the Rotary Fellowship said this pivotal alliance focuses intently on the protection and enhancement of the region’s rich wildlife and ecosystems.

The inaugural event occurred on July 29th 2023 at The UWI’s Faculty of Food and Agriculture, St Augustine Campus.

Professor Mark Wuddivira, Dean of the Faculty, underscored the historic significance of the collaboration. Merging the strengths of UWI and Rotary—two institutions with a deep-rooted history spanning over a century—the collaboration seeks to ensure the sustainable preservation of Trinidad and Tobago’s natural heritage.

He said this alliance will amplify conservation strategies, by ensuring that efforts are focussed on both indigenous and non-native species.

Maria Mohammed-Maharaj, the visionary President of the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, eloquently spotlighted the Fellowship’s mission to bridge individuals under the united banner of wildlife conservation.

Notably, this Trinidad and Tobago Chapter stands as the pioneering branch beyond the Global Chapter in India, marking a significant stride in promoting global inclusiveness within the vast Rotary network.

The board of the Trinidad and Tobago Chapter comprises diverse individuals with a passion for wildlife conservation, including Professor Emeritus Gary Wayne Garcia, Livestock Professor at The UWI; Veronica De Souza-Phillip, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Past President of the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West; Ricardo Hospedales, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Agriculture Education Specialist; and Tanya Western, Executive Member, RFWCTT and President of the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain.

Their progressive initiatives encompass educational support for ambitious projects such as the “Garden with Wings – Pollinator Project” and the creation of an “Agriculture Education Project” in partnership with local schools and clubs. Additionally, plans to create a “Primary/Secondary School Agriculture Education Project” with Pilot Project at The University School in partnership with the Early Act Club of The University School and the Rotary Club of St Augustine are being developed. Furthermore, the fellowship plans to facilitate the organizing of a transformative “2026 Neo-tropical/Wildlife Tour and Expedition” across Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and potentially Brazil. Additionally, the fellowship will collaborate with The University Field Station on a “Neo-tropical Animal Project,” involving research, study, and conservation efforts.

Sanjay Krishna, hailing from India and serving as the Global Chair of the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, delivered his remarks virtually.

Maria Mohammed-Maharaj, President of the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, spoke about the mission of the Fellowship.

She highlighted that Rotary Fellowships, distinct from Rotary Clubs, are international groups open to any individual who shares a common passion.

The Trinidad and Tobago Chapter is the first to be formed external to the Global Chapter based in India, exemplifying the spirit of inclusiveness and collaboration within the global Rotary community.

The board and members comprises both Rotarians and non-Rotarians with diverse backgrounds, united by their passion for wildlife conservation.

The Board of Directors for the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (RFWCTT) includes:

  • Maria Mohammed-Maharaj, President, RFWCTT and Past President of the Rotary Club of St Augustine;

  • Professor Emeritus Gary Wayne Garcia, Secretary, RFWCTT and Livestock Professor at The UWI;

  • Veronica De Souza-Phillip, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Past President of the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West;

  • Ricardo Hospedales, Executive Member, RFWCTT and Agriculture Education Specialist;

  • Tanya Western, Executive Member, RFWCTT and President of the Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain.

As part of their activities, the Fellowship plans to:

  • Assist with the educational component to the ongoing “Garden with Wings – Pollinator Project,” spearheaded by Rotary Club of Central Port of Spain and Friends of the Botanic Gardens TT;

  • Create a “Primary/Secondary School Agriculture Education Project” with Pilot Project at The University School in partnership with the Early Act Club of The University School and the Rotary Club of St Augustine;

  • Organize a transformative “2026 Neo-tropical/Wildlife Tour and Expedition” across Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and potentially Brazil;

  • Additionally, the fellowship will collaborate with The University Field Station on a “Neotropical Animal Project,” involving research, study, and conservation efforts.

For more information about the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation, please visit their official website at https://www.rotaryfellowshipforwildlife.org/.

Further details about the Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers Trinidad and Tobago Chapter can be found at: https://www.rotarydistrict7030.org/sitepage/district-7030-fellowships/rfwc—tt. 



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