On Tuesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Eco-socialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of the construction of 21st century socialism.
President Maduro said the creation of the new ministry was in direct response to demands, made by environmental social movements, to take more dramatic action in the face of climate change. According to the Venezuelan head of state, the ministry will also be in charge of strengthening “the ecology of socialism of the 21st century.”
The new body will supervise the implementation of the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.
President Maduro made the announcement during his weekly television program where he was joined by Guillermo Barreto, who will head up the new ministry. Barreto previously served as vice-minister for environmental eco-socialism.
Despite being one of the world’s largest produces of oil, Venezuela has made significant efforts to address climate change.
In November, Venezuela hosted the summit of environmental activists in anticipation of the United Nations COP20 climate change conference, where delegates to the summit met directly with government ministers.
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.”