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A Green Government is the way forward for SVG

A Green Government is the way forward for SVG

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Fri, Oct 22, 2010

Independence message from Ivan O’Neal, Leader of SVG Green Party

SVG must become a competitive Green country or else we will be left behind

The UN says that a Green economy not only improves human well-being, but also reduces environmental risks. Adopting a Green economy will hasten sustainable development in our beloved country. We urgently need to move to new technology such as wind-farms and solar.{{more}}

Renewable energy will provide long-term, cheap, sustainable electricity, and, more importantly, new jobs. At present, as a people and a country, we are being left behind.

According to the UN, China is now the world’s second biggest user of wind power and the biggest exporter of photovoltaics. Ten per cent of households have solar water heaters and 1.5 million people are employed in China’s renewables sector, with 300,000 of those jobs generated in 2009 alone.

In Bangladesh, microfinance has assisted local people in buying solar heating systems. Some 20,000 ‘green’ jobs, many of which have been for women, have been generated, with an aim of creating 100,000 new jobs by 2015. The project thus meets many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG3 relating to gender equality.

We need to move towards food security and be more self-reliant by producing more of the food we consume. In 2008, SVG imported $198 million of food. Increasing reliance on imported food is extremely risky and not sustainable.

To correct this, a Green government will encourage SVG farmers to grow more of our own food and offer farmers a guaranteed market for their produce. Reducing food imports will make our rural economy strong and vibrant. Organic production is the way forward.

According to the UN, Uganda has turned to organic production to boost exports and incomes. Farm-gate prices for organic produce are higher than for conventional produce. Since 2004, the number of certified organic farmers has grown from 45,000 to over 200,000 and the area of land under organic cultivation from 185,000 hectares to close to 300,000 hectares.

To succeed with a Green economy, we need a skilled and educated population. To this end, an SVG Green Party government will build a science university so our people can learn science, technology and green engineering methods. This will provide sensible, long-term development growth for young people.

To succeed we need our own national bank. The immoral sale of the NCB for $42 million by the ULP regime is a national disgrace, as it has a negative impact on the development of SVG. No other Caribbean country has sold their national bank and damaged its own development chances in this way.

The UN speaks of reducing poverty, while increasing resource efficiency. A Green government will sustainably utilise SVG’s resources and build a number of factories to create thousands of new jobs to export, among others things, herbal tea, baby food and water.

We need a multi-variable Green economy with niche tourism and an international airport at Canouan. The ULP mass tourism is madness and will destroy SVG environmentally in the long-term. We must move in a positive direction and adopt the UN’s advice and go Green for prosperity, and a healthy and peaceful environment. A Green economy will build a good lifestyle that is prosperous and sustainable.

May God to continue to bless our graceful SVG. We must protect and preserve our beloved country.

Ivan O’Neal BSc(Hons.) MSc, MBA
Leader and Co-Founder of SVG Green Party