Guyanese urged not to take environment for granted
…as EPA’s role highlighted during public outreach
The EPA, as part of its 23rd anniversary celebrations, hosted a public outreach on Thursday at Water Street, Georgetown, in an effort to increase its visibility and inform the public of the agency’s mandate and its work being done in environmental protection and management.
The event saw a number of persons visiting the booth to learn about the work and mission of the agency, apply for environmental authorisation, get assistance with filling out applications, report environmental pollution, learn about environmental issues, solutions and more.
According to the EPA’s Environmental Officer, Dillon Charles, who was present at the event, it was noted that members of the public are not aware of the role the agency plays in the protection of the environment and as a result, the outreach served to enlighten the public and share information on environmental issues.
Charles pointed out that as part of the EPA’s continuous efforts in the sustenance of the environment, the agency launched a magazine in February of this year “The Grey Note” and a television programme “The Environment Matters” during the latter part of last year.
These initiatives, he said, seek to foster awareness on environmental issues and build the capacity of the EPA. In observance of its 23rd anniversary, the agency had a number of events planned. On World Environment Day, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a tree planting and beautification exercise in Sophia, Greater Georgetown.
The event saw a number of staffers participating in planting 23 trees around the building, while others cleaned the compound and painted bins and other materials to beautify the area.
Executive Director of EPA, Dr Vincent Adams explained, “This here is a major milestone for us of course, the 23 years of anniversary, which is today, so it’s a nice kind of coincidence that we have both celebrations on the same day”.
In terms of environmental protection, he said most people are concerned about oil and gas, however, mining still plays a crucial part when it comes to the environment. Against this backdrop, the Director said he was glad that Guyana has countries to look at as examples, and hopefully not make the same mistakes.
The planting of trees, he said, plays an important role in ensuring proper air quality. “Trees absorb, through their leaves, toxins from the environment and they give off oxygen and oxygen is really important … it provides shade that cools the temperature that helps mitigate against global warming or climate change,” the EPA Executive Director reminded.
Dr Adams urged Guyanese to not take the environment for granted and to keep it clean since “if you don’t pay now, you will pay later”.
World Environment Day is the United Nations (UN) day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect the environment. Since it began in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.