Resigning Environmental Board head attributes leaving to differences

Riho Kuppart.
Riho Kuppart. Source: Ministry of the Environment

Riho Kuppart, who has announced his resignation from the post of director general of the Estonian Environmental Board, cited internal disputes, obsolete legislation, outdated IT systems and management decisions that have proved to be wrong as the reasons for his leaving.

Kuppart wrote in a letter to colleagues at the end of last week that in the course of discussions he had with Minister of the Environment Tõnis Mölder (Center) after his vacation to discuss cooperation between them and the future of the Environmental Board, they came to the understanding that a good understanding of each other is necessary to achieve smooth cooperation and common goals.

"As a manager of the strategic level, I respect the minister's wish to build a leadership team needed to deliver his vision. They say it takes two to tango. That is why I have decided to leave the Environmental Board and submitted my resignation yesterday, August 12," Kuppart said.

The outgoing chief of the Environmental Board, whose last day on the job is August 31, told colleagues that together with them he has implemented quite vigorously the vision which he presented when he applied for the position prior to the merger of the Environmental Board and the Environmental Agency, which has been successfully completed. 

"Yes, we still have a long way to go to make our services customer-friendly and efficient," Kuppart said. "A lot of courage, ingenuity and consensus with the ministry is needed to cut out from our processes activities that add little value to the customer or the environment. Using a reasoned approach, it is necessary to align the resources of the Environmental Board with the tasks assigned to us, first to ensure a competitive incentive package and also to ensure that other prerequisites are in place for the provision of services at a modern level. The only alternative is to align services with limited resources."

The outgoing director said that there are a number of historically established bottlenecks that need to be tackled collectively, either as a result of outdated legislation, obsolete IT systems, or management decisions that have proved to be incorrect with today's knowledge. These, too, remain to be resolved by the new leader and the minister.

He added that given the global increase in the importance of environmental issues, the Environmental Board faces major challenges.

"I'm sure today's team can handle all of this perfectly. For all of this, I sincerely wish success and unity to the heads of both the Environmental Board and the ministry," Kuppart said, expressing his 100 percent support to Olav Avarsalu, deputy director general of the Environmental Board who will perform the duties of director general until the vacancy is filled.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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