As the small island states of the Caribbean strive towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), important focus is placed on the role of biodiversity.
Here in Grenada, the Sustainable Development Council (SDC) is at the forefront of promoting awareness and encouraging the adoption of policies and practices necessary for successful environmental management and biodiversity conservation. At its 152nd meeting, the Grenada SDC hosted various presentations highlighting the importance of biodiversity and the progressive work being done in Grenada towards successful environmental management.
Providing an overview and context, was an enlightening presentation received from Aria St Louis, Head of the Environment Division in the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information. St Louis presented the various initiatives occurring at a global scale aimed at conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable development, in particular, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which is the foundation from which other initiatives have been adopted.
The relevance and significance of the CBD in Grenada were further illuminated by Kerricia Hobson, member of the CaribInvest West Indies consultancy team, who presented on Grenada’s 6th National Report to the CBD and the relevant Aichi Targets. “At the frontlines of the impacts of climate change phenomena are our Caribbean small islands developing states (SIDS),” indicated Rudo Udika, Ridge to Reef Project Coordinator. Udika proceeded to identify challenges and opportunities associated with building resilience through biodiversity conservation in SIDS. She further pinpointed some of the priority actions necessary for successful biodiversity conservation and climate resilience, particularly related to Protected Areas in Grenada.
During the feature address, Udika emphasised the importance of implementing an integrated “Ridge to Reef” approach to building resilience as we enhance biodiversity and sustain ecosystems through the targeted activities facilitated by the R2R Project. These activities would also support Grenada in its commitments under the Caribbean Challenge Initiative to protect 25% of the near-shore habitat and 25% of the terrestrial habitat by the year 2020.
Undoubtedly, the spotlight on biodiversity conservation during 152nd SDC Meeting highlighted the progressive efforts and strides being made by Grenada in its efforts towards attaining the SDGs.
Ministry of Climate Resilience