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Patricia Turpin Selected for 2013 Euan P. McFarlane Environmental Leadership Award

Posted on June 19, 2013

On June 19th, 2013, Judith Ann Towle, founding vice president of Island Resources Foundation and chair of the selection committee for the Euan McFarlane Environmental Leadership Award, announced that Ms. Patricia J. Turpin, president of Environment Tobago, would be 2013’s beneficiary of the award certificate and financial grant. As the 24th awardee since Laurance S. Rockefeller set up the McFarlane Fund endowment in 1987, Ms. Turpin is being recognized for over forty years of continuous service to the cause of environmental conservation and sustainable development on the island of Tobago, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, culminating with her service as founding director (1996) and current President of the NGO “Environment Tobago” (since 2000).

In addition, as managing director of the Turpin-family-owned Charlotteville Estates in northeastern Tobago (renowned for generations of high quality environmental stewardship), she has been able to achieve enhanced livelihoods for local residents, while continually upgrading the quality of environmentally sustainable management of the Estate.

Finally, in addition to her local leadership and her demonstration of the economic value of the sustainable use of local resources, Pat Turpin has been a powerful voice for the special conditions, resilience, and requirements for ecosystem protection on the small island Tobago, in distinction to its large-island, petro-producing partner, Trinidad. She has served as President of the national Council of Presidents of the Environment (COPE), several other national councils and advisory boards, and serves as an Honorary Game Warden for the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago. She has also served on various regional intergovernmental groups, and as a director of the Caribbean Conservation Association.

On being notified of the McFarlane Award, Ms. Turpin said, “Through Environment Tobago and my work with other groups, we have positively influenced local and national ecosystem protection practices, the creation of critical national biodiversity legislation, and so much more. I see my role as a steward, empowering others to protect what is critical to our health and livelihoods — our environment.“

“It has been a privilege working with so many like-minded colleagues in this arena: locally, nationally and regionally. I intend to continue with this work as long as I am needed and am capable.” In advancing that agenda, Pat Turpin is currently working on an on-going reforestation project, the Tobago element of the new Trinidad and Tobago National Spatial Development Strategy, and an assessment and adaptation plan for climate change effects for North East Tobago.

The selection committee for the Euan P. McFarlane Environmental Leadership Award offer its sincere congratulations and best wishes to Patricia Turpin for her future efforts on behalf of the people and environment of Tobago.

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