Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Barbados suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change. Their own path towards a low carbon economy is itself challenging due to limitations in relation to size, natural resources and dependence on fossil fuels.
In 2009, then Prime Minister David Thompson pledged to make Barbados the most environmentally advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean.
To define a green growth roadmap for Barbados, the government entered a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to undertake a Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS).
The overall objective of the GESS was to support national initiatives towards greening the economy through assessment and analysis, focusing on five key sectors selected by the Barbadian Government (tourism, agriculture, building/housing, fisheries and sustainable transport), and four cross-cutting issues (waste, water, energy and land).
The expected outcomes were:
- Macroeconomic assessment of the potential benefits and challenges of investment in priority economic sectors that offer the largest potential to promote a transition to a green economy and which includes an analysis of the socioeconomic outcomes;
- Set of policy recommendations to address policy and capacity gaps and needs, through specific policy reforms, programmes and projects; and
- Contribution to the formulation of a national strategy to “build a resource efficient green economy for Barbados”
The study was conducted by experts from the University of West Indies Cave Hill Campus, together with representatives of the government of Barbados and UNEP. A Green Economy Technical Steering Committee was created as a consultative body to provide technical oversight. The Steering Committee was made up of a wide variety of stakeholders from government, NGOs and business.
The Green Economy Scoping Study was successfully delivered and published in 2012.
The recommendations will feed into the Barbados National Strategic Plan which defines development actions up to 2025. The impact of the GESS will only become clear closer to the end of that period, however some progress is already being made, with the government working on a green island platform that includes waste-to-energy, wind energy andsolar energy.
One of the features of the GESS is its integrated approach. A wide range of stakeholders were consulted, which is reflected in the final wording of the study. This should enhance the support for implementation. The Barbadian Government gained insight and expertise by joining forces with UNEP, showing the value of giving support to network and partnerships.
UNEP has partnered with a number of other national governments to prepare GESS’s and they have the potential to trigger green growth. GML 9.