The Cropper Foundation's Regional Workshop for the Caribbean on 
Education for Sustainable Development

A Brief Profile of The Cropper Foundation

The Cropper Foundation (TCF) is a not-for-profit organization established in August 2000, under The Companies Act, 1995 of Trinidad & Tobago. It has a legal framework and it submits annual audited statements to the Board of Inland Revenue of Trinidad and Tobago which also accorded it with charitable status. It publishes periodic reports and has an established governance framework through a Board of Trustees; it has an established programme framework of five main areas of activity. It is essentially a catalytic not grant making entity which receives core financial support for its activities from the Cropper family.

The concept of the Foundation is to act as a framework mechanism for networking people, dialogue and resources across various sectors of the society for the public good and to influence, participate and contribute to Sustainable Development policy and practice – locally, for the Caribbean region, and globally. 

More information can be found at 

Its programme focus is on the following subject areas:

 Public Policy and Governance for Sustainable Development

a. Hosted an International Conference on ‘Development as if Equity Mattered’ in September 24-26 2001. The Report of this Conference has been published. 

b. In October 2001 The Foundation catalyzed a professional group ‘The Sustainable Development Network’. The overall purpose of this network is to seek to influence the course and content of policy, planning and implementation of national activities towards a form of development that is sustainable and equitable. This involves not only the critiquing of official proposals and actions but pro-actively counter pointing them with alternative ideas and proposals, as well as to working to expand the space for civic society and community involvement in the national development process.

c. Completed a two year community pilot project, as a follow up to the Northern Range Assessment, to contribute to an approach to community development that is consistent with the practices of sustainable development. 

d. Hosted a Policy Seminar in April 2005 to outreach to decision makers and to disseminate policy specific and relevant output from the Northern range Assessment. 

e. Initiated a follow up project to the Caribbean Sea Assessment in March 2005 ‘Outreach and Capacity Building: Towards Sustainable Management of the Caribbean Sea’. The long term goal of sustainable management of the Caribbean Sea involves influencing policy, governance and international co-operation for management and use of the Caribbean Sea in ways that might sustain its integrity and functioning as an ecosystem, and thus secure its benefits for people’s economic and social well-being. 

f. Initiated a Programme of Community Technical Assistance in August 2006 which follows up from the pilot community project. This Programme attempts to support communities in realising, formulating and making progress on their development vision that can potentially be transformative for their natural and social/economic context, while contributing to the national development process. Another outcome of such as Programme is to engage and support communities in initiatives that can increase and/or maintain the ability of the Northern Range to continue to provide the range of services to individuals, communities and society as a whole. 

g. Currently in the implementation stage of a project ‘Implementation of Sustainable Farming Practices in Trinidad’s Northern Range Communities’ which follows up on the Assessment of the Northern Range by focusing on agriculture as a driver of change while can present an opportunity to address cross-cutting issues associated with integrated management. The goal of this project is to work with some of the communities in the Northern Range to engage and assist them in transforming their agricultural patterns and practices to a more ecologically sound and environmentally benign activity, while sustaining and enhancing their livelihood base. This project will be administered under the Community Technical Assistance Programme.

Programme for Environment and Resource Education

a. Completed a two year scientific ecological and socio-economic assessment of the Northern Range of T&T in collaboration with The Environmental Management Authority, The University of the West Indies, The Trust for Sustainable Livelihoods and The Tropical ReLeaf Foundation. It was designed as a sub-global assessment of the global activity called the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). Its output will be a direct offering to the nation’s decision-making framework for policy planning and management of the Northern Range as an ecosystem of considerable significance within the country. The preliminary findings were made available to the public at a workshop held on November 2004. The report will be published as The Environmental Management Authority State of the Environment Report 2004. 

b. Completed a similar MA sub-global assessment of the Caribbean Sea (CARSEA). The intention was to support the work already in process within the Caribbean and especially the work programs of various inter-governmental organizations (ACS, CARICOM, ECLAC Caribbean Office) comprising states of the Wider Caribbean. The assessment has made contributions to the United Nations Conference on SIDS + 10 in Mauritius in August 2004. The report is to be published in September 2007. 

c. Embarked in November 2004 on its public oriented Environment and Resource Education Programme (IERE) which aims to contribute to a more integrated and systemic approach to education for sustainable development as it relates to management of ecosystems in T&T and the wider Caribbean. One of the specific objectives of this programme is to develop learning materials, based on the assessments of the Northern Range and Caribbean Sea, for use in schools and by the general public. The first two outputs of this programme are DVDs on the Biodiversity of the Northern Range “Our Northern Range” and “Changing Tides: Nelson Island and the Making of Trinidad”. Currently the Foundation is developing six pieces of materials on behalf of the Ministry of Education of Trinidad and Tobago to infuse ecological related information and learning into relevant areas of the advanced level secondary school teaching syllabi.

Capacity Development

a. Support to emerging Caribbean writers 

b. The Dev Cropper Memorial Award 

c. The Cropper Foundation Fellows

TCF’s modus operandi is to catalyse ideas, persuade and motivate others about them, provide seed funding to embark on projects, invite collaboration of individuals and organisations on projects identified and secure the bank of expertise required to pursue them, lead/coordinate/service these projects as required, and mobilize additional sources of funds and raise grant monies related to specific projects designed to further the pursuit of its objectives.