Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe (FP)????

Government is moving one-step closer to realising the Prime Minister’s vision of making Barbados the Caribbean’s most environmentally advanced Green Economy.

Word of this has come from Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who said his Ministry is in the process of preparing a draft Green Economy Policy Framework to identify the components of the enabling environment required over the short, medium and long-term.

"The preparation and finalisation of the policy will require the broad consultation of all relevant stakeholders, including Government, private sector, communities, Non Governmental Organisations and the youth of our nation," Minister Lowe stated.

The framework, he explained, would include a multi-pronged legislative regime, institutional support, education and training and fiscal incentives, demonstrating Government’s "continued commitment to a path of people-centred, sustainable economic growth and development.

"In the Barbadian context, the Green Economy can be defined as an integrated production, distribution, consumption and waste assimilation system, that, at its core, reflects the fragility of our small island ecosystems, as the basis for investment choice, human development programming, and facilitating export market development for indigenous environmental services…" Dr. Lowe added.

Meanwhile, Minister Lowe admitted that Government was faced with myriad challenges, about which it was concerned on a daily basis, including that of illegal dumping, pollution, water scarcity and the destruction of the island’s diversity among "a

stream of negative activities." In this regard, he singled out the work of Government’s Natural Heritage Department.

"My Ministry, through the Natural Heritage Department (NHD), which has responsibility for biodiversity activities across the island, is responsibility for ensuring that our country’s biodiversity and habitats – that is, our plant and animal species, and the places where they live – are managed efficiently. To this end, the NHD is spearheading the celebration of International Year for Biodiversity, where the world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard this important variety of life on the earth," Dr. Lowe indicated.

Citing the work of the Wesley Hall Infants School’s Environmental Club as testimony to the importance of sound partnerships between the Government and community-based stakeholders, he also underscored the need to "provide sound examples of excellence in the field of?? the environment,"?? if?? Barbados is to continue to strive for national sustainable development.

"In all of this, preserving our environment today means securing a brighter future for all. It also represents another footprint along the pathway to progress," Dr. Lowe concluded.????

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