Towards a Global Pact for the Environment” in Nairobi, Kenya

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Environmental Officer attends United Nations Third Substantive Meeting-“Towards a Global Pact for the Environment” in Nairobi, Kenya


Environmental Officer, Mr. Dillon Charles along with Ambassador Troy Torrington from the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Multilateral & Global Affairs Department represented Guyana at the United Nations Third Substantive session of the ad-hoc open-ended working group meeting- “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment”. The event took place in Nairobi Kenya from May 19-23, 2019. This meeting convened the final working group session of three meetings.

The meeting explored options to address gaps in international environmental law and environment-related instruments. Discussions focused on appropriate, and, if deemed necessary, the scope, parameters and feasibility of an international instrument, with a view to making recommendations, which may include the convening of an intergovernmental conference to adopt an International instrument.

 

International Biodiversity Day

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EPA hosts Biodiversity Village in celebration of International Biodiversity Day 

 

The Agency coordinated a Biodiversity Village for schools in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 10, in observance of International Day for Biodiversity. The day was celebrated under the theme "Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health." This event was held at Umana Yana on May 23, 2019 and saw approximately 19 schools making artistic presentations on this year’s IDB theme; inclusive of poetry, dances and drama.

 Delivering brief remarks at the opening ceremony were Ms. Nidibi Schiwiers, Director, Department of Environment; Dr. Patrick Williams, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency’s board; Dr. Priya Maharaj, Director, Centre for the study of Biological Diversity (CSBD) and Lecturer, Faculty of Natural Sciences; Dr. Gillian Smith, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. The event saw in attendance in excess of 250 persons from schools, government ministries, non governmental organisations, members of the media and members of the public.

COP Basel Convention

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Representative from the EPA attends COP Basel Convention

 

Senior Environmental Officer in the Waste Management Programme Area, Ms. Odessa Duncan attended the fourteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Basel Convention held at the Geneva International Conference Centre (CICG) in Geneva, Switzerland. The conference was held from April 29 to May 10, 2019.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the focal Point and competent authority of the Convention which aims to control of trans boundary movement of hazardous waste and their disposal. The Agency’s participation at the meeting and therein election to serve as a member to the Implementation and Compliance Committee (ICC) for the Basel Convention, has positioned the Agency to better implement and be compliant with the convention.

EPA in Joint Team responding to emergency at Guyana Manganese Inc.’s Matthews Ridge Mines

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The EPA was part of the joint team responding to a case of a fatality and sick workers employed at the mines located in Matthews Ridge, Region One. EPA's objectives included: 

  1. To determine the influence of the environment on the death of one miner and severe illness of two others occurring on March 30, 2019;
  2. To conduct a Preliminary Risk Assessment in order to determine the potential human and ecological risks from the activities of GMI Manganese Mine.

Subsequent tests by the relevant authorities confirmed cases of histoplasmosis, a disease typically transmitted through inhalation or dermal contact with infected excreta of bats, birds and rats.  It was highlighted that potential risk of disease correlates with mode and length of exposure.  This, therefore, would also guide future recommendations for the site. Senior Environmental Officer, Ms Camille Adams during a joint press conference noted that the Company was engaged in the Environmental Authorisation process, and full assessment of the proposed operation was still underway at the time of the emergency.  Other authorities including the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Social Protection, noted the failure to utilize Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the workers while cleaning some tunnels, leading to them coming in contact with the pathogenic spores fungus.