CDB Teams up with IDB for Regional Dialogue on Environment

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently shared some of the lessons learned from its work in promoting environmental sustainability outcomes with participants at a Regional Policy Dialogue on Environmental Compliance and Licensing for countries in the Caribbean Region. It was held in Kingston, Jamaica on July 27 and 28, 2016.

CDB partnered with the Environmental Safeguards Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for this dialogue, the first of its kind in the Region. It was convened to provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences and current information on common challenges and mechanisms for environmental licensing and enforcement.

CDB’s representative, Valerie Isaac, outlined some of the lessons learned during a presentation on the Bank’s interventions to strengthen environmental governance throughout its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). These included:

(i) Capacity-building interventions should be continuous due to changes in personnel and system changes in its BMCs;

(ii) Associated training should focus on regional consultants as well as public sector employees at various levels (technical and policy levels), and should target the right people;

(iii) Specific needs assessments of the agencies tasked with leading projects and other supporting agencies as well as existing capacity assessments are required. The information generated could be used to prepare a phased results-focused strategy for each country with short, medium and long-term interventions for prioritizing and addressing needs. The stragety should have clear realistic outcomes. Common needs identified in the assessments could be addressed through regional interventions; and

(iv) Awareness/education is the first step in establishing a “compliance culture”, as articulated by many of the participants.

Ms. Isaac brought participants up to date on CDB’s cooperation and coordination efforts with other multilateral agencies and regional organizations to promote environmental sustainability outcomes.

“The meeting was informed that CDB does not only focus on compliance with the requirements of its environment and social safeguards but also identifies opportunities for enhancing environmental sustainability and social outcomes of projects financed by the Bank,” Isaac said. 

Twenty seven high-level government officials representing nine of CDB’s BMCs participated in the meeting, along with representatives from development agencies working in environmental policy. Other partner agencies participating in the Dialogue included the CARICOM Secretariat, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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