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2008 10 28

::: OEPPC web site

Laws and Regulations updated (Marshall Islands Biosafety Regulatory Review).

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History:


The Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC), was approved for creation by President K. H. Note and his Cabinet January 2003; it gained full legislative support by the Nitijela September 2003. OEPPC began initial operations in July 2003.

OEPPC derives its legal mandate from the OEPPC Act 2003 and C.M.001 (2003) referenced from C.P. 4909(2003) containing the outline, powers, responsibilities and functions of the OEPPC vested by Cabinet and the Nitijela. The roles and functions of the OEPPC, its structure and its performance are determined by its Act and priority needs of the RMI as reflected in its strategic plans, by the resources available to implement its work programmes and by the strength of political support from the Government.

The OEPPC Act stipulates that the OEPPC has legal mandate and powers to become focal points for the Rio Conventions and relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

The OEPPC was established particularly to strengthen the RMIEPA by ensuring to remove several of its international load and share of burden, including almost all treaty affairs. With less international responsibilities, the RMIEPA had the opportunity to focus on fewer departments since April 2004 and redirect its funding and support to the domestic implementation of its duties: water quality monitoring, solid waste monitoring, public awareness and coastal management, and its management/administration departments. The RMIEPA is also the main authority charged with the enforcement of duties to protect and manage the land and its associated resources under the NEPA Act 1984. The President and Cabinet recognized that the RMIEPA can only reach its potential to be more effective in its enforcement of regulations and protection of the environment if its duties are tightly focused on these issues.

In this regard, International Conventions and associated Programmes/Projects which were under the RMIEPA steadily moved to OEPPC over a course of one year, April 2004-2005.

As well, OEPPC is mandated to work in partnership with other Government Ministries and Agencies, one of which is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pertaining to International Treaty negotiations. As a new structure of the Government with the legal mandate given under the OEPPC Act 2003, the law permits OEPPC to become Focal Points for the Rio Conventions and any other treaties and funding organizations. This issue needs to be resolved for OEPPC in order that the legal mandate is not in conflict with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs current structure.

This is also an opportunity to lessen the load of MOFA to focus on other treaties while OEPPC focuses on what it is mandated to do: Rio Conventions and SPREP Activities, Environmental development and a clearinghouse mechanism for environmental conventions.

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