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Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris
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Opinion: Environment Ministry should be restructured after next Saeima elections

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUViolations uncovered with waste management; flaws with legislation; possibly insufficient nature resource tax and unreasonably low fines for violations urge a discussion in favour of reorganizing Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, says Latvian Green Party’s chairman Edgars Tavars.

At the same time, he says «the ministry is currently unable to handle many of its duties».

Tavars says the goal of reorganization is making sure all matters associated with environmental protection are organized and planned in the interest of society. The environmental policy should contribute to the growth of Latvia’s national economy, not stagnate it. He adds that pulling environmental protection from economic processes is short-sighted and irresponsible.

«It is worth mentioning – environment policy is not the government’s policy at the moment. This is why it is important to act to make sure politicians and officials notice this. VARAM currently governs 12 different fields. I think VARAM has exceeded its capacity, and after this year’s natural disasters our objective is to act, not sit and hope those were exceptions,» said Tavars.

Latvian Green Party’s chairman says reorganization should perform an audit of all functions, review VARAM’s internal structure and duties of the institutions under its wing. The party believes it is possible to reorganize the ministry, review its budget and efficiently use infrastructure and human resources.

Tavars says: «This reform would not mean a bigger burden for the state budget or increase with the number of officials. Reorganization should be performed by VARAM. The ministry should delegate policy and defence matters to a separate structural unit. It is nothing new. This system was in place in Latvia until 2011, when the ministry was combined with the Regional Development and Municipal Affairs Ministry.»

He also notes: «We have to be brave to admit the decision that was made back then was wrong and that the industry is not being supervised to the extent demanded by society, Latvia’s economy and global processes.»

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