Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Ministries of Sustainable Development and Environment have partnered to launch an environmental project in St. Kitts and Nevis dubbed, Improving Environmental Management through Sustainable Land Management.
The project was launched at an inception workshop on Thursday, February 17, 2022 at the Credit Union Conference Center (CUNA).
During her welcome remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Elreter Simpson-Browne, expressed pleasure of the ministry’s leading role on the initiative, adding that the project is very important and timely.
“The project is of particular significance to the Ministry of Sustainable Development as we are charged with the responsibility for land use, planning and management, and this project will help us to promote sustainable development through the update of the National Physical Development Plan, building codes, associated legal and regulatory frameworks, and our digital capabilities,” said PS Simpson-Browne. “Our ministry is also charged with ensuring that there is a coordinated approach to sustainable development which is grounded in social, economic and environmental resilience. We, therefore, welcome multi-sectoral initiatives such as this, which, of course, are facilitated by grant funding, and allow us to work with our national partners to secure that sustainable future, continually invest in our people, and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Mrs. Simpson-Browne noted that the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the funding agency for the project, continues to be a critical partner in developing and promoting the sustainable development agenda.
“GEF has been an indispensable partner in enabling St. Kitts and Nevis to address environmental issues related to biodiversity loss, chemicals and waste, climate change, international waters, and land degradation. It has done so through an impressive portfolio of regional and national projects, and after you leave here today, I am certain, you will agree, that this project will go a long way towards transforming the environmental landscape in St. Kitts and Nevis, and, by extension, the lives and livelihoods of our people,” she said.
PS Simpson-Browne noted that this year, through the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis will prepare and present its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. There will be a specific focus on SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), SDG 15 (Life on Land), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
“What is even more appealing is that this project touches on all of these. It therefore gives us the opportunity to highlight the activities as we complete this and future VNRs, and also use them as a baseline as we pursue the formulation of a new National Development Plan for St. Kitts and Nevis later this year,” PS Simpson-Browne added.
She added that the project, which has benefitted from national stakeholder consultations from as far back as 2015, will challenge the ministries responsible for Environment, Agriculture, Tourism, Sustainable Development, and numerous other national stakeholders including, civil society and, the private sector. The permanent secretary further added that the ministry is pleased to be partnering with several stakeholders including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – as the implementing agency, and for the first time on a national project, with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the executing agency.