BUCCOO REEF, Tobago, Friday January 22, 2016 – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has provided US$500,000 in grant financing to The Cropper Foundation in Trinidad and Tobago to implement a pilot programme utilizing underwater sculptures as a unique approach to climate change adaptation in the Buccoo Reef area.
Trinidadian artist Peter Minshall will create two Carnival-themed sculptures, part of a work known as Tobago Water Colours, in the area of Buccoo reef off Tobago, in one component of a programme on adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Buccoo Reef has been damaged by land-based nutrient run-off and years of excess visits from snorkelers and scuba divers.
The IDB-funded project is intended to provide an alternative destination for tourists that will also provide a new source of income for the tourism, cultural and creative industries of the area, while allowing Buccoo Reef to recover.
The programme will include a focus on marketing and financial sustainability for the new attraction. An additional component of the technical assistance grant will finance a study that will explore options to reduce anthropogenic pollution loading on the reef’s ecosystem.
“This may help turn the tide at Buccoo. Reflecting the colours of the reef and the movement of the sea, the installation will also be a celebration of our island and our annual Carnival, which is an ancient tradition,” Minshall said.
The IDB grant is being provided for an implementation period of 24 months and is expected to lead to a larger project entailing installation of the complete band of Carnival sculptures, following evaluation of the outcomes of the pilot programme.
The project is part of the Bank’s support for its borrowing member countries’ efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, which will require innovative and creative financing and knowledge-based approaches.