Barbados is closer to finalizing the elements of its Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) Work Plan.
This follows the convening of the National PAGE Governance Mechanism today at the 3Ws Oval, Cave Hill Campus, University of the West Indies. PAGE helps governments create and implement policies which promote green economic activities.
Its objective is to assist countries in reframing their economic policies in the context of pursuing more integrated, inclusive and sustainable development models, through a variety of approaches, methods and tools.
It also brings together the expertise of five United Nations agencies to deliver its mandate. They are: The United Nations Environment Programme; the International Labour Organization; United Nations Industrial Development Organization; United Nations Institute for Training and Research; and the United Nations Development Programme.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, explained that Barbados re-engaged the partnership with PAGE in November 2018, when it hosted a PAGE mission to “provide a small island developing states (SIDS) Specific Framework on Green Economy, which could be adopted by SIDS, globally”.
Minister Prescod said this was in keeping with Barbados’ responsibility as “guardian of small island developing states”. The specific objectives of the re-engagement mission were to establish an operational framework among key partners involved in implementing the PAGE Barbados Work Plan.
“The convening of this meeting today is one manifestation of these objectives. Critically, the mission yielded five strategic programmatic outcomes to guide our work through to 2021. These are the establishment of baseline systems to deliver evidence-based progress assessment on green and blue economy; the production of resource-efficient interventions demonstrated in agri-fisheries value chains and infrastructure; the development of inclusive green and blue economy principles that are integrated into evidence-based policy interventions; enhancement of institutional support for green and blue economy transition; and the enhancement of citizen engagement [in that transition],” Mr. Prescod stated.
The Environment Minister said it was in these areas where the bulk of the work of today’s meeting would be focused.
Furthermore, he proposed that the functions of the group include supporting Barbados’ PAGE programming process; reviewing all PAGE programme outputs; and supporting the development and delivery of PAGE Barbados communication and visibility programmes.
“The work of this group and the level of success will depend heavily on collaboration and coordination in the spirit of a whole-of-government approach. This type of approach has brought us much success in the past, and it would be wise to stay on this firm footing.
“I am, therefore, also calling on the support of our partners in the labour movement and the business community to continue to walk with us as we march on this national journey. Stakeholder support proved critical to the success of our efforts to reach this point, and I have no doubt that further success will only be achieved if we work together,” the Minister opined.
Mr. Prescod also expressed his desire to see a new partnership with the University of the West Indies in the area of research and information.
He said he fully supported the proposed SIDS Green Economy Knowledge Transfer Platform, which was highlighted during the 2018 PAGE mission, as a focal point for the university.
He said such a platform, with its unique focus on SIDS, could add value to Barbados’ work as a small island developing state, through advocacy and capacity building.