Environmental progress affected by lack of coordinated efforts – EPA

Department of Energy Head Ndibi Schwiers

…Energy Dept launches environmental agreements committee

Guyana has signed on to a number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) with the hope of handling environmental issues and threats efficiently and effectively but the challenges posed in doing so stem from lack of coordinated efforts by stakeholders.
This is according to the Director of the Department of Energy at the Ministry of the Presidency, Ndibi Schwiers.
She stated that despite the challenges faced, much has been achieved in the country with regard to MEAs; they have been used to develop new regulations, policies, and even entire institutions. However, the major challenge lies in the coordination of the implementation of these MEAs.
“We do not have, at the moment, a single functional mechanism to effectively coordinate MEAs’ implementation. Essentially, what I am saying is that the agencies that are responsible for implementing the MEAs don’t necessarily get to communicate as the MEAs are their responsibilities and they tend to deal with that but we recognise that this has to be corrected. The current situation is that mechanisms that currently exist whereby the agencies that are responsible for implementing the MEAs, that situation serves what I would refer to as a pooling mechanism instead of an effective coordinated mechanism,” Schwiers explained at the launching of the first MEAs Committee on Monday.
According to the Environment Department’s Head, at a national level, Guyana has signed on to 26 MEAs and is expected to be inking much more in the near future, and this is another reason that the MEAs Committee has now been established.
This Committee, she said, will not only be responsible for ensuring that Guyana is very responsive to international obligations but it will also enable the improved coordination and collaboration of environmental governance at a national level. “We have today representatives from Government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), academia, Private Sector and so on. As it is our collective efforts which will enable us to treat with pressing environmental issues of the day inclusive of waste management,” she stated.
Schwiers also noted that the stakeholders present at the launching ceremony can also offer suggestions on how the Terms of Reference for the Committee can be improved.
“Whether there is anything else that you believe we should do. So that when the MEAs Committee is fully up and running we would be able to achieve the mandate that we would have established.”