Friday 19 July, 2019

St. Lucia Prepares to Meet UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Government of St. Lucia has put in place a steering committee to advance the country’s commitment to meeting its target as outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The committee is made up of stakeholders in various government ministries.

“We have NGOs (non-government organizations), youth and we want to involve the private sector. It is a multi-party setup of a committee. We are now in the process of getting support to prioritize the goals for St. Lucia,” said acting Permanent Secretary in the Department of Sustainable Development.

In 2015 more than 190 world leaders committed to 17 SDGs to help the world achieve certain goals such as eradicating extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, fix climate change, have a world of no hunger, quality education, good health, gender equality, responsible consumption, renewable energy etc.

The 17 global goals have 169 targets between them and are spearheaded by the United Nations. It is still unclear what exactly St. Lucia will be targeting since the 17 goals are all intertwined. This is where the committee comes in but has to wait for ratification by the Cabinet of Ministers before prioritizing any target as contained in the 17 SDGs.

“Once we are given the go ahead we will begin to have the consultations and the meetings that would inform how we progress as a country with respect to the SDGs,” Leon said.

Sustainable Development Minister Dr. Gale Rigobert said government recognized the importance of the SDGs by aligning the activities of various government ministries with what is spelt out within the SDGs. This, she said, will ensure that St. Lucia meets the targets it set for itself within the context of the SDGs.

She pointed to the search for renewable energy in St. Lucia as part of government’s recognition of the importance of the SDGs. That search could very well show fruit as the government prepares for exploratory drilling for geothermal energy.

Leon said government is very advanced with its geothermal development, having conducted all the geothermal studies and that an Environmental Impact Assessment will be done to be factored into the second phase of the geothermal energy project.

“We are completing the geothermal development studies. Once we do that we are looking at early next year so we can begin the exploration drilling phase,” Leon said.

Government is seeking grant funding for the exploration drilling, a process, Leon said, that is well advanced.

“We should be getting US$22 million to do the exploration drilling phase,” she said.

Once that phase is completed, Slime Hole Drilling will be undertaken to indicate the quality of the resource.

“It will tell us whether to go ahead into full production or whether we should just call it a day,” Leon said.

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