Saint Lucia

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Environmental Crime Legal Framework in Saint Lucia

According to the constitution of Saint Lucia, nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of subsection (1) of this section- for so long only as may be necessary for the purposes of any examination, investigation, trial or inquiry or, in the case of land, for the purposes of the carrying out thereon of work of soil conservation or the conservation of other natural resources or work relating to agricultural development or improvement (being work relating to such development or improvement that the owner or occupier of the land has been required, and has without reasonable excuse refused or failed, to carry out).

Featured Legislation

1945: The Forest, Soil and Water Conservation Act was passed.  This basic legislation establishes a legal framework for the management of forests and forest produce, defined as all parts or produce of trees and plants, charcoal (sect. 2). Removal of and dealing in timber are regulated by a permit system (sects. 6-16). Detailed liability provisions concerning individual dealers, companies, intermediaries, etc. are set out in sections 17 and 18. The Governor in Council may, in order to protect or preserve forest resources, declare forest reserves, protected forests (on private lands) or prohibited areas and make rules on felling, clearing, pasturing, etc. in forest areas (sects. 19-27). “Forest offenses" on Crown Lands are spelled out in section 32. Forest Officers are attributed powers of inspection, seizure, and arrest (sects. 33, 35-37). Penalties for contraventions may be supplemented by monetary compensation (sect. 38). Further regulations concerning permits, property marks, classification and registration may be issued by the Governor in Council (sect. 47). Three final Schedules reproduce three model forms: (1) Information against persons in wrongful possession of Crown land; (2) Summons to persons in wrongful possession of Crown land; (3) Order for delivery of possession of lands.

1980: The Wildlife Protection Act was signed. The 4 Parts and 2 Schedules of this Act create a legal framework for wildlife protection, conservation and management. A Chief Wildlife Protection Officer is to be appointed (art. 3) whose duties are spelled out in article 4. These include administration and enforcement of the Act, research and data collection. Wildlife, as defined in article 6, is the property of the Crown and may be hunted, traded or kept in captivity only with licence or permit (art. 10). Offences are listed in article 14. These include: hunting or taking of any protected wildlife or the eggs, fry or young thereof; damaging nests, fry or young specimens; introducing dogs or weapons into wildlife reserves without valid permits. Article 16 regulates the use of hunting gear and methods. Action may be taken by the Minister to protect private property against damage by wildlife (art. 19). The Wild Birds Protection Ordinance is repealed (art. 28). Schedule 1 lists protected wildlife species. Schedule 2 lists partially protected wildlife (birds) and schedule 3 lists unprotected wildlife.

1984: The Fisheries Act was approved. The Act applies to Fishery Waters of St. Lucia defined as the EEZ, the territorial sea and the internal waters. The Act is divided into 5 Parts: Preliminary (I); Fisheries Management and Development (II); Marine Reserves and Conservation Measures (III); Enforcement (IV); General (V).

Part II contains, inter alia, sections on management and development plans, Fisheries Advisory Committee, regional cooperation, licences for foreign and local vessels, fish processing establishments and local fisheries management areas. Part III contains sections on leasing of land for aquaculture, marine reserves and prohibited methods.

1992: The Land Conservation and Improvement Act was introduced. This Act provides for the conservation of land in St. Lucia, for the establishment of a Board to be known as the Land Conservation Board, for conferring on that Board functions as to land, and for purposes connected therewith or incidental thereto. Land is defined as including land covered by water and in fact this Act contains provisions on drainage works. The main functions of the Board shall be to advise the Minister responsible for Agriculture and Lands on the general supervision of land and water resources, to recommend legislation, coordinate efforts of other conservation bodies, to advise the Development Control Authority on land conservation and improvement, and to offer technical advice to landowners/occupiers in the field of land management. The Board has the power to make Protection Orders relating to specific lands mentioned in schedule two (Model Farmlands, Mabouya Valley Development Project Lands), General Protection Orders and Specific Protection Orders which must specify the land to which they apply. It is an offense to fail to comply with the provisions of such Orders. Section 12 empowers the Board to declare any Crown land to be a conservation area. The Board must also prepare a long-term management plan and regulations for its protection, holding at least one public meeting within the proposed area. Any interested person may make formal objections etc., within 14 days of the last public viewing. Conservation Officers shall be appointed to assist the Board in supervising the use of and encouraging conservation and improvement of land and water resources. The remainder of the Act concerns legal/administrative procedures. The First schedule spells out the composition, etc. of the Board as well as other personnel matters.

