The Government of the Virgin Islands through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour is forging ahead with legislation to enable holistic environmental management, Climate Change adaptation and mitigation plans.
The initial steps towards a Climate Change, Environmental and Natural Resource Bill were made this week, when several government officials met with consultant George deBerdt Romilly, from March 3 through March 6.
Mr. Romilly has worked with the Virgin Islands for seven years and has over 30 years of experience in law, public administration, policy development and environmental and conservation management, in over 30 developing countries and Small Island States (SIDS)
Deputy Secretary from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Joseph Smith-Abbott said that this legislation had been in the pipeline for some time and that the Ministry sees many benefits for the Territory with its implementation.
He stated, “The Government noted that there was a need to protect and enhance the vital sectors of our economy, which are our tourism product and our environment. We foresee that the bill will not only benefit the environment but will create jobs and business opportunities. This type of Bill is hoped to push the green economy of our Territory forward and upward.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering said this type of bill will be one of the first in the region.
“I am proud to say that our Government is one of the leaders in environmental management, Climate Change adaptation and mitigation and this bill will add to that. Best of all, it is an integrated approach at management, whereas, currently, there are several laws in several sectors that may be repetitive or overlapping, or also creating gaps in environmental organisation. This one bill is purposed to make things effective and efficient through public and private sectors.”
The Government of the Virgin Islands endeavours to effectively manage and administer the Territory’s natural resources in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.