Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe
The development of a designated Research and Development Department within the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage has been cited as paramount, if Barbados is to reach its potential of leading the region in the area of Environmental Protection.
This assertion has come from Minister of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who has underscored the need for the development of new, relevant and responsive technologies to foster sustainable environmental policies, practices and programmes in key areas including water resource management and solid waste disposal.
Speaking widely on his vision for the newly constituted Ministry, Dr. Lowe contended: “There must be a policy for a Research and Development Department to be established. Some part of this Ministry must be turned into a lab where we can sit down with researchers and develop new technologies. I would have it no other way.”
Charging that some parts of the Ministry were service driven, while others were stewardship oriented, he said concomitantly, there must be an area which was research directed. The Minister underlined that this was critical to ensure that when officers attended international conferences they would be reporting their “own work” and not that of others.
“We are affected by climate change, beach erosion and such like. What is unique about our response, what can we teach the world?” he challenged.
Dr. Lowe, who lauded the wealth of talent among officers within his Ministry, also called on technocrats to “do more writing” so that their work could be featured in annual or quarterly research journals. He also alluded to in-house presentations where advances in research could be made public to the general staff.
He also identified the development of new technologies in the area of water resource management to be critical at this juncture, as well as the development of sustainable, innovative environmental projects.
“There are billions of dollars available to us if we get the right projects on the ground,” he advised.