Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”.
The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.
Announcing the move during his weekly television program, Maduro was joined by Guillermo Barreto, who will head up the new ministry. Barreto previously served as vice-minister for environmental ecosocialism.
Despite being one of the world's largest produces of oil, Venezuela has made significant efforts to address climate change. In November, Venezuela hosted a summit of environmental activists in anticipation of the United Nations COP20 climate change conference.
Venezuela's five-year national development plan ― known as the “Plan for the Homeland” ― calls for the “preservation of life on the planet and the salvation of the human race.”
Maduro said the new ministry was a response to demands, made by environmental social movements, to take more dramatic action in the face of climate change.
[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]