2000: The Disaster Preparedness and Response Act was ratified. This Act sets forth duties and responsibilities of the Director of the National Emergency Management Office and in addition obligations of the other public officers. Furthermore, a National Emergency Management Advisory Committee shall be established. The Director of the National Emergency Management Office shall prepare and review the Disaster Preparedness and Response Policy and the National Disaster Response Plan in cooperation with the Committee. Moreover, the Director shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a National Emergency Operations Centre to function as the headquarters of the activities undertaken in response to a disaster emergency, as well as of a list of premises available and suitable for use as shelters during a disaster. The Prime Minister may on the recommendation of the Director designate and delimit most vulnerable areas for the purposes of the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters and a special area precautionary plan shall be drafted. In addition to these provisions, this Act sets forth provisions on (i) threatened disaster alert, (ii) hazard inspections, (iii) environmental impact assessment, (iv) implementation of treaties or other international agreements relevant to the mitigation of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from emergencies and disasters, (v) employees assisting in emergency situations and (vi) sanctions and penalties. The Prime Minister may make regulations for the implementation of the provisions of this Act.

2002: The Environmental Protection Levy Act was created. This Act sets forth procedures and principles of the environmental protection levy to be charged, levied and collected on goods imported into Saint Lucia. The environmental protection levy shall be charged in accordance with the provisions of the Customs (Control and Management) Act relating to the payment, collection and recovery of duties, and offenses and penalties. The environmental protection levy collected under this Act shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund. This Fund is allocated for the protection of the environment. This Act underlines that the Minister may exempt certain persons or goods from the provisions of the fourth section to the extent specified in the order published in the Gazette, and may specify the number of times a person may benefit from the exemption.

2004: The Waste Management Act was instituted. This Act lays down rules for waste management to protect human health and the environment. This Act sets forth provisions on the establishment of the Solid Waste Authority; waste management planning; development of National Waste Management Strategy; establishment procedures and licensing of waste management facilities in accordance with EIA; prohibitions and liabilities for waste and management of any type of waste; monitoring and enforcement; and offenses and penalties. The Planning Authority may make regulations for the development of National Waste Management Strategy, the implementation of any waste diversion and waste reduction policy, licensing system for the regulation of waste management facilities, the conduct of EIA for waste management facilities, enforcement mechanisms for prohibitions against dumping and littering, the establishment of standards and requirements for waste handling, separation and processing, fees related to waste management, capacity building and public awareness raising on waste management. Furthermore, the Minister may make regulations for the collection, transportation, treatment, recycling and disposal of waste, management of sanitary landfills, collection and treatment of hazardous waste, and reduction, reuse and recycling of solid waste.

2005: Water and Sewerage Act was brought into force. This Act sets forth provisions on the establishment, duties and authorities of the Water Resources Management Agency, National Water and Sewerage Commission. The Agency may collect application fees, license fees and permit fees and other charges under this Act and these fees will be allocated to the Consolidated Fund. This Act underlines that the right to water shall be exercised with special emphasis on protection of water, efficient use and management of water resources for domestic, industrial, commercial, hydro-electrical, geothermal purposes and fishing and agricultural activities, preservation of flora and fauna, and prevention and mitigation of the effects of erosion, drainage, pollution and flood. The abstraction of water shall be carried out through certification. According to the ecology, hydrology and hydrogeology factors and water demands and availability in the area, that area may be declared as a water control area. In addition to that, the Minister may declare an area as a waste control area for the protection of the water resources from pollution or reduction in water quality.

Featured Case Studies: Transnational Environmental Crime, Human Security, and Biosecurity

  • In Saint Kitts, access to justice is central to sustainable development. The government is advancing the rule of law at the national, regional and international levels to promote sustained and inclusive growth for the preservation of human rights and environmental protection. Embodied in Sustainable Development Goal 16 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Saint Kitts will make concerted efforts to secure the livelihoods of local communities so that concrete results and actions are achieved. The government, for example, recognizes the empowering role of justice in sustainable development, upholding fundamental rights and freedoms such as access to information, participation and justice. Judicial developments of the Caribbean illustrate commitments to environmental protection. For example, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Caribbean Court of Justice Academy of Law (CCJ Academy of Law) —the educational arm of the Caribbean Court of Justice— have joined efforts to raise awareness on the intersections of environmental justice and social justice, outlining a legal framework to spearhead greater access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters and identifying general core elements common to most jurisdictions.

References and Further Reading


Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development: