Barbadians from all walks of life were educated on a green economy as they traversed through Queen’s Park on Friday and Saturday at the 2nd annual National Green Knowledge Fair, under the theme, ‘Connecting People to Nature: Pathways to the Green Economy’
UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados Stephen O’Malley speaking at the opening ceremony said it was appropriate to hold this year’s fair at Queen’s Park, one of island’s most popular green spaces and home to one of Barbados’ solar houses.
“As a Small Island Developing State, Barbados is vulnerable to a wide range of external shocks from fluctuating prices from imported fossil fuels to ecological hazards that threaten its economic and social development. This season’s catastrophic hurricanes have vividly demonstrated the danger that climate change poses to the region and its people,” he said.
O’Malley noted that moving towards a green economy offers Barbados an opportunity to mitigate these risks.
“Barbados can better adapt to the impact of climate change, manage national capital, protect fertile ecosystems, create green jobs and create a green, clean and sustainable future,” he said.
National Coordinator with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme – UNDP David Bynoe told Barbados TODAY the event implemented by The Future Centre Trust on behalf of GEF was an important initiative because it addressed key issues in Barbados.
“Barbados has agreed that a green economy is a model they want to go towards and in doing so they enlisted the help of UNDP to conduct a green economy scoping study which revealed that there was a large gap between what we wanted to achieve as a country and the public awareness, education and expertise that is required to get us to that model,” Bynoe said.
He added that the National Green Knowledge Fair is supposed to bridge the gap and bring together people, the private sector, public sector and civil society to share knowledge, highlight best practices and showcase innovative technologies that can contribute to greening Barbados.
Numerous green businesses could be seen on display many of which would have received grants from the GEF programme.
“From 2013 to 2016 GEF Small Grants Programme funded US$5.5 million for projects across Barbados in the areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change (mitigation and adaptation), prevention of land degradation, international waters and the prevention of harmful waste and chemicals,” Bynoe said.
He said the initiative aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Most of SDGs as it relates especially to the environment can be found in our work as we support life on land and below water, we promote inclusive, sustainable growth and development and we focus strongly on moving towards a low carbon, climate resilient economy,” he said. (KH)