Appointment of the new Director of Environment

Category: Events Published: Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00
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Recently, a New Director has been appointed, Mr. Albert Abel Williams. He hails from Ambrym and has a BA in Environmental Health and postgraduate qualifications in Health Research and Applied Epidemiology.

He has over 12 years of experience in government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. For the past four years he has been running his own consultancy firm.

He had this to say upon taking over his new functions:

Whose Business is the Protection and Conservation of Our Environment? I guess everyone will say it is everyone's business!! And that is very, very true! The next question is what role do you see yourself playing to protect and conserve our environment? These two questions will continue to feature in the activities of the Department of Environment and Conservation as the lead agency for environmental protection and conservation in Vanuatu.

As such the priority focus for the Department of Environment in the first half of the year 2010 would be on a number of key issues namely:

  • Development of key environmental program focus within the Department of Environment and Conservation.
  • Development of a new Department of Environment and Conservation Organisational Structure to support the implementation of the key environmental program.
  • Recruitment of key personnel to oversee the implementation of the program.
  • Expedite the legislative amendments to the Environmental and Conservation Act especially those relating to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as regulations relating to conservation area registration, environmental impact assessment, waste management and pollution control, CITES and air pollution.
  • Expedite Vanuatu's return to compliance with the Montreal Protocol on the control of substance that deplete the ozone layer.
  • Facilitate Vanuatu's compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by coordinating the Second National Report with Meteorology Department in collaboration with the National Advisory Committee on Climate Change (NACCC).
  • Facilitate Vanuatu's compliance with the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) by coordinating the completion of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) with the Department of Livestock and Quarantine.
  • Establishment of an environmental registry or database for all work programs.

I wish to state here that there will be no complacency with compliance with the Environmental Management and Conservation Act and other laws that overlap with our mandatory responsibilities. Therefore I need the support of all major stakeholders (other government departments, NGOs, private sector, commerce and industries) to protect and conserve tomorrow's environment today.

If any stakeholder has any brilliant ideas on protecting and conserving our Environment, I am more than happy to meet them personally.

I look forward to working with every stakeholder in the country (national, provincial and community level) to protecting and conserving tomorrow's environment today.