Friday September 11, 2020
Planning Ministry and EMA convene 1st National Council for Sustainable Development in T&T
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken another step to facilitate the preservation and sustainability of the nation’s environmental resources.
The Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development with the Environmental Management Authority’s (EMA) Managing Director, Mr. Hayden Romano jointly announce the establishment of the first National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD) in Trinidad and Tobago on September 9, 2020, with one major objective being the development and timely reviews of an action plan for T&T’s National Environmental Policy (NEP), 2018.
The establishment of the Council is one of the critical success factors of Trinidad and Tobago’s National Environmental Policy.
This revised NEP was completed in 2018 and integrates the learning from the earlier 1998 and 2006 versions, aligning T&T’s current environmental context with global environmental issues to:
- Provide direction to public, private, non-governmental and other national actors regarding environmental sustainability;
- Clearly articulate national environmental commitments and objectives in a transparent
- Provide a rational, practical and comprehensive framework for addressing the salient threats to environmental sustainability in Trinidad and Tobago.
Minister Robinson-Regis emphasized the importance of the NCSD in ensuring that the objectives stated in the NEP are met and in some cases exceeded.
During the inaugural meeting via online platform Zoom, on September 9, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms. Marie Hinds, speaking on behalf of the Planning and Development Minister reminded the members; “Your role, ladies and gentlemen, is to provide oversight, advice and support to ensure the successful development of the Action Plan which is an absolutely critical component of the NEP. And as a high-level, multi-stakeholder group, you will also be expected to use the auspices of various offices to remove any obstacles that may beset the implementation of the NEP.”
Minister Robinson-Regis has indicated that the National Environmental Policy (NEP) articulates the priorities determined by the people of Trinidad & Tobago as critical to achieving environmental sustainability and ultimately sustainable development of our nation.
EMA Managing Director, Hayden Romano stated that wise use of the environment is compatible with economic and social development and is especially important as we navigate the new normal of COVID 19.
The membership of the NCSD includes:
- Mr. Hayden Romano, Environmental Management Authority - Chair
- Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh, Ministry of Planning and Development - Deputy Chair
- Ms. Shaleni Gopie, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries
- Ms. Yvonne Neemacharan, Ministry of Finance
- Ms. Beverly Khan, Ministry of Public Utilities
- Ms. Dian Rampadarath, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries
- Mr. Linford Beckles, Tobago House of Assembly
- Mr. Ryan Lewis, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association
- Dr. Thackwray Driver, Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago
- Dr. Samantha Chadee, University of Trinidad and Tobago
- Professor John Agard, University of the West Indies
Some of the terms of reference for the members of the NCSD include managing issues and risks associated with the implementation of the NEP’s action plan; the establishment of working groups to deal with matters relating to pollution control, management of natural assets, evolving a greener economy and addressing climate change with other natural hazards.
The formation of the NCSD also takes T&T closer to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, Vision 2030, which has as one of its main goals, ‘Placing the environment at the centre of social and economic development’.