STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE MELVIN M. TURNBULL
MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND LABOUR
SEVENTH SITTING OF THE FOURTH SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
18TH OCTOBER, 2022
APPOINTMENT AS THE CO-CHAIR OF THE ORGANIZATION OF EASTERN CARIBBEAN STATES’ REGIONAL CONSERVATION CAUCUS
Madame Speaker, on 18th March 2022, the OECS Assembly, during its sixth sitting, approved the establishment of a Regional Conservation Caucus in the Eastern Caribbean, which will be commonly known as the Conservation Caucus. The Conservation Caucus is intended to be a vehicle for advocacy, engagement, and action on international commitments and agreements and will hence:
- Build and exercise political will and continuity for critical initiatives and approaches of regional priority;
- Remain inclusive of all political perspectives and portfolios across the region;
- Represent a new channel for engagement between policymakers and stakeholders from the public and private sectors on key sustainable development approaches and initiatives of regional priority; and
- Promote and prompt environmentally friendly new business models that encourage entrepreneurship and youth development across all sectors.
The Conservation Caucus officially launched in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines on the 31st of May 2022, on the margins of the 9th Meeting of the Council of Ministers: Environment and Sustainability.
Madame Speaker, I am proud to announce that I have been nominated to serve as one of the Co-Chairs of the Conservation Caucus along with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ Hon. Carlos James who is also the Chair of the Ninth Council of Ministers of Environment and Sustainability and an OECS Assembly Member. The OECS has promoted continuity of action between the chairs of the Environment and Sustainability Council and therefore, I have been appointed as the Chair of the Tenth Council of Ministers of Environment and Sustainability.
To help ensure a diversity of opinions and backgrounds in leadership, the composition of Co-Chairs is intended to be inclusive of independent states and overseas territories, Governing and Opposition political parties, Ministerial and non-Ministerial portfolios, and men and women. The Co-Chairs of the Conservation Caucus will be expected to represent the caucus at international functions and events and will be the primary contacts for the caucus secretariat. The priority Conservation Caucus focal areas which were selected for the next year are:
- Sustainable Financing for Conservation & Climate
- Integrated Coastal Zone Management
- Waste Management
- Sustainable Water Planning & Integrated Watershed Management
- Protected Areas Designation and Management
Madame Speaker, I embrace this opportunity to deepen and strengthen our relationship with our brothers and sisters of the OECS, who are integral partners in environmental and sustainability matters, as I will represent both national and regional interests in the conservation of the region’s natural resources.