NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 15, 2013) — Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory told participants at a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) sponsored Conference on Environmental policy formulation and planning for the Caribbean Region, that the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) had actively taken measures that would protect the island’s environment.
The two-day conference which attracted at least two other Regional Environment Ministers among the delegates commenced at the Mount Nevis Hotel on May 15, 2013 and will conclude on May 16.
“The Nevis Island Administration has demonstrated its commitment to using sustainable and renewable energy through continued investment in the development of geothermal and wind power…..
“Local building design and construction has become better geared to withstanding the impacts of climate change and there have been ongoing efforts to strengthen local disaster management capacities. There has been increased recognition of the importance of including topics related to sustainable development in schools,” she said.
According, to Mr. Amory who is also the Minister of Education, in September 2011, representatives from the Department of Education participated in the Organisation of American States sponsored Sustainable Energy Workshop for Caribbean Educators on the topic “Teaching Energy in Schools” where curriculum materials which supported integrated instruction of sustainable energy in upper primary and lower secondary school subjects was reviewed and validated.
He added that teachers could access the “Learn and Save” teacher resource booklets and student workbooks at the teacher Resource Centre, while upper primary and lower secondary Science teachers were subsequently exposed to the curriculum materials as part of the Department’s 2012 Professional Day training activities.
Mr. Amory noted that in February 2012 a proposal entitled “Strengthening Science Education in Nevis” was submitted to UNESCO and was currently under review.
“An integral component of the proposal is to obtain the UNESCO consultancy services to provide training for secondary school Science teachers on integrating a sustainable development lens in Science subjects,” he said.
The Premier also spoke of the NIA’s support for the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society (NHCS) the principal Non Governmental organisation (NGO) on Nevis devoted to environmental and sustainable development issues and was committed to strengthening local capacities that would reduce, mitigate and adapt to the impact of environmental change.
Mr. Amory stated that the Society had collaborated with the NIA on efforts aimed at the introduction of sustainable development approaches in environmental management. He spoke to the initiatives, among them, the UNESCO Sand Watch Project, which developed awareness among primary and secondary school students and teachers of the fragile nature of the marine and costal environment and the need for its wise usage.
The project, he explained, provided a hands-on approach that would integrate the values inherent to sustainable development into all aspects of learning and would result in the empowerment of citizens to act for positive environmental and social change.
The distribution of the monthly ECO Magazine, a resource tool utilised by primary schools was also brought into focus. The magazine which began production in the early 1990s has been re-issued, addresses diverse environmental and sustainable developmental issues.
Mr. Amory added, that there was also the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund: the Sustainable Financing and Management of Eastern Caribbean Marine Ecosystems Project, designed to support the long-term financing and sustainable management of sensitive ecosystems in the Region.
“The project will establish an unprecedented financial architecture that supports the conservation and management of the Region’s marine and terrestrial resources through the capitalisation of a Regional empowerment- the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) and the establishment of subsidiary national-level conservation trust funds in each participating country. The NHCS is a member of the Project Implementation Committee and the Outreach Sub-Committee,” he said.
The Premier also noted that there was ongoing collaboration with the Federal Government on the development of a National Maritime Plan, since the ongoing impact of climate change required adjustments on how the ocean was viewed, managed and governed. Therefore, the need for coordinated management across sectors and resources and integrated environmental management directly with economic development, fiscal policy and social goals had become necessary.
“Central to such a change is the need to transform to a more integrated national policy framework to guide the future governance of the Federation’s marine waters, hence the development of a National Maritime Policy,” he said.
Mr. Amory also pointed to the OAS Sustainable Project in the island’s five parishes ‘Building Resilience One Community at a Time’ in which over 100 persons were trained in disaster risk reduction techniques.
The exercise was a collaborative effort between Helping Our People Excel (HOPE) Nevis Inc., the Nevis Disaster Management Department and the Department of Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Environment, targeted building community resilience and disaster risk reduction.
Photo caption: Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory delivers the keynote address at start of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored two-day Conference on Environmental policy formulation and planning for the Caribbean Region at Mount Nevis Hotel on May 15, 2013
Photo caption: Participants at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored two-day Conference on Environmental policy formulation and planning for the Caribbean Region at Mount Nevis Hotel on May 15, 2013
Photo caption: Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory (middle left) greets team Leader and UNESCO Representative, Paris Dr. John Crowley while Jr. Minister responsible for the Environment on Nevis Hon. Troy Liburd (middle right) greets President and Managing Director of Conrad Douglas and Associates Dr. Conrad Douglas at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization sponsored two-day Conference on Environmental policy formulation and planning for the Caribbean Region at Mount Nevis Hotel on May 15, 2013