The ???fortunes??? of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) may fluctuate from time to time if the islands are judged exclusively on issues of buying and selling, and spending and saving, because of the variables over which they have no control.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made that assertion as he addressed a cocktail reception at the Old Fort at Hilton Barbados, held recently as part of World Environment Day celebrations.

???But if we are tested on the things that really matter, that is putting man at the centre of all human effort and recognising???that man is ultimately the measure of all things, and that what we do, all the things we do, we do for the elevation, for the betterment and for the enhancement of man. Once you come to that conclusion, we have reached the stage where we can be called truly civilised,??? Mr. Stuart said.

He pointed out that SIDS countries did not create the problems they were faced with, but he noted it was up to them to treat them as problems, or view it as a test of their nature???s character.?????When the character of Barbados – or the people of the Caribbean – is tested, we do not know how to fail those tests,??? he said.

He stated that a degraded environment was a threat to the survival not just of Barbados, but of people worldwide, and he warned that a failure to listen when the planet spoke would be to our own peril.

???Nature knows how to hit back, and when nature hits back we are powerless to confront the consequences of that hitting back. It is up to all of us to understand the importance of creating the kind of environment that makes life more tolerable and abundant for the people of our planet,??? the Prime Minister said.

To achieve this, Mr. Stuart outlined that an inclusive green economy which took into account the best interest and the welfare of the most vulnerable elements in society should be the objective of ???all thinking??? people across the world.

He noted that Barbados was committed to becoming the most advanced green economy in Latin America and the Caribbean, but stressed the country could not achieve that objective without collaboration and support from agencies like the United Nations Environment Programme and other stakeholders.

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