- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Member State
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
Input to the Compilation Document to serve as a basis for the preparation of the Zero Draft of the Outcome Document for Rio+20
Jamaica: Submission to the Compilation Document for Rio+20
Table of Contents
I. Introduction and Background ...................................................................................................3
II. Comments on the Green Economy ............................................................................................6
III. Comments on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) ................... 10
IV. Priority Concerns/New and Emerging Challenges .................................................................. 14
References ...................................................................................................................................... 19
I. Introduction and Background
A ¡°Special meeting/consultation¡± of the Environment and Natural Resources Management/Sustainable Urban and Rural Development Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) of Vision 2030 Jamaica: National Development Plan was convened over two days (October 21 and October 25) to facilitate the sharing of information on the Rio+20 preparations and the preparation of Jamaica's contribution to the compilation text which UN member countries are required to submit by November 1, 2011. In addition to the members of the TWGs, other persons were also invited to broaden the stakeholder .based consultative process. The United Nations Development Programme in Jamaica facilitated this process. Representatives of the public sector, private sector, civil society and International Development Partners discussed the two themes of the conference in the form of questions suggested in the ¡°Co-Chairs¡¯ Guidance Note1¡± as well any other issues they wanted to raise with respect to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development..
This document is based on these discussions, as well as various documents that capture the official views of the government of Jamaica and the expressed views of representatives of the private sector and civil society in various other fora.
In assessing the implementation of commitments arising from the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992, Barbados2 in 1994, WSSD3 in 2002 and Mauritius4 in 2005, it was concluded that progress has been ¡°mixed¡±. Some of the explanations offered for the less than optimal implementation rate are the inadequate resource flows to developing countries in general, and to SIDS in particular, the need for more coordination in implementing recommendations and new sustainable development initiatives at all three levels . international, regional and national . and national efforts to cope with the external shocks from changes in the global economy and natural hazards. It is well known that the promised international resource flows to fund sustainable development initiatives have not been
forthcoming, and the already limited technical capacity of the countries of the region has been tightened by the outflows of high-skilled migrants to the developed countries.
Of particular note, however, is that Jamaica has prepared ¡°Vision 2030 Jamaica . National Development Plan¡±, its first long-term development plan which provides a strategic road map to prepare the country for achieving developed country status by 2030. This plan envisages a major transformation of Jamaica from a middle-income developing country to one which affords its citizens a high quality of life and world class standards in critical areas including education, health care, nutrition, basic amenities, access to environmental goods and services, civility and social order. The goals of the Plan are that:
1. Jamaicans are Empowered to Achieve their Fullest Potential
2. The Jamaican Society is Secure, Cohesive and Just
3. Jamaica.s Economy is Prosperous
4. Jamaica has a Healthy Natural Environment.
The country also has developed a Local Sustainable Development Planning Framework which is being implemented as part of the country.s local government reform process.
Special note was also made that at the regional level, the Treaty of Chaguaramas has been revised to facilitate the deepening of the integration movement, and a regional energy policy has been drafted for the consideration of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED). What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?
Great emphasis is being placed on renewed political commitment at Rio +20, and indeed, such commitment has been indicated in virtually all major environmental and sustainable development negotiations. For Rio +20 to be different and not more of the same, there needs to be an agreement on how this commitment is to be expressed.
By 2012, a new generation will have come of age, in many cases, having been exposed to the principles of sustainable development, the importance of protecting the environment, recovering much information on the state of degradation of natural resources and benefitted from an ease of
communication not available twenty years ago. At each of the major summits, there have been presentations from young persons from different regions reminding decision-makers of their responsibilities to present and future generations. Rio+20 should assess the areas in which there has been progress and how, in practical terms, the negative results can be halted or reversed.
Rio+20 could see increased focus on information for decision-making that is based on sound science and adequate data. One aspect of data management highlighted was that some information given in terms of averages may in fact ¡°hide¡± the extremes . the areas which require most attention. Given the impact of social networking and rapid increases in communications technology and access to that technology, the role of education, conservation psychology and a focus on and measurement of well-being could also be considered.
Apart from the structure of the outcome document, the important aspect is the impact it will have down to the local and individual level: i.e., what difference will the decisions make to the quality of life of people. We underline the need for firm commitments and subsequent implementation of same.
