El Primer Ministro de Barbados defiende una política de desarrollo sostenible con acciones concretas
This country’s Sustainable Development Policy cannot avoid pursuing concrete actions in areas that are considered key to the international discussions on sustainability. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said this would include such areas as freshwater resources, agriculture, land resources, waste, energy, human health, poverty, population and consumption patterns among others.
His comments came at the opening of the International Sustainability Conference 2012, hosted by the Certified General Accountants (CGA) Association Caribbean at the Hilton Hotel yesterday morning. “In recent times, and specifically at the beginning of my administration, full recognition has been given to the twin global challenges of climate change and the
financial and economic downturn. While these challenges are, ordinarily, considered beyond the control of a small island developing state, the Government has formulated several policy responses as a means of mitigating effects, and strengthening our social and economic resilience to such challenges, whilst at the same time, identifying opportunities for growth and further development,” he added.
He indicated that some of the key policy priorities for Barbados relate to rising energy costs and the need for energy conservation and renewable energy development; the crafting of specific enabling policies and financial facilities to support the expansion of public investment and incentives to support the transition to sustainable production; as well as greater participation of the financial sector in enabling national growth and development.
Additionally, he said there is also a need for enhanced private sector investment and greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility. With that in mind, the Prime Minister noted that Government has made considerable progress on those issues, having approved a National Climate Policy Framework through the Infrastructure Committee of Cabinet, as well as established a Sustainable Energy Framework with financing from the Global Environmental Facility and the Inter-American Development Bank.
That framework, he said, will further enable the transition of Barbados to a more energy-efficient and low-carbon country. Prime Minister Stuart added that the country has also established a Barbados Sustainable Finance Group, which has been crafting training programmes for the financial sector on environmental and social risks analysis.
This initiative, the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean region, was spearheaded jointly by Government, the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Barbados Banking Association. Meanwhile, making reference to the Social Partnership and the signing of the Protocol VI, he said that agreement is committed to embracing the tenets of the Barbados Programme of Action which was adopted in 1994. Equally, he said there is a commitment to chart a path for making this island the most environmentally advanced green country in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
To that end, he maintained that the protocol is yet another example of the national will to move the environment discourse to the centre of the national development debate.