Ministry Of Environment To Introduce Act For Environmental Conservation

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Basseterre, St Kitts

– Senator the Hon Dr Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment will introduce the National Conservation and Environment Management Bill 2024 in the upcoming National Assembly to be held on Friday 14 June 2024 at the National Assembly Chambers, Government Headquarters, Basseterre.

This Bill, last updated in 1987 as the National Conservation and Environment Protection Act
(NCEPA), is a long-standing comprehensive legislation that guides the operations of the
Department of Environment. It aims to provide for the administration and allocation of
responsibilities for managing the environment, conserving biological diversity and natural
resources, and promoting the sustainable development of St. Christopher and Nevis’s natural and cultural heritage.

The National Conservation and Environment Management Act (NCEMA), once passed, will
replace the NCEPA and empower the Department of Environment to designate land-based
protected areas, prevent and control pollution, and incorporate international environmental
obligations into national law. This comprehensive framework addresses a range of environmental matters and supports the nation’s commitment to sustainable development and its transition to a sustainable island state.

Ahead of the June 14 sitting of the National assembly, Senator Clarke highlighted the significance of the Act for preserving biodiversity and safeguarding coastal areas, which are vital for reducing the impacts of climate change. By protecting marine ecosystems and ensuring sustainable use of coastal resources, the Act aims to enhance resilience against climate change while also preserving national parks and historical sites. Additionally, Dr. Clarke emphasized that the NCEMA will guide the preservation, conservation and protection of the natural environment for future generations to enjoy and benefit from.

This Act comes on the heels of the Minister’s recent announcement of a phased single-use plastic ban that goes into effect from 2025.

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