The importance of the theme of the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development should not be lost in the focus on the other theme of the Green Economy and the linkages between the two themes must be considered. For Small Island Developing States such as Jamaica, there is need for specific institutional arrangements for their sustainable development, building on the special programme for small island developing states included in Chapter 17 of Agenda 21.
II. Comments on the Green Economy
While the concept of the Green Economy is yet to be defined unambiguously, it is being used in the Caribbean to represent both an approach to development as well as a vision of an economy in which the three pillars of sustainable development . social, economic, and environmental development . are in synergy.
The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) Caribbean regional workshop in preparation for Rio + 20 endorsed the concept so long as it was ¡°pro-poor, pro-growth, and pro-jobs --- [and promoted] --- economic development that is equitable, sustainable and resilient¡±. Its overwhelming focus was on socio-economic development, governance, regional integration and cooperation with Latin America. In UNEP.s usage, the Green Economy will be ¡°low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive¡±. The WWF-UK emphasized ¡°maintaining natural capital, biodiversity and environmental services¡±. For SIDS, in addition to natural capital, access to financial, human and social capital are also of paramount importance. UNCSD must ensure that there is an agreed definition of the Green Economy and that it reflects the Principles of Sustainable Development as enshrined in the Rio Declaration. At the same time, there should be flexibility in its application based on specific circumstances.
For Jamaica, the relevance of the concept of the Green Economy is embodied in the country.s national development plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica. Under Vision 2030 Jamaica, the green economy is closely related to that articulated by UNEP and further states that ¡°the rules for Government, business, investors and consumers will have to be rewritten to ensure that environmental considerations become integral factors in socio-economic decision-making¡±, thereby moving the country into the realm of the green economy. Additionally for enterprises, it proposes that the country.s productive enterprises move beyond simply minimizing their negative impacts on the natural environment, and begin to base new jobs and industries on the sustainable use of natural resources as well as the country.s unique environmental assets (for example developing renewable energy sources, promoting higher levels of organic agriculture and exploring the genetic potential for the countries endemic species).
Within this context, Jamaica is able to propose a range of strategies that can be used to build its green economy and which also will have the dual effect of reducing the high levels of poverty experienced.
Please see Approaches to the Green Economy at Appendix I
The Report5 by a Panel of Experts to the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting for United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development on the ¡°Transition to a Green Economy¡± cautions on a range of risks to developing countries with respect to trade. This is especially important to Jamaica which has adopted an export-led growth strategy, even as traditional agricultural exports are losing preferential market access, the bauxite and alumina exports are losing their competitiveness because of high energy costs, and competition for the tourism dollar is intensifying both regionally and globally. SIDS have valid concerns regarding the potential for trade distortions through the creation of international environmental benchmarks and standards which could place them at a disadvantage. Every effort must be made to ensure that the Green Economy does not become a market-driven concept that benefits only developed countries and creates barriers to trade for developing countries.
New and creative ways of financing green investments will be necessary to drive the economy along a sustainable development path that is at the same time internationally competitive. Inevitably, such investments will have to be financed with low cost funds.
While the concept of the Green Economy concretizes sustainable development, the specific form that it must take for Jamaica, and in many ways, other countries in similar circumstances in the Caribbean, is yet to be worked out. That form must use the three pillars of sustainable development to redress the historic social inequities, build the economic base to generate the employment and incomes to support the standard of living described in Vision 2030, and enhance the resilience of the economy and the society to shocks from the global economy and natural hazards. In short, each country should apply the concept of the Green Economy creatively to bring the poor into the centre of economic growth and development and to improve the lives of the populace in general.
Two of the most far-reaching shocks are the volatile and rising prices of food and energy. Both international food and petroleum prices are projected to rise over the long term. The approach of the Green Economy must therefore address food security as well as minimizing the dependence on imported petroleum.
Food prices will reflect tightening supply conditions both because of physical resource constraints as well as the impact of climate change on agricultural production systems. The global climate will be changing over the coming century and longer, even if the greenhouse gas emissions could be cut back now. The high level of vulnerability of SIDS in general to climate change, natural disasters and sea level rise also serve to constrain the transition to a Green Economy. The pressures of rising prices and changing climate are long-run phenomena. Yet, in the context of the still lingering global economic crisis and in the wake of increasingly frequent hurricanes, tropical storms and depressions, and other extreme wind and water events, the transition away from the economic stagnation and inequity is urgent. The strengthening of the rural economy in particular, reduced dependence on exports and diversification of the economy, moving away from dependence on tourism and other traditional sectors are also important. Building a Green Economy requires the appropriate investments and technology for sustainable production and consumption processes.
Developing countries, and particularly SIDS, like Jamaica need financial flows from the international community under conditions that they can afford. Already heavily indebted, Jamaica needs grants and very soft loans which it cannot now access because of its classification as a middle income country. In an economy with a relatively high Gini coefficient of 0.39 in 2002 reflecting the skewed distribution of income, the average per capita GDP hides the dispersion around the mean to the disadvantage of the vulnerable population with low incomes.
¡°The Middle Income Trap¡± remains a challenge to many SIDS. GDP remains an inadequate measure of economic performance as it does not reflect economic well-being. Furthermore, it masks inequalities and other challenges confronting the country at different levels. Importantly, this impedes our capacity to source concessionary financing to facilitate the achievement of development objectives, thus increasing the debt-to-GDP ratio. Many SIDS have debt, well above 100% of GDP, which impacts negatively on their investment capacity and economic growth. This mounting indebtedness will undoubtedly affect progress in achieving a Green Economy taking into account the demand on limited resources.
UNCSD must address creatively the issues both of raising the volume and rate of financial flows to SIDS to the level of 0.7% of GDP per annum already committed by the developed countries, and of relaxing the restrictions on eligibility for middle income countries like Jamaica.
One important prerequisite for accomplishing the transition to a Green Economy will be technological innovation including inter alia renewable energy, electric/hybrid vehicles, ¡°green¡± buildings, recycling, research and development. SIDS will need easier and more affordable access to technology, and as such UNCSD must also address the long-standing development issue of technology transfer to developing countries.
The capacity of the GoJ to chart and manage the Jamaica-specific path to the Green Economy has to be enhanced with the requisite training of technical staff and the resources for data collection and analysis to support decision-making. This is yet another area that UNCSD must attend to with commitments for resource flows and information sharing. As with proposals to reduce the licensing costs of green technology, so UNCSD must devise ways to minimize the information costs to governments of SIDS.
Cultural diversity plays an important role in social and economic development and as such, is an essential component of human development. It represents a source of identity and creativity for the individual as well as the community and as such, it is an important factor in social inclusion and poverty eradication.
Being mindful of the far reaching effects of globalization in terms of its ability to erode indigenous practices or cultural diversity it is expected that an outcome of the Rio+20 conference will serve to raise public awareness of the importance of cultural diversity for sustainable development and preserve the cultural development of each state, especially those of developing countries through built in safeguards for the protection of culture and the creators of culture. The application of the Green Economy should not erode the cultural heritage of developing countries
III. Comments on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD)
Coordination of the implementation of the sustainable development initiatives across the various institutions in the UN system is needed to bring coherence to action around specific issues. Similarly, coordination of actions is necessary for both efficient and effective resource use in broad areas, such as the international food crisis, and even across areas where there may be conflicts that require trade-offs, such as between the returns from intellectual property and access to medicines and environmental technology6.
One of the challenges for the participants in the UNCSD will be to further the discussions that were begun at UNCED in 1992 on improving the coordination. This discussion has progressed through all of the summits since UNCED, and there are currently processes that will feed into UNCSD in 2012.
For developing countries, particularly Small Island Developing States like Jamaica which are custodians of the richest biodiversity and the most vulnerable ecosystems, the international institutional framework for sustainable development represents an important forum for the advancement of national and international development objectives on sustainable development. As such, any change to the institutional framework should take into account and promote the peculiarities and unique interests of SIDS.
Several proposals have been put forward for the enhancement or overhauling of the institutional framework. Two of the main sets are from the Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome adopted by Consultative Group of Ministers or High-level Representatives on International Environmental Governance, and the High Level Dialogue on IFSD held in Solo, Indonesia. The Nairobi-Helsinki Outcome identified the following:
(a) enhancing UNEP; (b) establishing a new umbrella organization for sustainable development; (c) creating a specialized agency such as a world environment organization; (d) introducing possible reforms to ECOSOC and the CSD; and (e) enhanced institutional reforms and streamlining of present structures.
