Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe (left), receiving a certificate of appreciation from Administrative Director of the Future Centre Trust, Nicole Garofano (second from right) as Trust Director Kammie Holder and Chairman, Vivian-Anne Gittens look on. (G. Brewster/BGIS)??

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has called for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between his ministry and the Future Centre Trust (FCT) to be drafted.

He made this call following a courtesy call by officials from the FCT at his Hincks Street, The City office, in which he noted that a partnership between the two entities was inevitable.

"I am excited about a relationship between Government and the Future Centre Trust. I am also enamored with the degree to which you are committed to environmental matters in Barbados, and I don’t take your contribution lightly," he said.

He added that if Barbados was to experience sustainable gains and a greening process, then it needed stakeholders who were committed to pushing the programmes of Government.

"From this meeting I want the drafting of an MOU between the Ministry of the Environment and the Future Centre Trust," he said.

He noted that now was the perfect time to formalise arrangements between the two entities, as Barbados continued on its path to creating a green economy.

Dr. Lowe noted that the two agencies could create linkages through the various school programmes, waste education, green businesses and trees programmes.

The Minister stressed that one of the key issues in Government’s quest to achieve its desired goals was garnishing participation from the private sector. "Government can establish policies, but without buy-in we can lose the battle," he added.

However, Dr. Lowe noted that Government could solidify its relationship with the private sector through the Trust.

"I see an immediate relationship. If we are to get other private sector players on board, we need to demonstrate our commitment to the partnership that can produce some funding."

He added that there was a need to establish a clear relationship between the two agencies and see how funds could be received and what opportunities were present to receive funds from other sources.

"We need to formalise the relationship. I believe an MOU would be helpful. We could also establish a subvention programme and link it to other agencies that contribute to such a programme," Dr. Lowe pointed out, adding that the time was perfect for a formal agreement between the entities.

FCT Chairman, Vivian-Anne Gittens, welcomed the drafting of the MOU and noted that the organisation had a number of volunteers, many of whom were non-Barbadian and who were willing to work "without thinking twice".

Noting that the organisation had experienced financial challenges, Mrs. Gittens said they had pressed on and rolled out the strategic plan in 2009 to continue building the organisation.


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