Greenheart Movement hosts discussion on oil spills and environmental safety – Stabroek News

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By Khadidja Ba
In commemoration of World Environment Day, the Greenheart Movement orchestrated a captivating and thought-provoking Green Groundings discussion, focusing on the pressing issue of oil spills. Renowned activists and experts convened to delve into the theme of “generation restoration,” echoing the global call to make peace with nature.
The dialogue began with Sherlina Nageer, co-founder of the Greenheart Movement, offering sobering insights into the magnitude of ecological devastation caused by human actions. She highlighted the alarming statistic that 15% of all known species have been lost in the last 500 years, a rate exponentially accelerated by human activity. Nageer emphasised the irreversible nature of species extinction, stressing the urgent need for collective action to halt further degradation and restore equilibrium to our ecosystems.
Dr Vincent Adams, an Environmental Engineer and former head of the EPA, dissected the likelihood and ramifications of oil spills within the operational framework of ExxonMobil and its affiliates in Guyana. With a wealth of experience in environmental safety, Dr Adams elucidated on the fundamental pillars of safety, emphasising the crucial role of culture in fostering a proactive safety mindset. He asserted that all accidents are avoidable and cautioned against prioritising production, politics, or profits over safety—a principle ingrained in US government regulations. Dr Adams articulated the risk equation, highlighting the interplay between probability and consequence. Negligence and shortcuts in safety measures, he warned, inevitably increase the probability of catastrophic incidents such as oil spills. He raised concerns over the circumvention of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) by Guyana’s politicians, citing instances where technical expertise was disregarded in favour of expediency and profit-driven agendas.
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