Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 19, 2022 (SKNIS): The key steps to transforming St. Kitts and Nevis into a sustainable small island developing state were articulated by the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Action, and Constituency Empowerment, while lending support to the 2023 Budget Debate on December 19, 2022.
“We are going to support recycling industries; we are going to empower people through their own innovation and creativity, and we are going to ensure that we limit waste or engage in waste-to-energy programmes. This culture of innovation has to be the foundation for our sustainable transition. It means that we are going to have youth-led design and investment; we are going to engage, and we are going to have a model for integrated sustainability,” said Dr. Clarke. “Every ministry has a part to play in our transition to a sustainable island state. It deals with justice, education, visitor arrivals, foreign policy – which speaks specifically to sustainability…”
Dr. Clarke said that embracing creativity and innovation is important to achieve identified goals.
“The modalities to support creativity and the orange economy are also fundamental to our sustainable island state agenda. It means modernization, robotics and innovation for resilience, localized innovation – that sounds like a plan, that sounds like leadership with a purpose,” said the Honourable Dr. Clarke. “Sustainability includes all ministries—people as partners; private sector finance; decoupling investments in carbon emissions; de-risking private sector investment in renewable energy; equity in environmental resources; social responsibility; justice and the right to live and live well. So, our agenda is people first, politics after.”
Minister Dr. Clarke noted that transforming into a sustainable small island state is an all-hands-on-deck approach.
“This requires behavioural change, so we will continue working with our local partners so St. Kitts and Nevis can transition with the government, the private sector and community organizations into a sustainable island state. There is strength in our smallness. We can overcome these three Cs, threats of COVID-19, climate change and conflict,” she said. “Madam Speaker, we can change. We can change the culture of talking [plenty], taking [plenty] and doing nothing. We can create a resilient St. Kitts and Nevis where people are prioritized, and we can implement transformative policies for sustainability and climate resilience.”
Circulatory practices, innovation, culture and people-centered policy are the philosophy of a climate resilient and sustainable government.”