October 16, 2012
OECS environment ministers meet in SVG

OECS Government Ministers of the environment and sustainable development will be in St Vincent and the Grenadines for their annual meeting on Thursday.{{more}}

Cimate change is high on the agenda of this the 16th meeting, and ministers will discuss the topic during a panel discussion .

During this discussion, the ministers are expected to be jolted by debates on how improved land management can help reduce impacts on climate change and climate variability, a release from the OECS Secretariat said.

The discussions will be guided by presentations from four perspectives:

1. Global trends in land policy; 2. regional perspectives on land issues; 3. member state successes, aspirations and challenges on land issues; and

4. technical aspects and tools to support and inform decision-making for land administration.

“Ministers are well aware that land degradation is expected to exacerbate, especially as a result of increase incidences of floods, landslides, as well as drought. These conditions can have devastating impacts on farms and farmlands, roads and infrastructure, thereby challenging vulnerable communities and major sectors and worsening poverty rates in an already fragile region. The climate change discussions are therefore expected to be a highpoint in their one-day deliberations and ministers are expected to provide guidance on current and future climate change programming activities in the OECS Secretariat,” the release said.

In addition to this panel discussion, the ministers will also be presented with reports on other programme areas in the environmental portfolio of the OECS Secretariat and will provide direction on priority areas for future programming work, areas such as sustainable energy, oceans, governance, disaster risk reduction and environmental management and planning.

Ministers will also receive presentations from donor agency representatives on their environmental mandate and activities in various OECS member states and will share their perspectives on future projects for sustainable development in the region.

The meeting of Ministers will be preceded by a meeting of Chief Environmental Officers and Permanent Secretaries, who make up the OECS Technical Advisory Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.