Implementation of MEAs in focus at CARICOM workshop

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A workshop geared at training environmentalists on how to implement Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) began on Tuesday at the CARICOM Secretariat. The workshop is funded by the European Union and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

MEAs are legally binding agreements among three or more states relating to the environment. They play a critical role in the overall framework of environmental laws and conventions. Complementing national legislation and bilateral or Regional agreements, MEAs form the over-arching international legal basis for global efforts to address particular environmental issues.

The workshop, which ends on Thursday, will provide persons in the environment sector with practical guidance on how to improve the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. It will also introduce stakeholders to methodologies for environmental mainstreaming, in order to expand the use of mainstreaming approaches in the Caribbean. Environmental mainstreaming is the inclusion of environmental concerns into national, local and sectoral decision-making and policy development.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Douglas Slater, said that the Secretariat was pleased to be hosting the workshop on the recommendation of participants from previous workshops hosted by the organisation across the Region.

Dr. Slater told participants that he expected that at the end of the sessions they would be able to apply the approach and methods in their work as regulators, consultants, advisers, trainers or teachers.

We anticipate that those of you who are trained this week will become our new resource persons for the next round of MEAs mainstreaming training,” Dr. Slater said.

Consultant from the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Bishnunarine Tulsi, who also spoke at the opening, gave a brief overview of the work of the IISD in relation to MEAs. He explained that from its inception, the IISD had been working with the CARICOM Secretariat and other partners on this programme and had so far done work in Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and Belize.

IISD is pleased to be associated with CARICOM in this initiative and looks forward to this workshop taking the critical step forward in delivering an environmental education system”  Mr. Tulsi said.

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