Barbados will next week participate in high-level environmental talks in Nairobi, Kenya, expected to enhance the island’s "green economy" thrust.

Acting Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Denis Kellman, is slated to participate in the 26th session of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council (GC 26) as well as the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) from February 21-24.

The G26, which will be conducted in plenary parallel to the Ministerial Consultations, will focus on emerging global policy issues including the state of the environment, international environmental governance and coordination within the UN system, among other areas.

The Ministerial Consultations (GMEF), meanwhile, will discuss Green Economy in the context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development, with emphasis on new pathways to sustainable development via the transition to a green economy. These talks will also take the form of plenary sessions as well as panel discussions and ministerial roundtables.

Minister Kellman has been specifically invited by UNEP to serve as a panellist for the session entitled:?? Green Economy: benefits, opportunities and challenges of a green economy transition.

??In addition to sharing first-hand his perspectives and Barbados’ experience in the development of a green economic model, Minister Kellman and his team, will also have the opportunity to engage with the wider plenary of Ministers of the Environment and other heads of delegations.

With the concept of the Green Economy being critical to the work of the Ministry, as well as to Government’s vision of building a Resource Efficient Green Economy, the Barbados delegation will be seeking to ensure that the needs and position of Small Island Developing States are kept high on the agenda at the international forum.

As is currently done, Minister Kellman and his team will seek to reinforce a few key messages, namely that any new environmental governance arrangements must add value to existing processes and should not?? result in additional?? costs or burdens?? to developing countries. They will also stress that such developments???? must contribute positively to existing global programmes of actions to which Barbados is signatory.

??The local delegation will also emphasise that the interests and needs of developing countries must be the point of departure for any decision on improving the current system of global environmental governance, especially as it relates to technology transfer.

The meeting is especially timely given the current collaboration between Barbados, UNEP and the University of the West Indies in undertaking a Green Economy Scoping Study, which is expected to be launched shortly.

Minister Kellman will head a three-member Government delegation which includes Permanent Secretary, Lionel Weekes and Senior Environmental Officer, Travis Sinckler.??

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