Some of the ¡°messages¡± coming from the High Level meeting on IFSD in Solo, Indonesia, 2011 were:
a) enhanced mandate for ECOSOC
b) review of the role of the CSD
c) establishment of an umbrella institution
d) establishment of a sustainable development council
e) strengthening of UNEP
While the need for reform is critical, the establishment of new institution(s) is not the preferred option. Institutional reforms should ideally be undertaken by streamlining current structures. Additionally, reform should not result in additional financial burden for developing countries particularly SIDS, but rather seek to earmark additional resources for these countries.
UNEP remains the ¡°principal United Nations body in the field of the environment¡± and therefore forms an important component of the sustainable development architecture; thus, strengthening its capacity should be an important priority in any effort to improve international environmental governance. The WWF-UK advanced strongly the position that UNEP should be upgraded and enabled to play a role in governance of IMF, IBRD, and the WTO so as to bring finance and sustainable development together7.
Multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) are key components of the international environmental governance framework. While the plethora of MEAs has constrained developing countries. financial and human capacities, clustering of MEAs must not be advanced as a panacea. The international community must be mindful of the danger of eroding the mandates of MEAs over time. Any change to the IEG should assure developing countries that the mandates of MEAs will be maintained and respected. There should be emphasis on coordinating reporting obligations to facilitate optimal use of limited human resources in developing countries.
In realistic terms, given the number of action plans from the international and regional levels which are to be implemented, countries need to select which ones they consider as priority or have the resources to implement. There is need for simplification and harmonization of the plans of action instead of the continuing elaboration of new plans.
At the heart of the current international environmental governance framework is the failure to implement sustainable development commitments. The system should seek to ensure compliance with environmental agreements. There should be equitable compliance systems/regimes that monitor commitments of not only developing countries but the developed as well.
Additional features of an improved institutional framework which are of critical importance include:
a. Increased funding including special allotment for SIDS;
b. Increased capacity-building particularly in the areas of research and science and technology;
c. information-sharing and technology transfer; and
d. More effective review and monitoring systems and enhanced focus on implementation.
From the perspective of Jamaica and the rest of the SIDS, the issue is which of the proposals will best address the interests of the SIDS and other small states. The SIDS Unit of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN that was set up after the Barbados Conference in 1994 has not been as effective as envisaged. Indeed, some argue that progress in implementation at the regional level has been partly due to regional bodies, such as SPREP8 in the Pacific, and to a lesser extent CARICOM in the Caribbean because its mandate is less inclusive.
Jamaica supports the position agreed by CARICOM ¡°that any framework which evolves under the theme ¡°Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development¡± must be so designed as to provide a clear institutional mechanism, to address, in a concrete and focused manner, the sustainable development of the most vulnerable countries (i.e. SIDS and LDCs), at the global and regional levels. Such a mechanism must provide, inter alia, a context for enhanced UN coherence; the facilitation of adequate and predictable financial resources to facilitate transition to sustainable green economies, given the financial gap which exists on most of these countries as well as commitment to capacity development and technology transfer, underpinned by sound science.
One approach to securing the interests of SIDS in the implementation of the sustainable development initiatives endorsed by UNCSD is to incorporating a dedicated structure/mechanism for SIDS into the existing institutions. A SIDS Sustainable Development Commission could be established with regional nodes focusing on the specific interests of the respective regions where SIDS are located.
For Jamaica and the other SIDS, the reform of the IFSD must be articulated with improvements in the regional, national and even local coordination. The involvement of local communities in forest management committees and in parish development committees is proving to be an effective means of obtaining buy-in and support of initiatives to protect the environment and encourage sustainable livelihoods.
The Secretary General¡¯s report of August 2011 (A/66/287) on the further implementation of Agenda 21 notes that
"Another important element at the regional and national levels is improving analysis, assessment and scientific research, as well as monitoring and accountability. In this regard, there is a role not only for international institutions, which, can help in monitoring and accountability, but also for regional and national institutions, which, with their presence on the ground, can support national and local analysis, data gathering and assessment and build national and local capacity for analysis, establishment and enforcement of regulatory and incentive frameworks."
We fully endorse this statement.
It is imperative that effective regional coordination be developed within the Caribbean region, There is need for negotiating positions to be established for the region and for standards to be agreed for all the countries. In this regard, the Cartagena Convention and its Protocols in the implementation of the Caribbean Environment Programme can support regional environmental policy development and establishment of standards particularly in terms of the protection of the Caribbean Sea. The challenges for each country in terms of new developments in science and
technology such as the use of nano-technology, chemicals management and so on would best be faced from a regional perspective.
