EPA leads EIA/SEA discussion in Brussels

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Legal Officer, Mr. Saeed Hamid (first in row in photo) represented Guyana at an "Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) Workshop" in Brussels, Belgium,  during the period of January 28-29, 2020.

The  workshop aimed to support the ongoing negotiations at the United Nations, in the context of the Intergovernmental Conference, to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

Mr. Hamid participated in a panel discussion which included discussions on issues regarding thresholds and criteria for conducting EIA’s, what type of activities are subjected to EIA’s, decision-making procedures and global minimum standards for conducting EIA’s. The workshop provided an understanding of the global framework within which EIA’s currently operate, introducing new concepts and practices, which is timely as the EPA is currently engaged in revising its Act and evaluating its EIA processes.

Restoration of Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a workshop entitled "Berbice Restoration of Wellington Park Mangrove Reserve Sub- Regional Project", under the North Brazil Shelf, Large Marine Ecosystem Project, during the period January 14-15, 2020, at the EPA Whim Office.

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Guyana joins IOPER

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It was announced at the International Offshore Petroleum Environmental Regulators (IOPER) Annual General Meeting attended by Executive Director of the EPA , Dr. Vincent Adams, that Guyana was accepted as the ninth member of the organisation.  IOPER is an international group composed of national regulators whose members are dedicated to  developing new scientific and technological standards; and raising environmental performance standards within the offshore petroleum exploration and production industry. To date, the members of IOPER include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Guyana's acceptance into the group will aid in the exchange of information and shared resources and experiences in the sector. Membership into the organisation also allows Guyana to stay informed of current trends and developments in the sector. By having affiliation with this group of experts, the EPA will be able to expand its technical knowledge with exceptional insight and best practices to oversee the emerging oil industry. 

Guyana became an oil producing nation on December 20, 2019, bringing new economic opportunities as well as, significant environmental risks associated with the potential negative impacts on the coastal and marine environment. Through the Environmental Protection Act, Cap 20:05, Laws of Guyana. The EPA has the responsibility of ensuring that all activities under the oil and gas sector are regulated in accordance with best practices and adequate environmental safeguards.  

For additional information see http://www.ioper.org/

Enforcement Action & Environmental Authorisation

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its repository and comprehensive review of its operations. There are currently 1951 projects on file, with the numbers expected to increase significantly with the quadrupling of the economy in the next four years. During January and February, there was an increase of 13% in the number of Environmental Authorisations granted when compared to the same period in 2019.

The Agency continues to place high value on ensuring projects are authorised within the ambits of the Environmental Protection Act and Regulations. In the months of January and February, the Agency issued more than twenty one (21) enforcement actions for various environmental breaches including cessation of operations. 

The EPA reminds the general public that operating without a valid Environmental  Authorisation is illegal.