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DEC to set up Authority
The Department has been working at transforming into the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA).
Minister for Environment and Conservation, Hon. Benny Allan said in the key note address at the PNG Mining and Petroleum Environment Seminar at the Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby.
The CEPA would fund regulatory activities by recovering the cost of undertaking environment approvals and compliance activities from companies. The CEPA recovery model is not designed to generate revenue but to ensure the authority has funding necessary to undertake best practice environmental regulation work. CEPA will be initiating a policy of consultation and review soon after its establishment to determine the changes needed to improve the operations of the Act.
The protected area acts managed by the department will also be reviewed with the CEPA with the intent of developing an integrated protected area Act that can be used effectively by the government to significantly increase the level and extent of biodiversity in PNG. Improving biodiversity protection in PNG will also involve the governments identifying areas which are of national and global significance for biodiversity and focusing funding and resource on ensuring that areas are effectively protected and sustainably financed.
Mr. Allan further noted that the authority would have the ability to recruit staff on competitive terms and conditions and have access to the best available expertise whether local or international as required for under these functions.
DEC special projects director Gunther Joku said about the CEPA Bill, that the National Executive Council (NEC) endorsed the separation of DEC into a statutory authority.