National Quarries, IAMovement to rehabilitate land

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A view of a quarry in Valencia. – Photo by Roger Jacob

NATIONAL Quarries Ltd has signed a memorandum of agreement with the non-governmental organisation IAMovement to continue rehabilitating excavated land.

An IAMovement release on April 22 said the work will focus on at least 32 acres of the National Quarries’ 199.03 acres of land already rehabilitated or carded for rehabilitation.

IAMovement chairman and technical director Jonathan Barcant told Newsday the group previously did rehabilitation work at the National Quarries Sand and Gravel Quarry in Turure, Sangre Grande, for over five years, under a project with the Environmental Management Agency. Although the project ended in 2022, he said the group continued rehabilitation and reforestation work in goodwill.

“This just formalises it for the long term,” Barcant said.

Going forward with the environmental project, Barcant said a new model will be used which will see a partnership with Close the Loop Caribbean (CTL), a consortium of entities working together to support restorative and regenerative processes and activities.

The ramped-up efforts will incorporate methods focused on using large quantities of organic waste to make compost, which, in turn, creates nutrient-rich topsoil.

“It is through Close the Loop…we’ve created a sustainable mechanism to keep the quarry rehab going and to scale it up indefinitely.”

Barcant said this initiative will help Trinidad and Tobago achieve environmental goals under international agreements such as the UN Convention to Combat Deforestation.

As it stands, the project will have a life of five years, but he said the group is exploring options to extend it.

The IAMovement release called for other quarries to do rehabilitation, which it said is crucial for environmental health.

“Rehabilitating degraded quarry sites helps to promote biodiversity, protect water resources and create landscapes that are ecologically thriving and compatible with surrounding land uses. Effective quarry rehabilitation requires collaboration between industry, government agencies, environmental organisations and local communities to ensure that restoration efforts are successful and sustainable.

“IAMovement and the CTL consortium along with National Quarries Company Ltd hope that this agreement encourages other quarry operators to follow similar steps – and promote rehabilitation as part of their quarrying activities.”