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SVG to intensify its approach to sustainable development

SVG to intensify its approach to sustainable development

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St Vincent and the Grenadines will further intensify its approach to the question of Sustainable Development over the next five years.{{more}} This reality was confirmed by Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment Cecil McKie, upon the completion of the Second Preparatory Committee (PREPCOM) Conference of the United Nations held at its headquarters over the period 7 and 8 March, 2011. The Second PREPCOM was held in preparation for the main UN Conference in Brazil in September 2012 dubbed “Rio+20”.

The two-day second PREPCOM focussed broadly on three main pillars of Sustainable Development namely, Social, Environmental and Economics. The broad-based representation was drawn from all countries and nations, NGO’s, World Environmental and Women’s Organizations and Funding Agencies.

Discussions were focussed on the objective of the conference, which was to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and identify the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on Sustainable Development and addressing new and emerging challenges. Focus was therefore placed on institutional framework for Sustainable Development and the Green Economy, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Interventions centred around varying challenges and recommendations including: impact of climate change, food security, environmental degradation, desertification, poverty reduction, disaster mitigation, water and waste recycling issues, pollution, marine protection and management (Blue economy).

Focus was also placed on the required supporting roles of More Developed Countries (MDC’s) to Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Issues were capacity building, transfers of technology, allocation of resources; non-discriminatory multilateral trading systems and energy efficiencies were also flagged as important in the process.

These were placed into localized, regional and broader international frameworks of sustainable development with attention given to the critical elements of political will, integrated policy frameworks and strategic plans which cater for both current and future generations; and the creation of new jobs and income flows through the establishment of Green and Blue Economies would provide the necessary stimulus to Governments, which must in turn include all sectors of society, including women, the indigenous people and the vulnerable and informal groups in the dialogue, while examining possible tax incentives for initiatives in Sustainable Development, by business through the Decent Work Concept; reducing the usual bureaucracy with development initiatives and informing and educating the population on the subject on an ongoing basis. Investment in Sustainable Urban and Consistent Rural Development were also seen as key for going forward.

The proposed Green and Blue Economies must be part of the harmonized development and plans and, as such, have a strategic focus and attendant action plan for its implementation. These will certainly be paradigm shifts in the modus operandi of many countries, particularly the LCD’s and SIDs, but have now become an imperative, given the face of the ever-changing global environment and the reality that many of these objectives are also enveloped in the Millennium Development and Goals (MOG’s). St. Vincent and the Grenadines must, therefore, be up to the task.