New Legislation To Include Climate Change & Natural Resources Management


The public will soon be consulted on legislation aimed at protecting the Territory’s environment and natural resources.

The announcement of the Virgin Islands Natural Resources Management and Climate Change Bill and its aim was made on 15 June by Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering in his delivery of the 2016 State of the Environment Address.

The Deputy Premier said “The Virgin Islands Natural Resources Management and Climate Change Bill is undergoing major revision and it is anticipated that public consultation on the principles of the bill will be a major drive and focus during the upcoming period.”

The legislation was previously mentioned in March 2015, when several government officials met with consultant George deBerdt Romilly to discuss how the bill would enable holistic environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation plans.

At that time the Deputy Premier said this type of bill will be one of the first in the region. “Best of all, it is an integrated approach at management, whereas, currently, there are several laws in several sectors that may be repetitive or overlapping, or also creating gaps in environmental organisation. This one bill is purposed to make things effective and efficient through public and private sectors,” Hon. Pickering added.

Deputy Secretary from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Joseph Smith-Abbott also commented on the bill. He disclosed that the legislation had been in the pipeline for some time and that the Ministry sees many benefits for the Territory with its implementation.