Of significance to the population is the Environmental Management Authority's (EMA) withdrawal of the Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) for a poultry farm in Piparo. It begs the question: are there any procedures being used by the EMA in the granting or denial of CECs?
In this instance, it was a lawsuit brought by environmentalist group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea that caused a hasty withdrawal by the EMA from its position. The lawsuit was driven by the residents from the area, who raised their voices in protest and the environmental group concurred with them.
Had the EMA clear guidelines and processes in its portfolio for the granting of CECs, the threat of a lawsuit would have been a non-event. However, the rapid reversal of the EMA's position suggests the granting of CECs is being done by mere whims and fancies, and questions the integrity of the role of the board and the confidence the population can repose in its decisions.