Tue | Aug 22, 2017

On sustainable development and Caribbean states (Part 2)

Published:Sunday | October 11, 2015 | 10:35 AMChristopher Tufton, Contributor

Caribbean leaders, according to the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), cannot ignore issues of sustainability. Our leaders should, as part of policy priorities, move to embrace aspects of the to-be-launched Sustainable Development Goals, with special focus on the following, says CaPRI:

1. Review existing regulations with regard to land use, property development, and construction to assess their consistency with sustainable development and the preservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and promulgate appropriate new laws and regulations as is required to fill gaps.
2. Enforce existing regulations and development orders with regard to the minimisation and/or mitigation of environmental impacts.
3. Engage in a coordinated diplomatic push, through the United Nations, for countries to mobilise the promised funding under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to address the mitigation needs of developing countries.
4. Review the adequacy of, and then enforce, fish-harvesting regulations with the aim of putting an end to overfishing and destructive fishing practices, including placing restrictions on fishing and other detrimental activities with the goal of restoring fish stock to sustainable levels.
5. Conduct a review of existing fisheries programmes to identify explicit or implicit subsidies that contribute to overfishing and eliminate any such subsidies.
6. Conserve at least 10 per cent of marine and coastal areas. This recommendation refers to effective conservation, not legal protection without adequate enforcement.
7. Fully implement the United Nations conventions with regard to the sustainable use of the oceans.
8. Conduct an audit of the remaining important and healthy natural resources, such as forests, rivers, aquifers, mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs. Then articulate a plan to preserve them.

- Chris Tufton is a former fisheries minister and co-executive director of the UWI-based think tank, Caribbean Policy Research Institute. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and cctufton@gmail.com.