Highlights from the opening of the OECS 9th Environmental Ministers Meeting

By LaShaundé Hall. Updated 4:56 p.m., Thursday, June 2, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

L-R: Carlos James – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Minister (left) and Dr. Didacus Jules – Director General of the OECS (right).

Kingstown, St. Vincent – The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States – OECS held the 9th Council of the Ministers of Environment Meeting at the Beachcombers hotel from May 31st to June 2nd, 2022.

In attendance at the meeting were Dr. Didacus Jules Director General OECS, Carlos James Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture – St.Vincent and the Grenadines, along with other representatives from countries of the region. The proposed theme of the meeting is “shifting to more integrated approaches for sustainability, resilience and prosperity in OECS SIDS”.

Dr Jules gave the welcoming remarks. He spoke about the challenges that the islands face such as Covid 19 affecting the economies along with the war in Europe. He stated that Small Island Developing States are still most vulnerable to climate change. He commended the resilience of the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – SVG for fighting through the volcanic eruption, floods and Covid.

SVG’s Tourism Minister Carlos James, the incoming Chair of the Council expressed thanks to the OECS for their support. He also spoke about the challenges that the Caribbean face such as inflation rates due to the war, climate change, and economic challenges that were caused by the pandemic such as food shortage. He said he hopes to focus more on environmental sustainability.

Mr. James said the role here (at the meeting) is to deepen the integration process and to strengthen policy framework.

Mr. James said wishes to develop strong more focus policies that address the impact of challenges that small island states face.

After the opening ceremony, there was session two, where two topics were discussed with experts and ministers; topic one: Promoting/Exploring the critical link between natural and human (eco)systems and Topic Two: Leveraging private and public sector collaboration for scale and impact.

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