Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe

Barbados will be represented at two major environment meetings slated to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, next week.

Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, leaves the island tomorrow and will head a five-member public and private sector delegation to the Commonwealth Environment Ministers Meeting and the Twenty-fifth Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to be held on February 15 and February 16 to 20 respectively.

According to Minister Lowe, Barbados’ participation is paramount in light of limited opportunities for Caribbean and Commonwealth Environment Ministers to
dialogue on pressing regional environmental concerns, as well as increasing global environmental management issues and the special needs of small island developing states (SIDS) given their scale, limited terrestrial natural resource base, openness and structural vulnerabilities to natural, social and economic shock.

The UNEP Governing Council, which was established in 1975, meets biennially to establish programmes, budgets and policy direction for UNEP. Participants gather in a ministerial–level global environmental forum to review important and emerging policy issues in the field.

The ministerial dialogue will focus on globalisation and the environment  under the theme: ‘Global Cries: National Chaos?’, giving ministers an opportunity to  address multiple environment and development challenges at the country level, and capitalise on emerging opportunities in tackling the challenges of food, energy and water security in a changing climate.

Attention will also be paid to the issue of international environmental governance (IEG) and United Nations reform under the theme: ‘International Environmental Governance: Help or Hindrance?’. In this instance, ministers will obtain a comprehensive update on recent IEG developments to be considered when responding to countries’ needs and priorities.

The other members of the delegation are: Senior Environmental Officer, Travis Sinckler; Director of the Environmental Protection Department, Jeffrey Headley; First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations, Selwyn Hart; and representative of the non-governmental organisations, Gordon Bispham. 

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