The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) is joining state agencies to prevent illegal quarrying operations in Toco, a northeast village on the island of Trinidad. According to a report by Loop, the EMA released a statement which says it “conducted a surveillance of several areas in the north-eastern part of Trinidad reported as being destroyed by squatting and illegal quarrying activities.”
Officers from the EMA carried out assessments of areas within the Malajo Forest Reserve and also found evidence of excavation works at sites along Toco Old Road.
“The EMA is continuing its investigations with respect to those areas which appear to be subjected to illegal squatting,” the Authority says.
The EMA intends to coordinate a joint agency investigation to address the quarrying activities taking place in Toco Old Road.
“To properly address the issue of alleged illegal squatting within the Melajo Forest Reserve and other areas, the EMA will need to coordinate follow-up activities with several relevant agencies, including the Forestry Division and the Land Settlement Agency. Further updates will be provided as the investigation proceeds.
“The EMA gives the assurance that it will initiate enforcement action pursuant to the Environmental Management Act, Chapter 35:05 and its subsidiary legislation to address any illegal activity in the Melajo Forest Reserve,” the agency concludes.