Government has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to promote sustainable development at the community level in Barbados.
The Ministries of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment and Environment and National Beautification launched their Community Empowerment and Environmental project this morning at Pool Woods, Pool, St. John.
The project will enable communities from every parish to submit a proposal for an innovative, community-driven project to be funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, which also provides technical assistance.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, welcomed the opportunity for the partnership to empower communities across the island.
“I fully embrace the fact that I’m able to partner with UNDP and the Ministry of Environment … because this will take up two areas of my Ministry, the youth and community empowerment, and that is what we’re about. We’re here to ensure that government works hand in hand with those persons who mean well.”
Resident Representative for the UNDP, Limya Eltayeb, emphasised that there “couldn’t have been a better moment to start a partnership that brings together environmental action and community empowerment in one partnership, where we work together and put our hands together to try and address the crises that we’re facing”.
“It’s a crisis that hits you and your parish. It hits the whole island; it hits all of the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, but it’s a global crisis. And if we don’t put our hands together and really work in partnerships, we cannot address them,” she stated.
Highlighting that climate change was a serious issue for small island developing states and must be addressed at every level, Ms. Eltayeb said: “The crises we face globally and on small island states are very complex. You cannot address one thing and ignore the other; we cannot talk about food security and ignore the pandemic. We cannot talk about the biodiversity of certain plants and animals and mammals without talking about pollution without talking about climate action.”
The UNDP representative noted that the solutions to the problems would come from “embracing indigenous knowledge … as innovative solutions from the grassroots moving up.… This is something I cherish very much as a woman coming from Africa”.
Ms. Eltayeb also mentioned that the proposals should contain a component for the youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, gender justice, gender empowerment, women’s empowerment or human rights, while urging those in attendance to take advantage of the UNDP because it has a global network.