The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).
Monday’s signing was witnessed by managing director of the EMA Hayden Romano and THA’s chief administrator Raye Sandy at the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel.
Speaking with Newsday after the signing, Romano said having been established in 1995, the EMA signed its first MOU with the assembly in 1996.
“Since then, we have not renewed the MOU," he said, adding that the EMA was happy to strengthen its partnership with the THA by signing of the revised MOU, which he said solidifies the partnership and the relationship between the entities.
“The EMA is the Environment Management Authority for Trinidad and Tobago, while the THA is the administrator of Tobago and of course, the THA, in the act, has environmental responsibilities.
“What the EMA is doing is just building the partnership with the THA with respect to how we manage the environment in Tobago, and the focus really on this is, how do we build relationships? How do we treat with environmental issues in Tobago in collaboration with the THA?
"The THA understands its environment and understands Tobago much more than the EMA,” he said.
Romano was also present at the opening of the inaugural Tobago Environment Partnership Conference, a conference which he said showsTobago understands the need for sustainable development and is willing to do something about sustainable development.
“We don’t have time. The whole world has recognised climate change as something that is very critical and even more critical for small-island developing states like TT.
“Effects such as sea-level rise, effects such as climatic events, such as flooding, landslides are things that we need to focus on, and I think this is an opportune time in Tobago to be having this conference, not only with public-sector organisations but with all stakeholders – NGOs, CBOs, the private sector – to really come up with solutions and I think this is what we need to do. We need to all be solution-oriented.”