On Thursday 31st January 2019, three UVI students: Melanie Baboolal, Marquita Belgrove and Danya James, proudly represented our school at the ABS (Access Benefit Sharing) debate held at the Hilton Hotel, Port of Spain.
The debate targeted Secondary schools across Trinidad and was hosted by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
It aimed to highlight the need for legislation to protect our biological resources which are being used in Bioprospecting. Bioprospecting is the process of discovering and commercialization of new products based on biological resources. Our school’s arguments focused mainly on conservation of genetic resources, plants and animals in developing countries and the relevance of the Nagoya Protocol to our Caribbean nations.
Naparima Girls’ High School placed 1st, with Trinity College, Moka placing 2nd and Presentation College, San Fernando placing 3rd. Naparima College and Queen’s Royal College placed 4th and 5th respectively.
Thanks to the Principal, Vice Principal and the Science Department for the opportunity given to these three students to participate in this exciting and unique event. A special thank you to Mrs. Bachoo-Ramsook who selflessly gave of her time to prepare the students by helping them develop their debating skills and speeches.
Thank you to Mr. Zaheer Hosein of UWI St. Augustine, and the other members of the Regional branch of the IUCN for organizing this debate and for their helpful communication and arrangements to make the day a comfortable one for our students.
A special thank you to the other competitors and their schools for making it a memorable one. The last debate against Trinity College was especially challenging so heartfelt appreciation to the students of Naparima College and Presentation College who assisted in a brainstorming session for the last impromptu debate and supported our students in their victory.
We do hope that the Nagoya Protocol is achieved in our region and that there is fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.