Statement from the Department of the Environment on the restructuring of the Environmental Protection Agency
(Georgetown Guyana – February 7, 2017) This is the first in a series of briefs from the Department of the Environment which are aimed at keeping the public kept informed on how the Department is progressing with its mandate of ensuring that the national environmental priorities of Government are effected.
In October 2016, the Government separated the responsibilities of the environment from the Ministry of Natural Resources and established the Department of the Environment to coordinate the activities of Agencies with an environmental mandate such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Protected Areas Commission (PAC), Wildlife Division, National Parks Commission and also the Offices of Climate Change and Project Management.
More importantly, the Department of the Environment was established to integrate the work of these 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 better life for all Guyanese.
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.
Emphasis is currently being placed on the EPA, which has responsibility for ensuring environmental compliance and protection. Because of the importance of this agency, 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. Therefore, 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.