Within the Caribbean region, while some mainstreaming of sustainable development has been achieved, especially with the help of regional projects and joint activities by regional institurions, the structure of governments around portfolios does not readily accommodate cross-cutting issues such as sustainable development.
Rio+20 must reaffirm the principles of sustainable development agreed at UNCED and redouble the implementation efforts mandated by WSSD and the MSI. It is essential to find the appropriate synergies among the three pillars of sustainable development . economic, social, and environmental. This is the only way that a country like Jamaica will be able to tackle the development issues that are necessary to eliminate poverty and social inequalities and improve the standard of living of the general populace, while protecting and even enhancing the environmental services available to and accessible by future generations. In the past, the dominance of the environmental concerns of the international conferences over the social and economic concerns of developing countries is a part of the explanation for the slow buy-in of governments and hence the less than enthusiastic implementation of the recommendations.
IV. Priority Concerns/New and Emerging Challenges
Since Rio, the frequency and intensity of severe weather events and natural disasters have risen sharply. ECLAC estimated the damage to the region over the past two decades to be US$136 billion9. The negative impacts these have had on the socio-economic development of the region has been compounded by the high volatility of petroleum-based energy prices around a secular increasing trend, rapid food price increases beginning in 2007, and most recently the global financial crisis of 2008 from which the region is yet to emerge. The 4th Assessment of the IPCC projected rising temperatures, changing patterns of precipitation, the rising level of the Caribbean Sea, and more intense hurricanes. Indeed, there is a strong view that the severe weather events are manifestations of climate change that will proceed throughout the 21 century and perhaps beyond at the expense of all island states and the coasts of Central and South America.
All of these point to the vulnerability of Jamaica and the Caribbean to environmental shocks in the form of natural hazards and to shocks to the economy and society emanating from the dynamics of the global economy. The environmental vulnerability calls for resilience-building actions by way of adaptations to climate change. Vulnerability to external economic shocks points to the need for special aid, trade, investment and technology transfer considerations to be given to SIDS as they re-engineer their economies for more resilience and re-position them in a rapidly changing global economy.
Key environmental issues for sustainable development in Jamaica are increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the national energy supply, managing resources for sustainable tourism as well as the economic and environmental services needs of the citizens, management of waste through recycling and other means that protect the environment, and food security, adaptation to climate change, disaster risk reduction, and rural and urban planning. Jamaica is endowed with ample resources of freshwater, but much of it is at risk from improper disposal of toxic waste from mining and commercial agriculture and waste from hotels and households. The threat of salination of groundwater sources from sea level rise underlines the urgency of managing freshwater resources in a sustainable fashion.
Jamaica made rapid progress over the last two decades in the fight against poverty, but has lost some ground since the food crisis in 2007 and the global crisis in the following year that led to the collapse of exports and the curtailing of remittances. Inevitably, the economic shocks led to loss of employment and incomes with the attendant pressures on the household and the social system. There is evidence that women, children and other vulnerable groups have suffered disproportionately from the food and global financial crises. Poverty, crime and other anti-social behavior are the principal social issues to be addressed by strategies for inclusive economic growth.
The recent experience with the global economy has highlighted the fragility of development gains for vulnerable countries. The mandate of Mauritius to build the resilience of SIDS continues to be relevant.
Jamaica and other SIDS are ocean-based states and therefore have vested interests in the protection and preservation of the marine environment and the sustainable use of its resources for economic and social development. Caribbean countries are highly vulnerable to natural disasters and oil spills and other waste from ships, as well as other threats to sustainable development and tourism, the region.s leading industry. The Caribbean must be enabled to monitor and control
pollution by ships and land-based sources, as well as illegal fishing by states external to the region as set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), Beyond that, the region needs the scientific research and the relevant technology for the sustainable exploitation of the marine resources. SIDS should ensure that UNCSD addresses the same oceans issues which they have traditionally highlighted within the context of the BPoA and MSI, confirms the earlier decisions, and secures commitments for the means to implement them.
UNCSD must seek to have the developed countries renew their commitments for the transfer of financial resources and affordable technology to support all three pillars of sustainable development. It is essential that special and differential treatment be accorded to SIDS within the outcomes of the conference on the well-established basis of their extreme vulnerability.
