(PRESS RELEASE) – Practitioners, policy makers and civil society groups in Saint Lucia participated in a national workshop on December 6-7, 2017 to develop legislation to enhance environmental management and action on climate change.
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) facilitated the national workshop in collaboration with the Department of Sustainable Development (DSD), Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development in Saint Lucia. The aim of the consultation was to gain input from government and civil society to design a new legislative framework on environmental management and climate change.
Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Ms. Debra Charlery, noted the critical environmental and climate challenges facing Saint Lucia and other Caribbean islands, including the devastation in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. She welcomed the collaboration between the Ministry and CANARI and the support of the OECS Commission to develop new legislation that will operationalise key policies in Saint Lucia, including the National Environmental Policy and National Climate Change Adaptation Policy, and ensure sustainable and resilient development. In particular, she highlighted the coordinating and facilitating role of the DSD and the need to ensure that duplication in mandates is avoided in developing new legislation, while addressing any grey areas due to emerging issues at national, regional and international levels.
Stakeholders worked together at the workshop to identify key needs and priorities for legislation that enables effective coordination, implementation and resource mobilisation to address the environment and climate change. Two pieces of legislation were the focus of discussion. The proposed environmental management legislation addresses critical issues, including conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, coastal zone management, pollution control and environmental monitoring and information systems. The proposed climate change legislation aims to build resilience and undertake innovative measures for adaptation and mitigation and the resulting loss and damage that occurs when adaptation and mitigation efforts are inadequate.
CANARI and DSD will continue to work over the next year with stakeholders in Saint Lucia to develop this new legislation and enable effective uptake and implementation.