Statement from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour on the
TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED FOR MARINE ESTATE ADMINISTRATION POLICY
14th September 2022
The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands has recently approved the re-establishment of the Technical Review Committee that will advise the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour on all matters regarding the sustainable development of the coastline, seabed and marine estate.
The Committee will be responsible for the administration of the Marine Estate Administration Policy approved in 2020, which will govern the issuance of leases and licences for the use of the seabed by the Ministry.
The technical review committee is now an inter-governmental technical body responsible for vetting various applications for the use of the seabed.
The establishment of this committee also represents a significant contribution towards the reformed processes for disposing Crown property, which satisfies recommendation B30 of the Commission of Inquiry.
The reform process of disposing of crown land as part of the implementation of recommendation B30 formally began on 31 July and many of the reform initiatives were part of a broader process of reassessing and modernising the policy and operational framework of the Ministry.
The Technical Review Committee will be responsible for these main areas of the Marine Estate Administration Policy:
- Coordinate the formulation, implementation and public awareness of the Marine Estate Policy and any Marine Spatial Plan and ensure that they are aligned with all national policies and strategies.
- Evaluate and consider for approval by the Minister any project proposals for the use of the Marine Estate.
- Facilitate public consultation and cooperation between government agencies concerning any application for the development or use of the Marine Estate under the Marine Estate Administration Policy.
- Develop and regularly update a new schedule of fees to give effect to the requirements of the Marine Estate Administration Policy, including Development fees, which will aim to standardise the manner in which Government will charge for the use of the seabed.
The updated Marine Estate Administration Policy can be viewed by clicking the banner on the Government’s website or by visiting the environment webpage at www.bvi.gov.vg/environment.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour continues to effectively manage and administer the natural resources of the Territory in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.