The MSI called for SIDS to build partnerships with the international community and among themselves. While it is important that the developed countries meet their commitments, there are new engines from the South in the global economy which should commit to transferring some of their dynamism to SIDS as well as provide assistance toward building their resilience. Food security may well be a relatively easy platform to forge South-South relations in the context of Rio+20.
These relations should go beyond governments, especially to business groups exporting goods and supplying services to the international economy, and to professional groups supplying high value development services to the local economy. Governments and business groups of developed countries and leaders of the South countries should commit to forging relationships with business groups in SIDS which are trying to enter new markets with green technologies. Similarly, their professional groups should partner with their counterparts in SIDS to enhance the quantity and quality of social and economic services while building local capacity.
Among the emerging challenges facing Jamaica are:
a. The over-exploitation of natural resources continues to be a threat: for example, the rapid depletion of fish stocks. For some time, there has been overfishing by commercial vessels from outside the region and local fishermen catching juvenile fish.
b. Invasive alien species threaten both the terrestrial and the marine resources. For example, the invasion of the lion fish, which is presenting a formidable threat to the region.s fisheries.
c. Vision 2030 identified environmental degradation of watersheds and reefs as increasing the risk of disaster from landslides and hurricanes. It cited practices of improper waste disposal, removal of forest cover, poor land practices and squatting. Land management has become a major policy issue for the government.
d. Agriculture continues to lose land to other sectors such as housing and tourism, thereby weakening the capacity of local food supplies to contribute to food security. There appears to be a shift back from food security in light of decline in accessibility to and affordability of international food supplies; with climate change, it will be increasingly difficult to access such supplies.
e. Collection and accessibility of data for management of the environment. For example, there is need for data to list the plants and animals that are endangered. Access to current data is also critical for planning (as in the preparation of spatial plans) and for modeling the potential impact of climate change.
f. In terms of access to information, Jamaica already has in place legislation to deal with access to information and the carrying out of environmental impact assessments and has drafted legislation on pollution release and transfer registers, third party rights of appeal, etc. Notwithstanding concerns about the growing number of treaties, Jamaica considers that a regional agreement, taking into account Rio Principle 10, based on the Aarhus Convention would enhance public participation in the decision making process.
g. Addressing socio-economic issues such as rising unemployment and poverty levels and high levels of crime
h. Providing effective focus on Youth - in terms of the quality of education and opportunities for employment and income in sustainable development activities... Further, the Youth and other major groups such as the elderly and the handicapped have to be granted a more substantive voice in national consultations
i. Aging of population . it is estimated that by 2025, 15% of the population will be over 60 years old
j. HIV/AIDS . progress on MDG-6, combating HIV/AIDS has to be enhanced
k. Institutionalization of environmental stewardship . promoting conservation and minimization of waste, given the health, economic and environmental co-benefits for the public and private sectors, communities and individuals.
1. Tide-Global Learning, ¡°Rio narrative from Education Dialogue Group ( EDG)¡±
2. Canari, ¡°Caribbean Dialogue Regional Workshop Report¡±, Trinidad and Tobago, February 2-3, 2011
3. WWF-UK, ¡°Evidence for the Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry into Preparations for Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development¡±, August 26, 2011
4. David Smith, ¡°The Green Economy and SD in SIDS¡±, Institute for Sustainable Development, UWI, presentation to special meeting of the Environment and Natural Resources Management/Sustainable Urban and Rural Development Thematic Working Groups of Vision 2030 Jamaica: National Development Plan, October 21, 2011
5. ¡°The Transition to a Green Economy: Benefits, Challenges and Risks from a Sustainable Development Perspective¡±, Report by a Panel of Experts to the Second Preparatory Committee Meeting for United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
6. L. Barnaby, ¡°Institutional Strengthening for Sustainable Development and Regional Implications for the Caribbean¡±, Ministry of Housing, Environment and Water, Jamaica, [September 2011]
Appendix 1: Key Proposals for Building a Green Economy and Eradicating Poverty
In the area of health of the country¡¯s population key strategies/proposals include:
Recognizing that an unhealthy environment presents the risk of supporting and spreading diseases, vectors of diseases, as well as the population becoming exposed to poor air quality and also hazardous waste. Key areas of emphasis could be Identifying and assessing the linkages between health and the state of the natural environment and defining appropriate long-term strategies to anticipate changing environmental conditions Infusing climate change issues in the country.s national health policy
In the area of area of social protection key strategies/proposals include: Infusing poverty and vulnerability issues into all public policies thereby giving consideration to the impact of various sectoral policies on vulnerable groups, including gender differentials. This will have the effect of maximizing efforts to improve the lives of the poor amongst the population. Expanding opportunities for pursuing sustainable livelihoods that will assist the poor to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and enable them to meet their daily subsistence in an manner that is dignified, locally appropriate and environmentally sustainable. Ensuring safe, sanitary and affordable shelter for all by embodying the concept that shelter represents a broad continuum of affordable and appropriate housing option related to the income of target groups but which is also inclusive and in an aesthetically pleasing community Locating housing settlements in areas that minimize vulnerability to natural hazards
In the area of culture, key strategies/proposals include: Preserving, developing and promoting the country.s cultural heritage which are its artifacts, sites, music, poetry and history.
