The Tobago Main Ridge Forest Reserve (MRFR) is the oldest protected reserve in the Northern Hemisphere. This declaration was made in 1776, when 3,937 hectares were set aside. Important to the island as a major watershed and carbon sink, it is under threat from a variety of sources including encroachment from neighbouring estates and properties. Unfortunately, the boundaries of this ecological treasure were unknown, so it was important to locate the original markers which were placed in 1921.
The Ridge demarcation was, however, a complicated, labour intensive exercise that the Department of Natural Resources and Forestry of the Tobago House of Assembly did not possess all of the technical know-how and resources to conduct on its own. Given the Reserve's vital importance, and the urgency ensure it was properly managed, the EU, under the Technical Assistance (TA) component of the EUR 8 million Environment Programme for Trinidad and Tobago, supported the demarcation project which was to help the THA improve its capacity to survey and manage the boundaries of the Forest Area.