The Environmental Management Division currently has three draft environmental policies out for public consultation; these are Underwater Blasting, Peaks National Park Management Development Plan and Environmental Research Permitting.
Underwater Blasting provides a procedure for any blasting work to take place in or near the marine environment. There are a growing number of potential coastal developments which have the potential to impact the marine environment during construction and the policy aims to minimise the negative impact on marine life.
The Peaks National Park Management Development Plan provides a legal basis for this National Conservation Area. The plan has been devised after consultation involving workshops and meetings with stakeholders and individual land owners. It aims to incorporate a number of functions and values including ecosystem services, conservation of native and endemic species and habitats, access for the local community as well as tourists.
The Environmental Research Permitting policy provides a framework to establish an environmental research permitting system, the aim of which is to effectively manage environmental research on the Island. Research permitting systems have been introduced across a number of small islands including UK Overseas Territories.
The environmental research permitting policy recognises the value of environmental research – to the individual researchers themselves; their research institute; the international research community; and to St Helena, our environment and our people.
Acting Head of EMD, Isabel Peters said:
“A lot of preparatory work, led by EMD staff with input from key stakeholders, was done to get the policies to a stage where they could be taken out for public consultation. The draft policies were put forward to the ENRD committee in September and were approved for public consultation, which commenced soon after.”
As part of this consultation a public meeting is scheduled for the 17 of October at the ESH Information and Business Centre, located upstairs at the Canister. The session which will start at 4.30pm and will provide an opportunity for anyone interested to learn more about the policies and ask questions and provide feedback.
The deadline for the public consultation has now been extended to allow further public input and will draw to a close on the 21 October 2013.
Comments will then be collated and the documents revised to be presented to the ENRD committee for their final endorsement. All documents and summaries are available on the SHG website on the following link: http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/publications/
15 October 2013