There must be more emphasis on environmental leadership and regional co-ordination in the Caribbean.
This was the message of Dr. Mark Griffith, as his organisation CaribInvest
honoured seven regional luminaries that have made an outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability. The event took place on Wednesday evening as part of the two-day Second Caribbean Dialogue on Caribbean Economic Expansion, Investment and Opportunities Arising from the Economic Partnership Agreement at the PomMarine Hotel.
Griffith noted that the environment had not been one of the key issues taken on by CARICOM, but noted that there had been a lot of work on the issue in past decades which was not necessarily being recognised. To this end, the recipients have also been honoured in a book entitled “Nuts and Bolts” by Griffith and Derrick Oderson that is dedicated to issues relating to Caribbean Community law and regional environmental co-ordination.
“Essentially, the publication seeks to put into perspective what has taken place in the region since the late 1980s,” Griffith said during the presentation. This, he said, was derived from the lack of historical perspective on what our negotiators have achieved in terms of the evolution of environmental and sustainable development co-ordination in the Caribbean.
Griffith said the book was dedicated to several people who have made a significant contribution to the area of environmental sustainability, explaining, “The period late 1980s–mid-1990s is described in the book as the golden period of regional co-ordination.”
The honourees included Dr. Ted Aldridge, a Jamaican, who worked tirelessly to promote regional environmental co-ordination and Charles Leeward, a former Ambassador from Guyana to the United Nations Environment Programme, for his strong role in environmental co-ordination; both are deceased. In addition, Professor B. Persaud, former Director of Economic Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat and Minister Lincoln Myers of Trinidad and Tobago, who Griffith described as one of the most outstanding Ministers of Environment in the region, were both noted for their roles in the 1994 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference in Barbados. Furthermore, Myers was noted for his role in spearheading the creation of the Alliance of Small Island States, which was launched in 1989 and helped direct more focus on small island developing states.
Former Guyanese Foreign Minister Rashleigh Jackson was also honoured for the important guidance he provided for the designation of SIDS. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teresa Marshall, was recognised for her role in ensuring the success of the First Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS, which was held in Barbados in 1994. Griffith said Marshall played a significant role in bringing together the developing states to partner, without which the conference would not have been a success. Finally, former Prime Minister of Barbados, Sir Lloyd Sandiford, was lauded for the support he showed for the conference being hosted in Barbados despite the economic difficulties being faced. (NC)