Trinidad and Tobago


The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic nation in the southern Caribbean, located northeast of Venezuela and south of Grenada. The country occupies an area of 5,128 square kilometers with a population of 1.3 million people. It consists of two main islands: Trinidad, the larger and more populous island, and Tobago, a smaller island which only comprises six per cent of the nation’s land area and four per cent of the population (GRTT, 2010). The country’s terrain is characterized by plains and low mountain ranges, and experiences a rainy season from June through December (USDS, 2010).

Unlike many other Caribbean nations, the island has a relatively large industrial base. It is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean and its economy is dependent on its energy supplies; it is also the fifth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world and provides two-thirds of LNG imported into the United States (USDS, 2010). The oil and gas sector contributes 46 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), followed by financial services (11 per cent), distribution and restaurants (11 per cent), manufacturing (5 per cent), and other activities (USDS, 2010). Tourism contributes a much smaller portion of GDP to the nation’s economy than other Caribbean nations, at around 1 per cent (EMA, 2001). The per capita income of the country is approximately US$18,864 per year (USDS, 2010).

It is predicted that climate change will result in an increased frequency of extreme events such as storms and hurricanes. In the First National Communication for Trinidad and Tobago of 30 November 2001 it is noted that climatic change needs to be factored into water management strategies, drought management and flood damage reduction programs. Other vulnerable sectors are the coastal resources, agriculture, forestry, health, and food security. Adaptation measures will be required for these sectors too.