Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe
While Barbados continues to be a leading environmental advocate abroad, a Government Minister has lamented that the message is not resonating as loudly as it should at home.
Word of this has come from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said that this is not for a lack of trying by successive Governments.
“The message is not getting through at home. We have a fantastic reputation abroad but I do not think we have succeeded here. This is not to suggest, by any stretch of the imagination, that successive governments have not done their part in seeking to get the message out. But I do not think we have spent enough time conceptualising how to get ordinary people to take responsibility for what they want to enjoy,” he said.
Speaking to the “unbelievable reputation and presence“ which Barbados held at international conferences, as well as the role the country played in environmental negotiations, not only among small island developing states, but also among European Union (EU) member states, Dr. Lowe stressed the need for environmental protection to become part of the country’s socialisation.
Lamenting that we may have missed out on having our school system become a broader social partner in Barbados’ development, Minister Lowe stressed that there must be an educational thrust to help persons to understand their multiple roles in development, in terms of creating as well as protecting products of development.
“Part of the National Conservation Commission’s thrust has to be participating in that type of education, where we help people to understand that what we have in Barbados, for our enjoyment, is really ours, and therefore part of our remit has to be its protection and preservation.”
Making it clear that the Ministry of the Environment now existed as a stand alone Ministry because Government was concerned about environmental issues, Dr. Lowe maintained that unless the consciousness of citizens was raised, developments including environmental legislation would all be “pointless.”
“We may end up putting more people in jail but the problem which they were sent there for will still exist. It has to be part of our socialisation,” he underscored.