The National Environment Service (NES) opened its registration process to all Science & Technical Experts that may provide expert advice to NES for the purpose of assessing, processing and monitoring environmental approvals, consents and permits.
NES is mandated under Section 36AA of the Environment Act 2003 to assess applications for approvals, permits and consents. The nature of assessment required is based on the level of environmental impact from the scope of works identified in the application. In order for NES to properly discharge its functions it relies on expertise from its technical staff, technical experts based in other Government Departments in the Cook Islands or approved external experts including overseas based technical experts.
The purpose of this registration process is to create a directory of approved science and technical advisers and experts that provide advice to NES in these two stages – application and assessment:
- In the application stage, to register any persons who will prepare environmental impact assessments, engineering reports or other related reports, in a project application to NES;
- In the assessment stage, to register any persons who will provide science and technical advice, including conditions of approval and monitoring activities to NES as part of its assessment of a project application
This release is accompanied with a link to the new application form, which specifies the areas of expertise for science or technical that will be required to assist NES in its statutory functions. A total of 26 areas are identified which include Biodiversity, Freshwater Ecology, Waste Management, etc. The number of areas will likely grow over time as new types of applications are made to NES for its assessment and decision.
Halatoa Fua, NES Director, noted ‘this process is part of NES’s due diligence work from which the directory will be published on our website. We continue to strengthen our technical capacity as the regulator of all activities that have environmental impact on the Cook Islands natural resources. Building our technical capacity is key to upholding the integrity of our applications and permitting process’.
To download the registration form, click here