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The OECS to Host 11th Council of Ministers: Environmental Sustainability in the BVI

The OECS to Host 11th Council of Ministers: Environmental Sustainability in the BVI

OECS Media Release

June 28, 2024  The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) together with the Government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) will be hosting its 11th Council of Ministers Meeting on Environmental Sustainability (COM:ES11) in Tortola from July 3-4, 2024.

The purpose of this meeting themed, “From Aspiration to focused ACTION,” is to strategise and make collective decisions among the Member States of the OECS in advancing the implementation of the St. George’s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability. This includes minimising environmental vulnerability, improving environmental management, and protecting the region’s resource base for optimal social and economic benefits. It will also address pressing issues such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, sustainable energy, and waste management.

This year’s meeting will be the first to take stock of actions and partnerships in support of progress, along the Roadmap to 2030, which was endorsed in July 2023 at COM:ES 10 in Anguilla, with its six technical thematic priorities. Ministers will consider recommendations from the newly established Ministerial-led Standing Committees on cross-cutting and enabling themes, along with complementary contributions from aligned Partners. On the heels of the recently concluded fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SDIS4), COM:ES 11 will feature a panel of Ministers and key experts, who will deep-dive on the implications for and positioning of the OECS region in implementing and leveraging of the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) towards resilient prosperity, through environmental sustainability.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley, is excited to welcome fellow ministers and high-level representatives, Partners and the OECS Commission to the Virgin Islands.

He stated: “Hosting COM:ES 11 in the Virgin Islands is a significant opportunity for our region to discuss critical environmental issues and collaborate on sustainable solutions. The Virgin Islands is committed to advocating for environmental sustainability in the Caribbean and beyond.”

The OECS will simultaneously host its annual Environmental Sustainability Exhibition at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College auditorium from July 2-4 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., daily. The exhibition will feature Virtual Reality emersion, educational videos, informational spreads, and displays on climate resilience, environmental management, ocean, and biodiversity, to name a few. This year, the Commission has also partnered with a The Hydrous, a non-profit organisation on a mission to inspire ocean empathy and marine stewardship, to conduct a study on the effectiveness of using virtual reality technology in reaching students, policy makers and other stakeholders.

Dr. Ronald Smith-Berkeley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Climate Change in the British Virgin Islands commended the collaborative efforts in organising the event:

“This conference and exhibition underscore our commitment to environmental sustainability and the future of our region. The efforts made by officials across the Civil Service are truly commendable.”

The meeting is mainly supported by the European Union through the BioSPACE and Integrated Landscape Management projects – two initiatives which seek to conserve marine and terrestrial biodiversity, and optimise the contribution of land to agriculture, food security, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the preservation of ecosystems and the essential services they provide.

The OECS comprises eleven members across the Eastern Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.

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Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States






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About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia