PAWI Campaign Concept

The purpose of this document is to outline a comprehensive communication programme aimed at educating nationals on the Pawi, and also to encourage protection of the bird which is now an endangered species.

In 1997/98 a thrust was made to educate people, especially communities of North-Eastern Trinidad to join the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture and RARE center for endangered species in ‘saving the Pawi’. A lot of work went into creating activities and lectures to educate young children, as well as, media participation to inform adults. However, the Pawi initiative has become lost among other projects and ventures of less importance. Thus, it has become necessary to make a further, deeper thrust into out nation’s conscience to ‘save the Pawi’. Today, there are many persons who are not aware of the Pawi. A simple gauge used to measure awareness was to ask random persons if they knew what the Pawi was, or to mention “Pawi” to them; most persons had to be reminded that Pawi is a local bird. This of course is not a valid or correct measurement of our nations’ awareness or interest in the species but rather a stimulant to feed information that will bring enlightenment and pride to all. One of the goals of any communication campaign at this time should be to effect a response from the nation similar to that of the Leather Back Turtle, which is now publicized as a feature of our tourism attraction. The Leather Back is protected by all, not just game wardens, and is sought after by individuals and families to observe with awe and learn about. In fact, persons who choose to hurt these creatures are viewed with disdain and are charged by law with a criminal act. This is the desired response from our society towards the Pawi.

The Promise of the

full colour on recycled paper; 24 pages, saddle-stitched. Available at TT$65
Pride In Pawi: Preserving a National Treasure

The Trinidad Piping Guan or Pawi, Pipile pipile, is endemic to Trinidad and is globally among the most endangered cracids. With a population of approximately 230, its conservation status is listed as critically endangered.

read details

The aims of this campaign are:

  • To educate the public about the Pawi,
  • To educate the public about the importance of preservation and habitat conservation.
  • To help change the mindset of hunters and solicit their co-operation/assistance not only in finding new habitats but to do their part in preservation
  • To encourage adventurers to find this national treasure; to seek it out and showcase it with pride.
  • To learn the locations of the Pawi for the purpose of documentation and research, and
  • To get an average number of the Pawi population in each location, and overall.

The proposed theme of the communication campaign is “Come Leh We Find De Pawi” . Given the goals and objectives outlined above, it is believed that this theme provides a solid base from which various communication platforms can be built.

Platform 1 - Community Intervention
We will identify key communities which are in close proximity to known or possible Pawi habitats. Through this intervention we will co-ordinate intense communication programmes on the Pawi, its habitats and the role that these communities must play in protecting the bird and preserving its natural habitats. All communication will be centered around the theme of “Come leh we find de Pawi”.

  • Given the nature of society, we will identify key locations within communities such as Rum Shops to distribute easy to read/understand flyers and posters as well as identify opinion leaders within these communities to become the “foot soldiers” to help spread the message. A system will be created to train interested members of these communities into how to form themselves into “activist” groups such as Nature Seekers.
  • We believe that through the approach outlined above, we will have the opportunity to reach some hunters. In this vein, we propose to launch a programme of national pride whereby the hunters will be encouraged to find the Pawi but not for the purpose of hunting (capturing or killing the bird), but to become “National Heroes” as having found another Pawi or another Pawi habitat. These hunters, now “national heroes” will be highlighted in the media. We hope that this type of approach will start to influence mindsets or thinking.
  • We will work with media houses such as CNMG and Gayelle which tend to have more local type programming of this nature to highlight the work being done by these communities and hunters. Such an approach will start to bring the issue into national focus and attention.
  • Exhibitions can also be hosted from time to time in communities to showcase what has or is being done.

Related Articles:


Platform 2 – Schools campaign
Any awareness/education campaign of this nature must include our school students. In this vein and with the assistance of volunteers from various wildlife organizations, we propose to co-ordinate a national programme whereby these volunteers will host interactive workshops in schools. These workshops will be fun for the kids as interesting elements or materials will be used to supplement the teachings/learnings.

  • We propose to create an activity/colouring book to be distributed in Primary schools. Activities and drawings (to be coloured) will be based on the campaign theme (e.g. a maze in which the student will have to trace the appropriate route through a forest to reach the Pawi).
  • A poetry segment will also be incorporated within the programme. Students will be encouraged to research and learn about the Pawi, and create a poem on the topic. A system can be put in place to select the top poem in each school, with the winner getting a chance to participate in a national competition.
  • To complement the workshop sessions in secondary schools, these students will be encouraged to participate in an essay writing competition, thereby they would have to do relevant research and exhibit proper writing skills.

Recognizing that music plays an important role in the lives of our younger population, we propose to have an artiste such as Maximus Dan or Bunji Garlin create an informative yet catchy song on the theme of “Come leh we find de Pawi”, so that the kids can sing along.

Platform 3 – National Awareness
As the initiatives outlined in Platforms 1 and 2 take form, we will work with the major media houses to promote the work being done in schools and communities as well as by hunters. In this regard, we will form a strategic partnership with either CNMG or Gayelle to create a 5-7 segment or series that can be shown from time to time on television. For example, the first episode of the series can focus on Grand Riviere, the second at Asa Wright etc. Such a series can form part of “know your country” type programming whereby we can showcase life in a community, the expedition to the habitat, the “finding of the bird” etc.

On a national scale, adventurers, amateur or professional photographers can be invited to participate in a photo/video competition whereby they will be required to conduct research on the bird and its habitats. To participate, these persons must solicit the assistance of the identified communities (outlined in Platform 2), as these communities and their guides will essentially be “guardians” of the bird and its habitats, but moreso will be the ones who know the terrain.

Such a competition will be advertised in the national media and winners will also be published.

Additionally, a DVD can be produced and marketed for sale, as well as to be used at libraries and schools together with album for ongoing education and research, not only for locals but for foreigners researching tropical wildlife.

Also, UWI Clubs can be invited to assist as well as other wildlife activists and enthusiasts, like Greenlight Network.

The Pawi’s survival is not only dependent on hunters not preying on them, but the conservation of their habitat. Since the conservation of land and natural resources may be beyond our control, the aim is not to approach the government and its agencies but rather to work on the people by educating and encouraging them to act in the interest of nature.