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Caribbean nations hold dialogue to ramp up joint environmental action

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Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2022. 11:41 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Last week, Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS) met in Trinidad and Tobago as part of an environment-focused Task Force of the Caribbean Working Group to start the elaboration of a Small Island Developing States (SIDS) programme to strengthen the support that the region receives from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The meeting, organized by UNEP and the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer in the Caribbean (BCRC), brought together Ministers and high-level environment officials from The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

Caribbean SIDS, according to UNEP, are triply impacted by the crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. They face elevated risks from vulnerabilities in several categories: climate, natural hazards, and environmental risks; economic risks, health risks and consequently, social and political risks, which have all now been further complicated by the recent international crises of COVID-19 and the Ukraine war.

This initiative was held in the context of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean and its key decision on the “Environmental Dimension of Sustainable Development of SIDS”, calling for the formulation of a comprehensive programme to improve the environmental dimension of the Agenda for Sustainable Development in Caribbean nations.

This first meeting of the Task Force of the SIDS Working Group fostered an informal dialogue among the countries’ representatives, taking advantage of the launch of the Global Environmental Facility’s regional project for the Caribbean known as Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-chemical Development in Small Island Developing States (ISLANDS) and the “Development and Implementation of a Sustainable POPs Management Mechanism in the Caribbean” supported by BCRC and UN Industrial Development Organization.

The conclusions of this meeting will be fundamental to developing the Caribbean SIDS Programme, which will be presented at the next meeting of the Forum of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean. The new Ministerial Programme is expected to guide the development of concrete priority actions and investments to address the needs of the region, in response to the triple planetary crisis.

 

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