Environmental stakeholders in St. Kitts and Nevis are being taught how to implement and mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a workshop organized by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in partnership with the St. Kitts and Nevis Department of Environment.
The workshop is an activity under the European Union and UN Environment funded programme for capacity-building related to multilateral environmental agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-MEAs programme).
The three-day workshop is being held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre. It opened on May 16, 2017, with remarks by the Hon. Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Environment, Cooperatives and Human Settlement, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Dr. Thérèse Yarde, Project Coordinator, Caribbean Hub Capacity Building related to Implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).
The main purpose of the workshop is to strengthen capacity to develop policies for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Sustainable Development Goals in St. Kitts and Nevis. The workshop uses an approach that demonstrates how the conservation and management of biodiversity is essential to sustainable development. It also shows how finding and taking advantage of linkages/synergies between the CBD and the SDGs can result in more effective and efficient national policies and action.
In her remarks, Dr. Yarde said participants in the workshop would become acquainted with several important tools that could help St. Kitts and Nevis to plan and monitor strategic action to implement the SDGs and the CBD in a synergistic fashion, making implementation more effective and more efficient. She said one of the objectives of the workshop was to improve the mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development policies and programmes, with the aim of building awareness that biodiversity conservation and management were not just issues for the concern of Environment departments.
“The habitats, species and ecosystems of the region are, through agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and tourism, essential resources for our economic growth and social well being. Biodiversity and natural resources management are not just environmental matters, they are essential development matters,” she said.
Minister Hamilton, in his remarks, highlighted the key role that biodiversity played in the economic and social well-being of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. He emphasised the government’s ongoing commitment to the sustainable management of biodiversity as demonstrated by the passing of the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Resources Act of 2016, and the designation of the extensive St Kitts and Nevis Marine Management Area.
This is the sixth in a series of similar regional and national workshops delivered by the CARICOM Secretariat under the ACP-MEAs programme. Previous workshops have been held in Suriname, Saint Lucia, Belize, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.