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EMA to hire 100 SRPs
Ganga Singh, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, said yesterday 100 Special Reserve Police (SRPs) will be appointed to enforce environmental legislation. He said the environmental police will be taken from the recent batch of SRPs hired under Minister of National Security Jack Warner.
Speaking to media at the launch of the ministry’s workshop on multilateral environmental agreements with stakeholders held at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Singh said: “We will have significant enforcement. We are building on our enforcement capacity. Therefore we will be expanding the retinue of the Environmental Management Authority police. We have eight in Trinidad and seven in Tobago. We are adding 100 to that.”
Enforcement, he said, was critical to fostering change about the environment. The ministry, he said, also plans to educate communities about environmental issues while revising critical legislation such as the Wildlife Act and laws on noise and air pollution to ensure greater environmental sustainability. He said this will would enable the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to fulfil its mandate of environmental protection.
Singh said the ministry was currently reviewing environmental legislation, especially the Wildlife Act, because if hunting continues at its present rate, there would be no wildlife left for future generations. With the hunting season scheduled to begin on October 1, Singh said, the number of hunters has significantly increased. Singh expects the bulk of his ministry’s new budget allocation to be spent on drainage.
He said one of the ministry’s priorities is “to look at water differently” by focusing on water management and flood mitigation. Flood-prone, high-risk areas would engage the ministry in the new year. Singh said he expects the water supply to be affected by a harsh dry season. As a consequence of the ministry’s focus, Singh said, it was looking closely at drainage. The Drainage Department, he said, still has a colonial structure and has not changed to meet the demands of modern T&T.
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