The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM are collaborating to host a National Consultation on August 21-22 in Trinidad and Tobago. This is in an effort to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago’s national interests are represented in the Draft Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Draft Environment Action Plan, 2017-2022 as part of the Ministry of Planning and Development’s mandate for environmental management. A regional consultation involving the heads of environmental departments across the Caribbean Community is also scheduled in Trinidad and Tobago on August 24 and 25.
The CARICOM Environmental Policy has been formulated with the awareness that unsustainable use of resources could undermine regional sustainable development options within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. It proposes a structure for environmental and natural resources management in CARICOM, balancing the need to exploit the land, air, water and oceans for economic development while maintaining healthy environments in the Community.
At this consultation CARICOM will seek to gather comments and consensus on both the Policy and Action Plan so as to advance the process towards presenting the Policy Framework to the CARICOM Ministers of Environment, and to build regional ownership of the CARICOM Environmental Policy.
The Caribbean Community Environmental and Natural Resources Policy Framework has been developed as an integral part of the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME). It has been noted that the environmental and natural resources base of the Region is fundamental to Regional development. These resources provide the basis for a significant portion of the economic activity in the Community. The destruction and unsustainable use of these resources could undermine the regional sustainable development options.
The purpose of the Policy Framework is to provide an enabling framework for environmental and natural resources management in the Caribbean Community, acknowledging the vital role that land, air, water and oceans play in maintaining the economic, social and environmental development of the Community. It serves as the Umbrella Policy Framework for the sustainable management and use of the environmental and natural resources of the Community. It provides the guiding principles and the long term goals which will form the basis for the making of rules and guidelines to give overall direction to planning for the protection, conservation and sustainable use of the environmental and natural resources of the Community and its Member States. The Policy therefore, creates a basis for effective environmental and natural resources governance in support of the CSME through the:
- Building and facilitation of regional consensus in the Caribbean Community on environmental and natural resources issues;
- Harmonization of national environmental regulatory regimes;
- Mobilization of financial and technical resources in support of the Policy Framework implementation; and
- Enhancement of trade competitiveness, efficiency and long-term sustainability in the productive sectors.