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St. Lucia to Table Bold Initiative

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, October 02, 2003 - St. Lucia is getting ready to table what is being described as a bold initiative in Trinidad come next week, as part of the first preparatory meeting leading up to the Small Island Development States (SIDS Plus-10 Conference) in 2004.

Close to fifty (50) small island states will meet in Mauritius next year to review the implementation of the SIDS Programme of Action and make recommendations on adjustments, to ensure that small-island and low-lying states move towards sustainable development.

Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer in the Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing Bishnu Tulsie says, St. Lucia has thus far prepared a first draft of its submission to the conference. “We are involved with a number of multilateral environmental agreements that have varying degrees of success. We have done an analysis of these, and realised that the strength of these initiatives and agreements, lie in the fact that they all include some sort of support to governments to build national capacity and institutions to implement these agreements. There is however no such thing for the SIDS Programme of Action.”

Tulsie says in light of that, St. Lucia will posit the idea that the international community establish a mechanism that will develop the institutions and capacities within small island states, to effectively implement the SIDS Programme of Action. According to him, “It’s a novel idea only because no one had proposed it before in the context of SIDS, but it has been working in other agreements like the Montréal Protocol, so why not learn from those experiences and develop and a similar type of initiative.”

St. Lucia is hoping to gain momentum for the idea first off with support from other Caribbean countries, then from the Asia Pacific small island states and the Indian Ocean small island sates, for onward transmission to Mauritius in 2004.

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