Dominica’s Environment Minister Hon. Dr. Kenneth Darroux joined his regional counterparts in St. Lucia last week, to discuss the creation of a “Green Economy Network”.
The discussions were held at the first regional conference under the Caribbean Green Economy Initiative, held from June 04-06, 2013.
The conference brought together representatives of governments, regional institutions, the private sector and academia from across the Caribbean and was held under the theme "Green Economy as a Vehicle for Sustainable development and Poverty Eradication in the Caribbean".
The country’s Environment Minister told the Government Information Service (GIS) on Tuesday that the Green Economy approach is necessary, if Caribbean countries like Dominica are to survive challenges such as climate change and the global financial crisis.
“We think that now is a good time for the region to come together to establish some sort of framework as it pertains to developing the concept of Green Economies. For many developed countries the concept of a Green Economy, can be considered an option, but for us it has to be a way of life,” he pointed out.
“The issue of climate change has to be borne in mind because we hear of the degradation of our environment as a result of climate change” Darroux stressed.
“We have an abundance of natural resources, so we need to pull all these resources together and use them in a sustainable way to develop our nations. We also have to ensure that future generations can enjoy those natural resources” he cautioned.
Minister Darroux said The Green Economy Network is expected to connect a community of policy makers, practitioners, and thinkers who are focused on achieving poverty reduction and sustainable development through a green economy.
“The whole idea of this meeting was to get all stakeholders on board. It was three days of discussions and at the end of the conference we came up with a communiqué to get a foundation, to see how we can take this Green Economy concept at the regional level forward,” he said.
The Conference which was organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) also addressed economic, social and environmental challenges faced by the Caribbean region and presented options and opportunities to remedy these problems under a Green Economy.
Recommendations from the Conference are expected to be presented at CARICOM’s next Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting on matters of the Environment.