Barbados is one of the most prosperous states in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the negative effects of recent global financial and economic crises, together with a dependency on imported fossil fuels, have placed pressure on the country's economy and environment. Limited access to natural resources, coupled with its vulnerability to climate change, underline the importance of increasing Barbados' economic, social and ecological resilience.
Recognizing these challenges, the Government has made strong commitments to sustainable development through long and medium-term strategic frameworks, a Social Compact with the private sector and trade unions, and a National Sustainable Development Policy. Its National Strategic Plan (2006-2025) speaks specifically of “Building a Green Economy: Strengthening the Physical Infrastructure and Preserving the Environment”.
Barbados joined PAGE in 2016, with the purpose to support implementation of the National Strategic Plan and its green economy objectives. Following general elections that were held in 2018, a new administration took office and the PAGE programme in Barbados was realigned to the new government’s priorities. At the end of 2019, the government solidified the PAGE work programme with activities expected to contribute to SDGs 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 17.
- Barbados joined PAGE
- Inception mission held to explore country priorities
- Change in Barbados administration
- Multi-agency mission organised to re-engage government and lay the groundwork for a national stocktaking activity
- PAGE became a member of the UNDP Blue Economy Steering Committee
- PAGE invited to be a partner in the national celebration of Environment Month 2019
- PAGE partnered with GEF Small Grants Programme for the inaugural Small Island Future Fest
- Cabinet approved PAGE’s workplan and its targeted outcomes
Progress in 2019: A snapshot
Revising the foundation for PAGE support
In September 2019, the new Cabinet of Barbados reconfirmed the PAGE programme. Guidance for PAGE will come from the Technical Working Group on Climate Finance and Climate Resilience, which has oversight over several of the government’s climate related initiatives. Placing PAGE within this structure will facilitate greater synergies amongst climate change, and green and blue economy undertakings.
The Government has identified five broad themes, which PAGE’s activities will be designed to fit into:
- Establish baseline systems for evidence-based progress assessment on green and blue economy;
- Demonstrate resource-efficient interventions in agricultural and fisheries value chains and infrastructures;
- Develop inclusive green and blue economy principles and integrate them into evidence-based policy interventions;
- Enhance institutional support for green and blue economy transition; and
- Enhance citizen engagement in green and blue economy transition in Barbados.
PAGE impact: 2016-2019 and beyond
Going forward, PAGE will provide support to national policymaking by:
- Developing a stocktaking report, including an inventory of best practices in green and blue economy; and
- Mobilising and engaging stakeholders in defining a green and blue economy vision for the country.
Going forward, PAGE’s support to sectoral and thematic reform will focus on:
- Conducting a Labour Force Survey Module on “Employment in the Environmental Sector and Green and Blue Jobs in Barbados”;
- Formulating a youth engagement and communications strategy for IGE and climate change education in a 1.5 degree Celsius world; and
- Conducting a green industry assessment with a focus on manufacturing value chains and with the view to creating jobs for youth and women.
To strengthen individual and institutional capacity the University of West Indies (UWI) has been acknowledged as the key technical partner for the PAGE programme. For 2020, PAGE identified the following areas to strengthen capacity:
- Delivering foundational training on IGE to policymakers through a combination of face-to-face and online trainings, customised to address Barbados' blue-green economy priorities;
- Collaborating with UWI to integrate existing PAGE e-courses, contextualised to local/regional conditions;
- Undertaking a feasibility study, in partnership with UWI, for the establishment of a small island development state (SIDS) green economy regional knowledge transfer hub; and
- Providing training on sustainable finance for green economy and climate resilience to stakeholders in the national financial services industry.