Environmental Commission: Commit to restore our environment

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In observance of World Environment Day, the Environmental Commission of TT (ECTT) chairman, Sunil Sookraj, has called on all stakeholders to commit to restoring the country’s environment.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sookraj described the country as being at a pivotal moment in history as it confronts escalating threats to its environment and preservation of its natural heritage. Among these challenges, he said deforestation, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and climate change necessitate urgent and decisive action.

Singh said the ECTT stands at the forefront of this movement as it upholds environmental justice and offers a platform for resolving disputes on environmental-related matters, with the full support of the Environmental Management Act. With this in mind, he appealed to people to adhere to the law, especially about Certificates of Environmental Clearance (CEC) issued by the Environmental Management Agency.

“The requirement for CEC under the Act is intended to protect the land and by extension the greater environment.

“The activities requiring a CEC, all impact land. Land is essential to sustaining life. Land degradation affects our ability to produce food. The inability to produce sufficient food means that human life on Earth can be threatened. It is therefore essential that persons comply with the requirements under the Act. It is equally important, if not more important that persons also adopt a more active approach to encouraging others to comply or reporting and initiating action where others are in breach.”

Despite this, he said, the commission cannot act alone and protecting the environment requires everyone’s involvement.

“We must all become advocates for environmental restoration, biodiversity conservation, and climate action. Through our collective efforts to plant trees, protect forests, and restore degraded lands, we can reduce our carbon footprint, adopt sustainable practices, and educate others and ourselves about the importance of biodiversity. We can also foster a culture of environmental stewardship and inspire future generations to join the fight for a sustainable/safe environment. Our actions, no matter how small, can therefore make a significant difference.”

“The ECTT calls upon all stakeholders to join hands and pledge their commitment to the restoration of our environment. Together, we can build a greener, healthier, and more resilient future for ourselves and generations to come. On this World Environment Day, let us renew our dedication to environmental conservation, restoration, and sustainability. We are #GenerationRestoration, and we hold the power to make positive change. Let us rise to the challenge and be the stewards of our planet.”

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5. This year’s theme focuses on land restoration, stopping desertification and building drought resilience.

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