Select experts from the Caribbean sub-region and the international community will next week meet in Barbados to engage in dialogue on the interaction, challenges and opportunities surrounding environmental sustainability, local gastronomy (food culture) and rural tourism development.

The opportunity comes as the Ministry of Environment’s Natural Heritage Department hosts a five-day workshop on the theme: ‘Rethinking Environmental Sustainability and Local Gastronomy and Rural Tourism’.

Its objectives are to: discuss the sustainability issues associated with the production and consumption of agro-biodiversity, as well as the current status, opportunities and challenges associated with the development of a regional platform for gastronomy-based sustainable rural tourism. Experts are also hoping to commence preliminary talks surrounding the establishment of a three-year pilot partnership for developing a Caribbean gastronomic tourism experience and also to establish a road map for instituting the partnership within 12 months of the workshop.

Proposed topics for discussion include: Sustainability issues and Agro-biodiversity; Research development and promotion of regional gastronomic culture and profitability of gastronomy and maintaining sustainable tourism development in rural areas.

The team of experts will also explore the need for, and means of attracting
tourists that are environmentally conscious and concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, while promoting the need to protect the ecosystem at the community level.

The workshop, which officially gets underway over the weekend, will include community tours of the island’s fish and vendors’ markets, as well as a gully walk.

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