The Virgin Islands To Host OECS 11th Council Of Ministers Meeting

The Government of the Virgin Islands will be hosting the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Eleventh Council of Ministers: Environmental Sustainability (COM:ES 11) from July 2 to 4.

The event will be held under the theme, “From Aspiration to Focused Action”, and follows the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change observance of Environment Month, annually in June.

Premier and Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, the Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley will chair this year’s meeting. The Premier said he is pleased that this event will take place in the Virgin Islands at such an opportune time.

“I am happy that the Virgin Islands is this year’s host country for COM:ES and I am thankful for the opportunity to sit, discuss and develop focused actions to address environmental and climate change issues with other ministers of environment in our region,” the Premier said.

Premier Wheatley added, “In an era where our islands are under increased pressures from climate change and rapid development, the Virgin Islands is certainly doing its part and advocating for environmental sustainability, for us, the Caribbean Region and the world.”

The conference will be attended by ministers and senior technical officers with responsibility for environmental management in the OECS and will give way to discussing topics such as climate change, biodiversity and ecosystems, ocean governance and fisheries, chemical pollution and waste, land and water conservation, and sustainable energy.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Dr. Ronald Smith-Berkeley commended the efforts made to host the regional meeting.

Dr. Smith-Berkeley, “I applaud the collective efforts made by officials across the Public Service and our colleagues from the OECS Commission, to make this meeting a success. It will bring greater awareness about environmental sustainability and help to chart a way forward to achieving a sustainable future”.

In addition to the ministry’s meeting, the OECS Commission will host an exhibition on Environmental Sustainability at the Atrium of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.

The exhibition will showcase various displays from the commission, the ministry and other partner agencies, including the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands, Beyond the Reef and Green VI. The displays will include Virtual Reality educational videos, informational spreads, educational posters and banners, on climate resilience, environmental management, and biodiversity and ecosystems management.

The OECS is made up of eleven countries comprising Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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