Guyana Environmental Protection Agency
The Environmental Protection Agency was established on World Environment Day, June 5, 1996
The Act mandates the Agency to oversee the effective management, conservation, protection and improvement of the environment. It also requires that the Agency takes the necessary measures to ensure the prevention and control of pollution, assessment of the impact of economic development on the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources.
The Agency’s work enables Guyana to contribute to global and national environmental protection and conservation. As part of its work the Agency implements education, regulation and enforcement programmes and uses partnership and collaborative approaches to strengthen the impact of its interventions.
The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to “take measures necessary for effective protection and management of the natural environment, coordination of conservation programmes, sustainable use of natural resources, assessment of the impact of development activities on the environment and the integration of appropriate environmental provisions into development planning”.
The functions of the Agency are stated in the Part II 4 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act. These can be classified broadly as being regulatory, coordinating, and the promoting of public participation in environmental protection.
As part of its regulatory functions, the Agency enforces the Act (No. 11, 1996) and its amendments and the Environmental Protection Regulations (2000), to ensure that measures for environmental protection are integrated into development activities.
The Agency also coordinates the sustainable use and conservation of Guyana’s natural resources. Both the coordinating and regulatory functions of the Agency are complex, spanning a range of inter-connected issues and requiring collaboration with private, public sector and non-governmental organizations.
In carrying out its function to promote the participation of the public in the process of integrating environmental concerns in the planning for sustainable development the Agency provides information to the public on environmental development projects, issues and problems. The public is also made aware of the procedures and processes that are followed in permitting developments and investigating infringements of the Act.
The work of the Agency is conducted by three technical Divisions, namely, the Environmental Management, Natural resources Management, Education and Information and Training. The Administration Division of the Agency provides the required administrative support to the technical Divisions and equips them with the tools required to conduct the work of the Agency.