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Earth Today | CANARI gets new board additions

Published:Thursday | March 17, 2022 | 12:07 AM

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) has a new chairman – St Lucia native, Cletus Springer, who has affirmed the entity’s commitment to sustainable and equitable regional development – and a few other additions, including two Jamaicans.

“I am truly honoured to have been elected to return for a second tenure as CANARI’s chairman at this exciting and promising time in the institute’s life as it seeks to bring about a transformative shift in the way the region approaches development,” said Springer, who previously served on CANARI’s board and who was chairman from 2009-2012.

He was addressing CANARI’s annual general meeting last month.

Springer is an urban planner, environmentalist, public administrator, communicator, and a published writer who has been engaged in small island development states (SIDS)-related planning and sustainable development for nearly four decades.

He has worked across sectors in roles for government, international and regional organisations and intergovernmental entities, such as the Organisation of American States, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank, among others. Springer also has extensive experience in international policy, including serving as St Lucia’s Alternate Governor of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

He is currently a director of Panos Caribbean and the Cropper Foundation, and president of Impact Foundation Incorporated – a family foundation dedicated to helping at-risk youth in his native St Lucia. He is also a member of the CARICOM Task Force on Climate Change and Development, UNEP’s Scientific Advisory Group on Water and the UNDP Experts Group on Vulnerability and Resilience in Small Island Developing States.

Also new to CANARI’s board of directors are Judith Wedderburn, Janine Felson and Rodney Reid, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the leadership.

Wedderburn has been an advocate in the field of gender and development in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean for more than 30 years. She has led advocacy activities that supported the work of key women’s organisations around human rights, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and women in leadership. Wedderburn currently serves as a board member on several CSOs and is the Caribbean representative to the boards of several international organisations.

Janine Felson is an Ambassador of Belize and a senior adviser to the Alliance of Small Island States and CARICOM on climate and ocean matters. She has been a leading voice for SIDS in key international negotiations for the past 20 years. Janine is also currently completing a fellowship with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute where she focuses on integrated approaches to global policymaking on climate, oceans and sustainable development.

Having spent the last 20 years in the Japanese financial markets, Rodney Reid’s areas of expertise include financial analysis, technical analysis, options, portfolio risk and style analysis. A Jamaican national, Rodney is currently a partner at Japan Company Visit Partners and has been selected as the honorary investment adviser for Japan by Jamaica Promotions Corporation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

In addition to Springer, Wedderburn, Felson and Reid, other elected directors currently on CANARI’s board are Steve Bass, Lisa James and Dessima Williams. Nicole Leotaud, CANARI’s executive director, serves as managing partner and Anna Cadiz-Hadeed is staff partner.

“The institute looks forward to Cletus I. Springer’s leadership and the other members of the CANARI board of directors in addressing the challenges faced by Caribbean nations and seizing new opportunities to enhance sustainable development policy and governance, strengthen civil society engagement and transform economic development models,” CANARI said in a release to the media.