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Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles chats with members of the new Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) after giving them their instruments of appointment on Friday at the ministry's offices in Port of Spain. - Photo courtesy Ministry of Planning and Development
Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles chats with members of the new Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) after giving them their instruments of appointment on Friday at the ministry’s offices in Port of Spain. – Photo courtesy Ministry of Planning and Development

PLANNING and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles is encouraging the new board of directors of the Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) to strengthen their efforts to make Chaguaramas a pristine environment for citizens and foreigners to rest and relax.

She issued this challenge to members of the new CDA board after giving them their instruments of appointment on Friday at the ministry’s offices in Port of Spain on Friday.

Narine Lutchmedial was appointed CDA chairman. The other board members are Dr Ancil Kirk, Juliet Roberts-Antoine, Annabelle Sooklal, Robert Cezair, Wendy Innis-Demas and Denise Williams-Dummet.

The board consists largely of members serving at least two terms and the minister thanked them for the gains they made in reducing the debt significantly from the previous years.

The ministry said the opportunity for Chaguaramas to become a regional leader in eco-tourism is quite huge. According to a 2017 report, TT’s coastal ecosystems have the potential to support recreation and tourism-based activities at a value of up to US$390,428 per hectare per year.

The ministry said Chaguaramas comprises over a total of over 5,000 hectares of land.

“So one can easily calculate the financial possibilities.”

The CDA was incorporated by the CDA Act to develop and manage Chaguaramas by maximising the opportunities offered by its assets for nature based tourism with emphasis on creating a model centre for recreation, leisure and eco-tourism, ensuring social, economic, and environmental sustainability for the enjoyment of everyone.