Environmental Code of Conduct
- Respect the environment. Do not disturb animals, plants or their natural habitat.
- Leave only footprints. Don't litter. You may even pick up and properly dispose of litter left by others.
- Educate yourself about Tobago's culture, customs and manners before arriving.
Here we have a paradox. The ethical traveller is supposed to respect the culture of the host community. In Tobago, wild meat is prized. You may be offered turtle, turtle eggs, agouti, iguana, armadillo, even sea birds. It is part of our culture. Environment TOBAGO advises that if offered "bush" meat, you should refuse it and if appropriate, respectfully explain your reasons. These same animals are fast disappearing from our island. The locals may tell you they are plentiful, but they need to be protected and managed.
- For more information read about Tourism, Culture and the Environment.
- Do not buy products made from turtle shell, black coral, conch or bird feathers.
Buyer beware! A tourist was recently offered black coral jewellery on a beach. She questioned the vendor on the legality of purchasing and was told that the jewellery was "officially approved by government". A little too gullible, she bought. There is no such thing as "officially approved" black coral jewellery. It is illegal to take it out of T & T. If found at Customs, you will certainly lose it and may be subject to a stiff fine. Trinidad and Tobago is a member of CITES which prohibits trade in products made from endangered species. The meat of the Queen Conch, a species of great ecological importance to Caribbean seagrass ecosystems, is available in Tobago restaurants. Don't order it. Conch, once plentiful, is now rare in Tobago waters and the Caribbean due to over-harvesting.
- Learn about and support conservation oriented programs and organisations working to preserve the environment.
- Patronise hotels and guest houses that practice environmental conservation in their operations.
Hotel managers are sensitive to their guests - the more they hear that their guests are concerned about the environment the more likely they are to become concerned themselves. If you don't know, ask. Do they recycle? Where does waste from the hotel go? What efforts do they make to conserve water and energy? Are they actively involved in any local conservation programs? Is the staff environmentally aware? See Accommodations
- Report any environmentally damaging activities you may witness.
For who to call see Who Ya' Gonna Call?.