Minister of Environment, Dr.??Denis Lowe??

Critical regional environmental issues will be the focus, when Barbados, this week joins its regional counterparts in Panama attending the 17th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to representatives from the Ministry of the Environment, Barbados will be particularly interested in agenda items surrounding the Green Economy, Biodiversity and Ecosystems, which remain high on Government’s Environmental Agenda.

Environment Minister, Dr.??Denis Lowe, as well as a Senior Environmental Officer, will be attending the April 26 – 30 talks, which essentially seek to analyse and review critical issues on the international environment agenda and to develop regional strategies to address them.??

The forum will take place in two segments – the Preparatory Meeting of Experts, April 26-28, and a Ministerial Segment, April 29-30.

The Preparatory Meeting of Experts seeks to finalise the working documents and proposals to be considered by the Ministerial segment of the Forum. It will also focus on a follow-up of the 16th Meeting, which was held in the Dominican Republic in 2008, and discuss the implementation of the Regional Action Plan (RAP) 2008-2009, and the proposed structure and content of the RAP 2010-2011.

The Experts’ Meeting will also report on the progress in the implementation of the decisions of the Sixteenth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers (March 2008-March 2010) and report on the results of the 11th Special Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at the Ministerial Level which was held in Bali, Indonesia, February 26 – 28, this year.

Meanwhile, the Ministerial segment will primarily discuss the RAP of the Latin American and Caribbean Initiative for Sustainable Development, and provide a forum for ministerial dialogue on emerging and relevant topics.

Discussion will also focus on the results of the 11th Special Session of the Governing Council of the Global Ministerial Environment Forum; a review of the recommendations of the Preparatory Meeting of Experts; and a review and adoption of the Draft Report of the overall 17th Forum of Ministers meeting.

Barbados has participated in six of the last seven meetings of the Forum at the ministerial level, the last being held in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, January 27 – February 1, 2008.

It is believed that participation at the Forum will provide Barbados with the opportunity to continue to play a leading role in shaping the international environment agenda.

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