PORT OF SPAIN – The Government of Canada funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project facilitated a ‘Workshop on the Legislative Framework of Environmental Impact Assessments in the Caribbean Region’ on 29-30 March 2019.
According to the United Nations, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are “a process of evaluating the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project or development, taking into account inter-related socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts, both beneficial and adverse.
The workshop brought together regional experts in one central forum to discuss the different approaches of each of the region’s countries regarding the EIA process and to learn best practice approaches from two regional experts: Christine Toppin-Allahar, a planning, environmental & land law and policy consultant; and Fiona Pompey Handl, a legal consultant on environmental health law and policy.
The workshop was held at a time when regional governments continue to stress the importance of climate change mitigation and sustainable development. In her opening remarks, Canada’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Her Excellency Carla Hogan-Rufelds, stated that the dual issues of climate change and sustainable development require governments to think critically about the changes that can be made at the domestic level to ensure our own climate-resilience and reduce the potential impact of disasters.
The workshop saw ten of CARICOM’s fifteen member states participate, including: Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.