The Environment Police principally to attend to cases of;
- Waste (Illegal dumping, improper waste disposal, littering, unsecured load being transported with vehicles)
- Pollution (Air, Water, Soil)
The potential for waste dumping and pollution is continuously increasing with greater use of land for residential, agricultural and commercial purposes and also with increase in waste products generated by increased economic activity. Pollution of the air, water and land remains the major areas of focus. The Environment Police, jointly with other regulatory bodies such as Public Health Authority, Seychelles Licensing Authority, and Landscape and Waste Management Agency attends to cases relating to pollution in the country.
There are several approaches to waste and pollution control in Seychelles:
- Permitting of activities e.g. Sewerage Treatment Plant, frequent sample taking for analyzing, waste and scrap metal exportation etc…)
- Action against littering, illegal dumping, improper waste disposal, transportation of waste and other materials unsecurely
- Provision of facilities for waste disposal – all waste should be disposed at the Providence Landfill
- Adequate public bin sites for the general public to use with continuous review
- Public education campaigns
- Legal and Enforcement procedures
There are various mechanisms available that the Environment Department uses to ensure that waste and pollution levels in Seychelles remains at a minimum. The three main tools are:
- Public Education
- Laws and Regulations
Regulations and Regulatory Bodies
The Ministry responsible for Environment is guided by the Environment Protection Act which covers all issues to do with the environment and its protection. Apart from stating the various actions which would be considered as an offence under the law, the Environment Protection Act also dictates the penalty carried of the offences.
Public Law Enforcement
Implementation of the public law is vital if it is to be effective. Under its law the Ministry responsible for Environment has different ways of approaching an offender and dealing with an offence.
After that a complaint is recorded a site visit is carried out to investigate the complaint and find possible solutions to it. After a thorough inspection, the officers will inform the offender of the offence committed and instruct him/her on how to rectify the situation, and/or any penalty to be imposed.
Enforcement is done in accordance to the Environment Protection Act 2016.
It sometimes happens that an offender fails to comply with directives received from an officer. If after a visit the offender has not rectified the problem an Enforcement Notice is served to that person. The Notice contains instruction as to how to rectify the situation within a certain period of time.
In certain cases, depending on the seriousness of the offence, an Enforcement Notice is issued on the same day,
The offender is generally given between 7, 14 and 21 days, depending on the gravity of the offence or nuisance, to comply with any directive set by the officer.
A Prohibition Notice is very similar to the Enforcement Notice, It is issued in cases where the manner in which a project or activity is being carried out involves an imminent risk of serious pollution to the environment. In the Notice, the Department instructs the person in charge of the said project or activity to stop the same and rectify the situation before it gets worse.
Any person who fails to comply with an enforcement or prohibition notice is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine or a term of imprisonment or both. Once the person has fully complied with the Notices, a Withdrawal Notice is issued.
Type of cases that the Environment Police responds and deals with, include:
- Abandoned properties with waste on
- Animal Husbandry
- Scrap metals
- Illegal dumping/Littering/Improper disposal of Waste
- Fiberglass work on boat vessels
- Pollution(Air, Soil, Water, Noise)
- Oil/Diesel Spill
- Vehicles transporting unsecured loads
- Waste water/Sewage (Discharge and overflow at Sewer line, STP, Septic Tank and Soak Away Pit)
- Plastic Bags
- Mechanical activity causing any pollution
Environment Police jointly with other agencies assist in cases. Example of such cases include: :
- Derelict Vehicles (Police)
- Improper Domestic Waste Disposal (Public Health Authority)
- STP/Septic Tank/Soak Away Pits (Jointly with Public Health Authority)
- Common Nuisance (Police)
- Dog Nuisance (Jointly with Police and Public Health Authority)
- Waste Water/Sewage issues at Housing Estates (Jointly with PMC and Public Health Authority)
- Coco De Mer/Turtle Poaching (Conservation but Environment Police also assist in the operation)
- Noise Disturbance caused by loud music either from a house or from a vehicle (Jointly with Police)