Department of Energy launches Multilateral Environmental Agreements Committee

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Guyana has signed onto a number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) with the hope of handling environmental issues and threats efficiently and effectively.

Director of the Department of Energy at the Ministry of Presidency, Ndibi Schwiers at the launch earlier today stated that the challenges posed in doing so, stemmed from lack of coordinated efforts by stakeholders.

She posited that despite the challenges faced, much has been achieved in the country with regard to MEAs which have been used to develop new regulations, policies, and even entire institutions.

However, the major challenge lies in the coordination in 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 recognize 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 earlier today.

Director of the Department of Energy, Ndibi Schwiers

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 will not only be responsible for ensuring that we are very responsive to our international obligations but it will 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.”

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.”

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