In the area of governance, key strategies/proposals include: Strengthening the current model of governance to overcome the various challenges that cut across the country.s developmental spheres and pursuing strategies such as strengthening the process of citizen participation in governance by providing an enabling environment in which decision making and service delivery is brought closer to all citizens, thereby empowering citizens and communities to have a greater say in the management of their own affairs and in national policy making that affect their quality of life.
Strengthening public institutions such as those involved in managing natural resources and ecosystems to become more efficient, productive, transparent and accountable and table into account the needs and interests of all citizens as the country pursues the path to sustainable prosperity
In the area of economic development, key strategies/proposals include: Creating stable and predictable macroeconomic conditions such as reducing the country.s high levels of inflation, stabilizing the exchange rate, maintaining price stability and ensuring the existence of sustainable fiscal balances by pursing fiscal and debt sustainability policies that would place the Government in a better position to finance environmental protection and conservation efforts as well as to be able to give tax breaks to corporations for employing the use of cleaner technologies for example. Increasing access to capital towards long term economic development and allowing for greater levels of private sector investment by supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in pursuit of the green economy and poverty eradication.
Reforming the labour market and ensuring that education and training programmes equip workers to be able to take-up green jobs as the country pursues the competiveness of its productive enterprises through the pursuit of the green economy Improving the capabilities of micro, small and medium sized enterprises to seize the opportunities created by pursing the greening of the economy and build their capacities to pursue business that sustainably manage and use environmental resources in the quest for profitability
In the area of infrastructural development, key strategies/proposals include: Reducing the impact of the transportation sector on the natural environment by pursing sustainable transport practices that could include: better traffic management strategies for reduce air pollution, development of policies that would support reduction in ship-borne wastes as well as the introduction of invasive species in ballast water as well as identifying opportunities that would allow for the reduction in the use of fossil fuels in the transportation sector. Capitalizing on the extensive growth of the telecommunications network to educate the population about the green economy Improving water and sanitation services both for environmental protection as well as a mechanism for poverty eradication.
In the area of energy conservation, efficiency security, key strategies/proposals include: Developing a long-term national energy policy to create a modern, efficient, diversified and environmentally sustainable energy sector that provides affordable and accessible energy supplies with long-term energy security that contributes to the country.s competitiveness. Diversifying energy supplies by creating a stable regulatory framework to effectively facilitate the deployment of renewable energy technologies such as those related to wind,
solar, and biomass among others, thereby simultaneously reducing the country.s need to spend foreign exchange on the importation of fossil fuels. Exploring opportunities for energy conservation and efficiency that would involve households and businesses aggressively and continuously adopt energy conservation and efficiency practices towards reducing the carbon footprint; ensuring that the Government becomes the leader in energy conservation and efficiency and sets the standard for all other sectors; modernizing the country.s energy plants
Recognizing that biofuels present an emerging opportunity because they form part of the multi-faceted approach towards increasing energy security and reducing the use of fuel sources that pollute the natural environment for use as transportation fuels, in electricity generation and other energy needs Creating an energy-from-waste sector that produces clean energy from indigenous materials towards reduction in the use of petroleum, eases the oil bill burden on the country, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the amount of land used for disposal sites and improves waste management generally.
