NES recently held an internal workshop with its staff members with technical experts, Richard Johnson and June Cahill, to strengthen its in house regulatory processes and system for seabed mineral related activities for the Cook Islands. Both Johnson and Cahill are technical experts within the environment regulatory system with vast experience as former regulators at the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in New Zealand.
NES staff acknowledges the need for such workshop as a pivotal aspect necessary for the implementation of the recent Environment (Seabed Mineral Activities) Regulations 2023, the recent law to regulate all seabed related activities for the Cook Islands. An outcome from the workshop includes the development of suits of template and process map underpinning the administration of the Regulations.
Following the workshop outcome, NES also envisages developing Standard of Procedures (SOPs), Standard and Guidelines to align with the Regulation and NES’s overall legislative mandate as a key regulator f for the Cook Islands. NES also acknowledges the need for more stringent regulatory processes for all activities including land and the ocean space manage any potential environment impacts that may arise. The re-establishment of the National Environment Council and the necessary training will be conducted by NES as part of the requirements of the new Regulations.
NES continues to support staff capacity and capability development through necessary training reflective of the agency’s key objective and to ensure that it is prepared regulate all seabed mineral activities in a sustainable manner.