Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 17, 2021 (SKNIS): Minister of Environment and Cooperatives, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, outlined several initiatives that his ministry will be embarking on come 2022 in an effort to continue to conserve, preserve and protect the environment
One of the plans is for the passage of the National Conservation and Environmental Management Bill (NCEMA). Once passed, the Act will be the overarching legislation used to govern all environmental matters.
“We want to complete and update the draft NCEMA Bill and we want to have that passed in Parliament in 2022,” said Minister Evelyn during his Budget 2022 Presentation on December 16. “In terms of the IWECO [Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management] project, we want to do some work as well, and in terms of establishing the Environment Council, that is part of our mandate and we want to have that Environmental Council constituted.”
The National Conservation and Environmental Management Bill (NCEMA) will replace the current National Conservation and Environmental Protection Act (NCEPA) to ensure that the Department of Environment has the legislative framework to guide its work.
Equally important, Minister Evelyn noted that the ministry is looking forward to continuing its work towards the development of its water policy, as well as upgrading the water supply monitoring protocols.
Training of relevant personnel and outreach programmes are also on the agenda for the ministry in 2022.
“We want to do some training for our rangers. They are doing a great job in our forest reserve and we want to do some ranger training for next year,” he said. “We want to prepare some outreach materials for the protected areas and wetlands that can be used during field trips and tours…” said Minister Evelyn.
In 2020, the Department of Environment submitted to the Cabinet a proposed five (5) year phased approach to banning single-use plastics. Minister Evelyn indicated that in 2022, the ministry looks forward to continuing its work on banning single-use plastics.
Other initiatives include but are not limited to developing an implementation strategy to control the ticks within the deer population. Ensuring that the deer have a reliable and adequate supply of water is also critical.
The 2022 budget allocation for the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives is $2,950,731.