Lowe speaks of country’s achievements
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 5, CMC – Barbados is expected to give a comprehensive review of its achievements since the 1992 Rio Conference during a Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference that opens here on Wednesday.
Environment and Drainage Minister Dr. Denis Lowe said Bridgetown will join with countries from across Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, to discuss the challenges experienced in the 20 years since the 1992 Rio Conference, and establish a collective position on what will be presented during the upcoming Rio +20 Conference slated for June 20-22.
“Our biggest achievement will be our work on the green economy, and the green economy is the central vehicle for achieving sustainable development. Sustainable development talks about economic growth and development, – it talks about social development and equality, reduction of poverty, access to clean drinking water, sanitation services, and it talks about environmental sustainability,” he said.
Lowe said that Barbados also set a good example with its integrated solid waste management programme which was the most leading edge programme in the region.
“A lot of the SIDS countries are concerned about the treatment of waste. We have gone beyond that to create a template where we have come up with a system for the disposal of waste,” he said, noting however that the island was not just concerned with the disposal of waste, but the injection of waste into an energy outcome through the Mangrove Green Energy Complex which dealt with waste production, utilisation and waste conversion into energy.
In addition, Barbados will also be giving an account of its achievements in the area of combating climate change, especially as it relates to coastal challenges.
Lowe said that this country had one of the best coastal protection and rehabilitation programmes in the region and Latin America.
“There are several countries coming to talk with us if not about the sale of services, but also the exchange of services,” he said, noting he also held talks with the Minister of the Environment of Belize regarding the island’s coastal programme.
Lowe said Barbados has also addressed the threat to agriculture as a result of climate change, with a view to increasing food production, and decreasing the dependency on toxic agricultural products like herbicides and pesticides, and the re-introduction of arable land into production.
“Since Rio, what we have also done is we have created a legislative framework to protect the environment. The Coastal Zone Management Act is in place. We have the Marine Pollution Prevention Act in place with regulations coming soon, and we are drafting a new Sanitation Service Act to be separate from the Environmental Management Act,” Lowe said, adding that he hoped at the end of the meeting here, delegates would adopted a position on the outcome they want in Rio.