National Trust hosts heritage, climate change conference in March

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The historic Mille Fleurs which is now the home of the National Trust. FILE PHOTO

The TT National Trust will be hosting the Keeping History Above Water (KHAW) Conference and Workshop, both virtually and in person in Port of Spain, from March 20-23, free of charge. The activities are part of research into climate change and sea-level rise being facilitated by the Trust.

In a release, the Trust said the conference is part of continuing activities funded by the US Embassy Port of Spain under the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation grant project, Resilient Heritage TT.

“Climate change and sea-level rise present an existential threat to the economic, social and cultural resilience of island states. The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago is facilitating important research that will give administrators better data to understand the risks and devise effective mitigation strategies to face these threats.”

The release said the conference and workshop would be the first KHAW event to be hosted outside of the United States.

“It will build on the successful series begun by the Newport Restoration Foundation in 2016. It is being jointly organised by the National Trust, alongside its project partners: the University of Florida Historic Preservation Program (UFHPP) and the Craig Group.

“The conference will feature presentations by international cultural heritage specialists, government officials, adaptation professionals, planners and international climate change experts who will examine the impacts and share best practices regarding climate change and sea level rise in the Caribbean and beyond.”

It said a workshop would also be held on March 23 for select stakeholders and students to discuss the flood risk assessment and sea-level-rise visualisations of the project site, which are the products of research undertaken by the UFHPP since the launch of the project in April 2022.

The National Trust said Resilient Heritage TT is a two-phase initiative aimed at advancing the resilience and long-term preservation of TT’s historic sites and cultural resources as they are impacted by climate change.

“The project includes digital documentation of two highly visible and visited heritage areas: downtown Port of Spain (St. Vincent Jetty Lighthouse, Fort San Andres and the PTSC building/Old Railway Station) and Nelson Island Heritage Site, as well as a vulnerability assessment involving engagement with stakeholders for outreach, data sharing and knowledge transfer. The project hopes to serve as a model for documenting, assessing, and addressing the threats of climate change to other heritage sites across TT and in the wider Caribbean region.”

For more information on the project or Conference, please visit the project website at