Prime Minister Freundel Stuart receiving a copy of??the report from Deputy Principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

As government presses ahead with its green economy initiatives, the University of the West Indies (UWI) is expected to play a leading role in the Green Economy Science-Policy Platform- one of the suggestions coming out of the Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS).

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this observation last week while addressing the official handing over of the GESS at the Almond Beach Village, Heywoods, St. Peter.

Emphasising that the UWI was the best place to "champion this interdisciplinary endeavour," he said a dedicated institution, with a focus on the Small Islands Developing States Green Economic Policy, was necessary to propel their sustainable development aspirations.

"With Rio +20 focusing not only on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development?? but also on the Green Economy, an intervention in the form of a SIDS Green Economy Policy Institute is timely, and can assist in bridging the research and development divide in the Caribbean region," he affirmed.

Mr. Stuart further stated: "I am, therefore, calling on UNEP, [United Nations Environment Programme] other development partners and agencies, to engage the University on this matter. With the right skill sets and financing to match the global outlook of the Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, such an institution would be positioned to close the burgeoning capacity gaps in SIDS."

The Prime Minister also mentioned the need to establish a Resource Efficiency and Technology Innovation Centre which, according to him, would "heighten the need to focus how we address water, waste and energy in an integrated and coherent manner in our production practices".

In this regard, Mr. Stuart disclosed that discussions had been held with agencies such as the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation, the Environmental Protection Department and the Barbados National Standards Institution.

He also said that financing had been provided by the British High Commission to support the feasibility phase currently being undertaken by the Centre for Research Management and Environmental Studies.

"Government is committed to work in tandem with the various agencies involved in the assessment leg of the initiative. A Centre of this nature, which supports our small and medium-sized enterprises in meeting environmental compliance requirements while supporting the development, tailoring and transfer of clean technologies, can assist in bolstering productivity and enhanced capacity for market access," Mr. Stuart surmised.


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