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St. Lucia Improves Network on Sustainable Development

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Contact: Julita Peter

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - Minister for Physical Development, Environment and Housing Honourable Ignatius Jean has expressed the view that information will be a key ingredient as the ministry continues its work in the area of sustainable development. Speaking at the opening of a two day workshop on Tuesday May 27th , 2003 dubbed “Using information for decision-making on Sustainable development-issues and challenges for Small Island Development States,” minister Jean remarked that the quality and relevance of the decisions that his Ministry is required to make will depend on the quality of the information available.

Minister Jean suggested that the way forward in confronting the challenges of sustainable development may require a change in the way national development planning is pursued. The Minister is of the view that this process must begin with a long term vision. “This vision we feel must be deliberately translated into non-sectoral development principles developed on a platform of social, economic and environmental consideration. These are indeed difficult times, but rolling over and letting events dictate our future is not an option,” Jean said.

Recognizing the vulnerability of small island developing states to global climate change and the challenges in establishing and accessing information systems due to their geographical location and limited economic resources, the United Nations Division of Sustainable Development and the OAS are facilitating the establishment of an appropriate network on workable solutions to improving information management for sustainable development in the region.

According to Birgitte Alvarez –Rivero of the Division of Sustainable Development, “ It is recognized that knowledge and information are increasingly the most valuable economic assets in moving towards sustainable development. The pulling of knowledge and information exchange within and among SIDS is a rewarding and cost effective approach that needs to be fully utilized.”

The workshop was organized by the Division of Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, OAS and the Government of St. Lucia.

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