PRESS RELEASE – The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) sent a strong message to the global community that civil society in the Caribbean is and must be involved in the transition to economic development models where economic benefits are achieved alongside environmental sustainability and social equity.
Sarah McIntosh represented CANARI at the recent Commonwealth People’s Forum in Malta and presented in a session on “Colourful Economies” (referring to the new concepts of “green economy” and “blue economy”). She shared CANARI’s experiences over the past five years working with stakeholders across the Caribbean to develop a Caribbean vision for green economy. Civil society engaged with government, private sector, communities and other actors in developing this unique vision.
This vision says that “A Green Economy in the Caribbean context aims for long-term prosperity through equitable distribution of economic benefits and effective management of ecological resources; it is economically viable and resilient, self-directed, self-reliant, and pro-poor.”
This vision needs to inspire new thinking and approaches as Caribbean islands continue to face economic recessions, crippling debt burdens, growing inequities and resulting social crises, and environmental degradation caused by unsustainable development choices.
CANARI advocates that civil society needs to be a part of defining the economic development agenda, setting the direction and economic planning, implementing the transition through leading and partnering on concrete initiatives for change in policy and practice, and evaluating performance to ensure accountability for process and results.
This message was included in the “Malta Declaration on Governance for Resilience” (25 November, 2015) which was submitted to the Commonwealth Heads of Government. For the presentation please see here and for more information on CANARI’s green economy work please see here.