Senior Environmental Officer, Travis Sinckler (left) in discussion with Thomas Sears of RBC Insurance Company Limited at the breakfast meeting

An ad hoc group comprising the financial services sector and University of the West Indies (UWI) Management Studies Department will shortly be formed to advance various aspects of the country’s sustainable development agenda.

This disclosure has come from Travis Sinckler, Senior Environmental Officer in the Ministry of Environment, following a breakfast dialogue at the Savannah Hotel yesterday for managers in the insurance and retail banking sectors.

Mr. Sinckler said that it was suggested at the meeting that the UWI could assist in collating the information on the practices of the sector.

“We are also hoping to have a training workshop that would focus on environmental and social risks and how the credit and risk departments actually take that issue and again integrate it into the formulation of lending policies,” he said.

He noted that an international body which conducts such seminars on sustainable finance had recently expressed an interest in providing training for the sub- region later this year.

In the Barbadian context, sustainable finance means how the national principles of sustainable development could be integrated into the practices of the financial services sector.

“These principles include participation, quality of life, equity, economic efficiency and conservation of natural resources,” the Senior Environmental Officer said.

He stated that, at this point, much attention was being paid to the quality of the environment, especially climate change, since Small Island States would be affected significantly by this global phenomenon.

“One issue that is arising is the risk associated with climate change on business. Conversely, there is also growth in business opportunities that developing countries are capitalising on. The area of sustainable finance then is critical for investors and the public given the pivotal role that the financial services sector plays in our development agenda,” Mr. Sinckler said.

The meeting was a follow up to last year’s eighth Annual Trade and Environment Seminar.

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