In the area of agriculture, key strategies/proposals include: Increasing the application of environmental best practices in the agricultural sector moving towards more sustainable agricultural practices by promoting zero waste production and processing in agriculture; developing organic farming as a major mode of production in the sector; and creating strategies that would enable the sector to adapt to a changing climate
In the area of manufacturing, key strategies/proposals include: Enabling the manufacturing sector to transition to and adopt green economy practices by creating the enabling environment for enterprises to pursue higher levels of productivity and value-added production using efficient and clean technologies and
adopting environmentally sustainable processes that embody zero pollution, zero waste processing, low energy consumption, zero health hazards to workers and efficient use of resources
In the area of mining, key strategies/proposals include: Creating a path for the development of the minerals sector that recognizes environmental management as a high priority; recognizes the importance of socio-economic impact assessments and social planning in mining operations; establishes environmental accountability in industry and government at the highest management and policy-making levels; encourages employees at all levels to recognize their responsibility for environmental management; ensures the participation of, and dialogue with, affected mining communities; adopts best practices to minimize environmental degradation; adopt risk analysis and risk management in the development of regulations and in the design, operation, and decommissioning of mining activities; and adopt environmentally sound technologies in all phases of mining activities.
In the area of tourism, key strategies/proposals include: Supporting the further growth of a dynamic tourism sector within a sustainably managed natural environment and ensure that all activities of the tourism sector support national biodiversity conservation objectives; promote the application of local sustainable development planning principles to resort areas; facilitate the development and implementation of environmental management systems in tourism entities; and develop climate change adaptation strategies for the sector
In the area of construction, key strategies/proposals include: Supporting the development of an internationally competitive construction sector that supports economic development but in an environmentally sustainable manner, adopting and adapting to new and clean construction technologies that results in reduction and
elimination of waste in construction as a result of better designs; develops approaches for the reuse and recycling of construction materials; and practices high levels of energy conservation.
In the area of sustainable management and use of environmental and natural resources, key strategies/proposals include: Increasing environmental awareness of the general population and their participation in the management of natural resources Promoting initiatives that would halt or reverse unsustainable production and consumption patterns which are increasingly threatening the health of the country.s ecosystems and biological diversity. Providing an effective regulatory framework which binds the Government and the people including constitutional and legislative reform which emphasizes each citizen.s right to a healthy environment Incorporating environmental considerations into decision-making processes such as national policies Ensuring that development takes place within the limits of natural resources Creating informed and committed leadership who are champions for environmental conservation and protection Preserving and renewing ecological capital
Building capacity for collecting and analyzing data to spot emerging problems, assess policy options and gauge the effectiveness of environmental programmes Developing and implementing mechanisms for biodiversity conservation and ecosystems management Strengthening the capacity of local organizations to facilitate citizen participation in sustainable management of their local natural resources
Creating an appropriate institutional framework for the integrated management of all types of waste, including integrating communities and private sector participation in the management of waste and creating incentives for the development of markets for waste that include waste-to-energy conversion, recycling, and zero waste processing
In the area of urban and rural development, key strategies/proposals include: Creating a framework for both urban and rural development that supports sustainable development though the preparation of a spatial arrangement of land use that facilitates social and economic development of all areas , respects the environment while at the same time satisfying citizens. prospects for pursuing sustainable livelihoods Facilitating and promoting sustainable patterns of urban and rural development that meet socio-economic and environmental objectives, but with an emphasis on improving the quality of life of all citizens Designing and developing communities that are in harmony with the natural environment Creating sustainable urban centres and focus on urban renewal and upgrading through the development of ecologically friendly buildings, construction and transport systems; minimizing urban sprawl; facilitating conservation of historic sites and cultural heritage in urban areas; and developing facilities for recreation and social interaction. Creating vibrant and diversified rural areas that promote growth, accelerate social development, and reduce poverty while protecting the environment
In the area of climate change adaptation, key strategies/proposals include: Advancing and mainstreaming disaster management and climate change into socio-economic decision-making processes as well as development initiatives with the objective of avoiding or minimizing the impact of hazards related to climate change and increasing the coping capacity of all sectors and particularly vulnerable groups.
Creating mechanisms to fully consider the impacts of climate change to consider climate change and to .climate proof. all national policies and plans Undertaking research to identify sector-specific strategies for adaptation Adopting best practices for climate change adaptation Applying disaster reduction frameworks to strengthen climate change mitigation measures