Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 04, 2020 (SKNIS): Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives, Ms. Sharon Rattan, said that although the ministry is small in size it carries a great deal of responsibility as the ministry works “to build sustainable pillars for our survival.” She said this during her appearance on the Dec 02 “Working for You” programme.
“It is a small ministry but we ‘tallawah’ as we would want to say in our local parlance. The Department of Environment consists of just maybe 18 persons and Cooperatives about eight persons, but we do carry lots of responsibility,” said Permanent Secretary Rattan. “Our new minister, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, is also very well-positioned and well-placed to lead this ministry. He has had many years of experience in agriculture, and, of course, that is one of our key stakeholders and a key critical partner because of our relationship with the land. We need food and we have to know how we are going to use the land to get food to feed ourselves,” she added.
Ms. Rattan said that environmental sustainability plays an integral role in the ministry. The ministry interacts with the environment in numerous ways to minimize depletion or degradation of natural resources thereby fostering long-term environmental quality.
“So, within this little ministry, Environment and Cooperatives, we see sustainability. We are playing our part to build sustainable pillars for our survival, and, of course, we interact with the environment every day and we are happy,” she said.
Some of the ways the ministry interacts with the environment include but are not limited to beach cleanups; maintenance of Central Forest Reserve (CFR) Trails and other trails; nearshore water quality testing, and coral reef monitoring.
Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer in the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives, said that the responsibility of officers at the Department of Environment is to “ensure that the work that is being executed within our office falls in line in terms of what is expected, as it relates to sustainable development.”
She reflected on the Department of Environment’s motto: “Conserve, Preserve and Protect.”
“That motto was generated recognizing the mandate of the Department of Environment which is primarily to conserve the environment to preserve what we have left of our resources, taking into consideration sustainability and, if necessary, to protect the environment for lives ahead to come,” said Ms. Jeffers.
Main Photo: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives, Sharon Rattan