Prime Minister Freundel Stuart chats with Regional Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Margarita Astralaja during the launch. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has outlined how this island stands to benefit socially and economically by applying green concepts in its future developmental plans.

He alluded to this yesterday, while addressing the launch of the Government of Barbados-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Partnership for a Resource Efficient Green Economy in Barbados and the Undertaking of a Green Economy Scoping Study by the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.?? It was held in the UWI’s Faculty of Medical Sciences Laboratory and Teaching Complex.

The Prime Minister maintained that the green economy presented opportunities for social development, environmental protection, economic growth and employment.???? Additionally, there are avenues for the expansion of the country’s knowledge and information economy; development of a new market for the eco-conscious tourist; accessing new sources of international and bilateral funding that is geared towards achieving sustainable development goals; and accessing new markets for indigenous low-carbon technologies.

Mr. Stuart noted that the formulation of a green economy roadmap in the short and medium term, should include components that focused on: principles of sustainability; policy cohesion and appropriate governance mechanisms; public sector leadership in conservation and sustainable procurement; and private sector commitment through financing investment and innovation.

It should also touch on: public investment; public education and engagement; horizontally and vertically integrated partnership platforms; profits invested towards social upliftment and cultural heritage development; periodic monitoring and assessment; and promoting the country’s green achievements globally.

In lauding the importance of the UNEP partnership, the Prime Minister stated: "…[it] is an important milestone as any transition to a green economy will only be possible through the collective visioning, action and support from a broad cross-section of stakeholders, including government, the private sector, labour, academia, non-governmental organisations, consumers and the mass media."

He further added: "UNEP has demonstrated its commitment to engaging with, and supporting this country’s efforts, in the realisation of a resource efficient future. This partnership provides the opportunity to bring out the best traditions of ???Barbadiana’, where national development shareholders, are now around the table engaged in a discourse about the future sustainable development of Barbados," Mr. Stuart underlined.

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