Monday, January 31, 2022 — As Small Island Developing States (SIDS), OECS Member States are particularly vulnerable to climate change and other external shocks. To address this challenge, OECS Member States are working towards transforming their economies, as well as advocating for change on a global level.
On Friday, January 28, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission hosted a Council of Ministers Environmental Sustainability Meeting with the Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Dr. Frank Rijsberman. In his welcome address to meeting participants, OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed Dr. Rijsberman to the Commission and expressed deep appreciation for GGGI’s commitment and work in the Region.
“This is a very crucial meeting and an opportunity for us to really exchange views with him and to see how the engagement with GGGI will assist us in our ambitions on the climate front.”
In his opening remarks Dr. Rijsberman said, “I have had a good history of engagement personally with the Caribbean. I’ve visited many of the countries here, therefore, when we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jules in 2018, we were very keen to establish a partnership.”
Currently, GGGI is executing country programmes in 41 countries worldwide. The primary objective of the Institute is to support and promote strong, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies. In recognition of their common objectives, the OECS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GGGI in 2018, and GGGI opened an office at the OECS Commission headquarters in Saint Lucia the following year. In 2019, OECS became the first regional member of GGGI, and the two organizations are now working closely together to support achievement of regional and national goals.
GGGI has worked on several Regional Projects and Programmes in the OECS, which include:
- The Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP)
- Development of a National Financing Vehicle for Dominica
- The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative
- The Green Growth Performance Measurement
- Mobilizing International Climate Finance and Private Investments for Low-Carbon Development in Saint Lucia
- Support for Energy Regulation in the Caribbean
- Support for Investment Mobilization in the Caribbean
In his address to the virtual participants, Chair of the OECS Council of Ministers on Environmental Sustainability (COMES), and Minister for the Environment and Cooperatives in St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Eric Evelyn, welcomed the fact that GGGI’s Regional interventions aims to reduce energy and housing costs for OECS Citizens.
“Reducing the cost of electricity, … I thinkthis is something St. Kitts and Nevis will be very, very interested in, I think all of the OECS Countries will be…” Getting housing affordable in terms of greeningwould make it even more attractive for persons who do not have a lot of money.”
At the end of the meeting, Dr. Rijsberman and Dr. Jules signed the Eastern Caribbean Regional Planning Framework, a five-year planning and engagement strategy that describes the strategic initiatives GGGI aims to pursue in the Eastern Caribbean.
Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Honourable Sir Molwyn Joseph, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment made the concluding remark that,
“We have to appreciate that we have a window of opportunity to turn this thing[climate change] around and for more resources to be directed towards the Small Island Developing States, and so the issue of urgency in assisting theSmall Island Developing States to transition should not be overlooked.”
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) is a is a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organization, dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies. The 10-year-old organization has a global network of 41 courtries , and is headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea.