NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 21, 2021) – – Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Environment in St. Kitts and Nevis, says he is proud to be chairing the 8th Meeting of the Council of Ministers on Environmental Sustainability (COM: ES 08) of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean (OECS).
COM:ES 08 is being held virtually May 20-21, 2021, under the theme “Unlocking a green, resilient and inclusive future for Eastern Caribbean islands.”
“It is a very proud moment for me and the Federation as I assume the Chairmanship of the OECS Council of Ministers for the Environment…
“I endorse the agenda for these two days. These discussions will be critical in bringing attention to the issues and keeping sustainability at the centre. If climate change impacts are to be sustainably addressed within the region, access to reliable data, as well as incorporating the data into the decision-making process at all levels is critically important,” Minister Evelyn said about his first time stewarding the council.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage government finances across the OECS economies and further afield. Minister Evelyn said despite the financial challenges the countries of the Eastern Caribbean face, the impact of climate change on the environment remains a key focus on governmental agendas.
“With already stretched national budgets we need to employ actions that will enhance resilience.
“The many challenges that all of us are experiencing require us even now, more so than ever, to develop mechanisms that support sustainable financing that will ensure that our ecosystems are protected and preserved.”
Some of the actions he highlighted included relevant support to meteorological services across the region, and building and improving on the region’s data collection and analysis processes.
Hon. Evelyn took the opportunity on behalf of the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis to convey the deepest concern and reaffirm unwavering solidarity for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are coping with the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano.
The wide-ranging agenda for COM: ES 08 saw ministers engaging on topics such as Green-Blue innovation and financing sustainability; scaling up ecosystem valuation and national capital accounting; the OECS Sustainable Energy Framework; and Met Services Framework Legislation.