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Remarks for CIPORE Launch

Danielle Evanson, Project Coordinator, UNDP Barbados and the OECS
Kingston, Jamaica
24 April 2009

 

 

Mr. Moss-Solomon, Chairman of the Board of SRC
Dr Barnett, Executive Director SRC
CARICOM Energy Programme Manager, Mr. Joseph Williams
Prof the Hon Anthony Chen
Mr. Sven Homscheid, Technical Advisor GTZ
Mrs. Mona Whyte and the CEIS team
National representatives
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen


 

Good afternoon. I greet you on behalf of the UNDP Resident Representative and the UNDP Sub-regional Office in Barbados. Today marks a momentous and exciting occasion. It is the advent of a revolution in the way that energy professionals in the Caribbean connect, share, learn, work and grow. And UNDP Barbados and the OECS are pleased to have assisted this process and be able to witness this event. This day represents the culmination of much planning, testing, training, and commitment of many months by the team at the Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS), with strong support from CARICOM and from the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP).


As Earth Day was celebrated across the globe on Wednesday we are reminded of the increasingly urgent problems of climate change and environmental degradation. UNDP considers climate change as permeating the entire agenda of sustainable human development, not just environment; therefore we are continuing to integrate climate change into all of our thematic areas: energy and environment, crisis prevention and recovery, poverty reduction, and democratic governance. Climate change is even of greater significance in our region, as these small island developing states (SIDS) are highly vulnerable and expect to bear many adverse impacts, including increased incidence and intensity of droughts, floods and hurricanes, changes in precipitation patterns, and diminished freshwater supplies. Our ongoing and future work at UNDP will continue to support the sub-region in building resilience to climate change.

 

Since Dr Barnett started with plugs, I think I’ll make one for UNDP…

 

Under the “Bioenergy in the Caribbean” project, which has helped to support this process today, we have sought to facilitate South-South cooperation and dialogue throughout the sub-region even as we assist the countries in their progress to provide more sustainable energy services for their people. Through the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) in Belize, we have and are enabling execution of a number of capacity building exercises across the region. We have worked with the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) to provide training for electrical engineers and technicians in photovoltaic technology. The participants were very receptive and interactive during the two-day workshop. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is currently looking into expanding its renewable energy portfolio and since the workshop VINLEC has requested further training in wind energy. CARILEC is continuing to seek support for this, and similar training activities.
We have an ongoing relationship with a regional NGO, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN). As a part of Earth Day activities we are partnering with them to facilitate national foray in five islands on energy, climate change and sustainable development. Participating countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, BVI, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

Additionally, UNDP will also be supporting CEIS in the coming months in the training of CXC and CAPE science teachers on energy related issues. This is vital in increasing the awareness of energy and environment issues through the formal education system, and laud CEIS’ efforts in this regard. It is very encouraging to see each country come forward to request this assistance, and we hope that CEIS is able to secure funding to satisfy all the demand.

 

Recognising the value and fruitfulness of this UNDP-CEIS partnership, further collaboration is forthcoming as we are finalising arrangements for undertaking research in a number of territories across the region into the collective impact over the last decade of the interventions in energy relating to renewables, conservation and efficiency. The information that we hope to acquire should indicate how far the region has progressed in reducing its dependence on imported fossil fuels, and where gaps and barriers remain where future interventions may be targeted. Support is welcome from other partners as we try to incorporate as many Caribbean countries as possible.



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