Department of Environment to restructure EPA, other agencies in keeping Green Agenda
Georgetown, Guyana – (February 7, 2017) As Government continues with its thrust toward a Green Pathway, the Department of the Environment (DoE) will work on the restructuring of its related agencies in order to ensure that they are properly equipped to be responsive to Government’s Green State Development Plan.
Head of theDoE, Ms. Ndibi Schwiers, in a statement, said that the Department will first be looking at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and will work to ensure that its structure is one that is equipped to efficiently deliver on Government’s promise of a Green State. “Because of the importance of [the EPA], it is being given priority for reform to make it more efficient, cost effective and ready for providing support to investors in the various fields of endeavour. In this regard, the EPA cannot continue to operate in its current form. The modus operandi must change to effectively achieve the policy objectives of Government,” Ms. Schwiers said. She explained that the Department will over the course of the next few months, work with the staff and other national, regional and international advisors to develop an architectural and legal framework that is best suited to achieve the policies of Government.
Ms. Schwiers said that since the establishment of the Department, the Government, with technical advice from international, regional and local expertise, has been looking at how the Department can be configured to be more efficient and to achieve the policies of Government.
The Department of the Environment was officially gazetted on September 1, 2016 and was later established on October 1 of the same year. The Department holds responsibility for the activities of environmental compliance and management, protected areas development and management, national parks management and wildlife conservation and protection. It is also directly responsible for the EPA, Protected Areas Commission (PAC), National Parks Commission and the Guyana Wildlife Division.
The Department’s mission is “To develop a robust, world-class environmental system that safeguards the integrity of the natural environment and protects public health through the development and adoption of appropriate, sustainable and coherent policies and programmes. It will further work to nurture this system through the utilisation of best available science, up to date information and the engagement of all stakeholders to effectively advance the environmental initiatives of the government for the benefit of all Guyanese and the global community.”
The establishment of the DoE is also seen as critical to the advancement of the “greening” of Guyana’s Economy, which aims at the long term well-being of the country. Since its establishment, the Department’s first order of business was to meet with the related agencies and Ministries to assess those policies and programmes, which currently exist and to assess where gaps lie within the management of the country’s environmental resources. Once these gaps are identified, the DoE would be tasked with developing bridging policies to ensure that they are filled.
Ms. Schwiers said that the Department was established to integrate the work of the related agencies, offices and programmes to catalyse actions that will help the Government to provide a more efficient service through a Green State that will seek to provide a good life for all Guyanese.