Minister for Planning, Economic Development, Climate Resilience, Sustainable Development, and Renewable Energy, Hon. Dr. Vince Henderson says Dominica is on its way to achieving its sustainable development goals.

Dr. Henderson was presenting Dominica’s voluntary national review at the United Nations Economic and Social Council High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on Wednesday, July 13 2022 in New York.

Dr. Henderson says that while Hurricane Maria placed Dominica under economic hardship, it also gave government a unique opportunity to advance its sustainable development. 

“A little short of five years ago in 2017, Dominica was completely devastated by Hurricane Maria a category 5 hurricane which resulted in losses amounting to 226 percent of our GDP, causing significant destruction to every sector and community. This disaster did not only impact the physical environment or country’s economic growth trajectory but also exposed Dominica’s socio economic vulnerabilities, inflicting hardship on our people. Notwithstanding, Hurricane Maria provided us with a unique opportunity to review our development pathway and create new solutions and ambitions to develop our sustainable development prospects,” Dr. Henderson stated.

Over the past few years, Government has developed three key policy documents to help achieve the 2030 Agenda.

“We recognize that development is underpinned by a resilience agenda is key to sustainable assisting Dominicans towards our shared vision for the future and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. Over the past several years, our Government has approved three key policy documents to achieve our ambitions. The National Resilience Development Strategy (NRDS), Dominica’s Climate Resilience and Recovery Plan 2020 – 2030 (CRRP), and the Disaster Risk Financing Strategy. These documents represent our road map for achieving the 2030 agenda,” the Minister noted.

The Sustainable Development Minister noted that while Dominica is on a steady path to reaching its SDGs, it needs the partnership of the global community to achieve these goals by 2030.

“As a small island state, our development gains over the years have been impressive in spite of the any challenges. We are building forward stronger and building more inclusive and equal society. We are on the path to achieving the SDGs. Our first VNR reflects and reaffirms our commitment to advance the global agenda. Although Dominica’s resilience agenda and vision are fully aligned with the SDGs, we recognize that the SDGs necessitate much more than that. As a global community we must recognize that small island states need more to move apace to 2030. But we can only do so with the partnership and commitment of this community, otherwise we will be travelling a long and lonely road to 2030,” Dr. Henderson explained.

Dr. Henderson says that as a small island state, Dominica faces many challenges in achieving their SDGs.

“Our drive and ambitions are crystal clear but our realities on the ground risk obscuring that clarity. Like many other states, our inherent vulnerabilities are exacerbated by limited fiscal space compounded by the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic, a hostile global economic financial system where GDP per capital is a false metric of development; its continued use as a condition for developing countries to access official development assistance and concessional financing, inhibits our ability to address our vulnerabilities and development needs in a sustained way,” the Minister went on to state.

He added that Dominica has made great strides on this path, noting that the use of the abundance of geothermal energy will assist in attaining our SDGs.