|(centre) Denis Lowe, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, greets?? Eliza Tonda (right), UNEP’s Resource Efficiency Expert during a courtesy call on Tuesday at the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, St. Michael.?? Also pictured, Gayle Francis-Vaughn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Drainage. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)
Barbados has been lauded as a global forerunner in its transition to a Green Economy.
The praises have come from the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Resource Efficiency expert, Elisa Tonda, during a courtesy call on Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Denis Lowe, recently at his Ministry’s Hincks Street headquarters.
Ms. Tonda said: "There are not so many countries around the world that have started developing this internal knowledge and expertise of what Green Economy means….UNEP has been developing a lot of the technical sectorial expertise, working within sectors, but not under the clear umbrella of the Green Economy that has been developed here [in Barbados]."
During the UNEP’s mission to Barbados this week, the interim report of the Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS) will be presented as phase one of Barbados’ process for moving toward a Resource Efficient Green Economy.
The study, which is being carried out by the University of the West Indies (UWI), is focused on the identification of the necessary policy and regulatory interventions that would be required to create an enabling environment for a transition towards a Green Economy.
"We [UNEP] do see the efforts of the GESS as a first step towards a wider process of working with sectors and different groups to really make this transition [to the Green Economy] happen,"
Ms. Tonda added, while pointing out that the Government of Barbados has been instrumental in consolidating the Caribbean constituencies around the potential and the benefits of sustainable production and consumption.??
Describing the pivotal role Barbados plays in promoting the concept, Dr. Lowe explained that the move to a Green Economy was a transitional process. He said that the challenge would be to teach those countries that have industries that are adverse to the environment how best to use their resources sustainably.
"Our message should not be that Green is it and that countries must jump on board. Our message ought to be that people need to test their efficiency standards and see how they can improve, using the resources they have to be able to achieve a more progressive journey towards the Green Economy," he stressed.
During UNEP’s mission this week, there will be a series of discussions and presentations on the progress of a number of current UNEP-Government of Barbados initiatives including the development of a Resource Efficient Green Economy for Barbados the establishment of a regional Centre for Resource Efficiency ??and Technological Innovation and The Consett Bay Pilot Project for Up-scaling Sustainable Resource Management in Coastal Watershed Communities of Barbados’ National Park and System of Open Spaces.