The application/nomination process by which members of the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Board of Trustees will be selected is now open.
Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering officially opened the nomination process and stated, “This is an exciting and historic opportunity to serve the Territory by helping to build something novel and great that will improve the lives of all residents today. This will significantly define our future.”
The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund Act came into force on January 1, 2016 triggering a number of processes to operationalise the Trust, including establishment of its first Board. The Trust’s Board will comprise a total of nine persons, including six representatives for which applications/nominations are now sought.
These include a private sector representative of the tourism industry, financial services sector and any other sector that may contribute to the Fund (such as the energy/fuel and transportation sector); a representative from a resident academic or research organisation and a non-governmental organisation or community-based organisation; and a resident possessing relevant knowledge, expertise or experience.
The Virgin Islands made history in March 2015 when it became the first Caribbean island to pass legislation establishing a trust fund specifically addressing climate change issues. The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund is an independent, dedicated fund to raise monies to help the Territory adapt to the diverse impacts of climate change and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency and integrating alternative energies. The Trust Fund will support actions by Government, the private sector and civil society.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Mr. Ronald Smith-Berkeley said the process to select the Trust Fund Board is a unique one in the Virgin Islands context.
He added, “The Minister for Natural Resources and Labour will make recommendations to Cabinet based on an open and transparent, criteria-based public application and nomination process.”
The Permanent Secretary stated that this application/nomination process would be supported by a heavy public awareness campaign including presentations to key private sector organisations and civil society groups.
He further explained that in order to apply or be nominated persons must have the necessary experience and involvement in the sector to be represented, have no conflict of interest and the capacity to either attract financial support for the Trust, ensure effective financial management of the Trust, provide sound and effective decision-making to achieve the Trust functions or provide effective leadership and direction to the Board.
The Trust Fund Act states that Belongers or Non-Belongers may apply or be nominated, however the Board must have a simple majority of persons who belong to the Virgin Islands.
The application/nomination process will remain open until April 15, at which time all applications must be submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour. A complete application must include a signed application/nomination form, three references, a curriculum vitae, a recent police report, proof of Belonger status (if applicable), and if relevant, the nomination or a letter of support from a registered organisation in the sector to be represented.
Further information about the Climate Change Trust Fund, the Board, and the application/nomination process including the official advertisement and application/nomination forms is available at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and at: www.bvi.gov.vg/climatechange.