Barbados is one of the most prosperous states in the Caribbean region. In recent years, it has successfully transitioned away from an agricultural-based economy and transformed into an increasingly diversified, predominantly service-based economy. The country enjoys high human development and it is considerably invested in further advancing social development and promoting inclusive policies. Nevertheless, the negative effects of recent global financial and economic crises on the country’s economic performance as well as its dependency on imported fossil fuels have exerted significant pressure on both the economy and the environment. The country’s limited natural resources coupled with its vulnerability to climate change as a small island development state (SIDS) underline the importance of building a resilient economy and achieving integrated ecological, economic and social wellbeing.

Recognizing these challenges, the Government of Barbados has made strong policy and institutional commitments to sustainable development, for instance through long and medium-term strategic frameworks, a Social Compact with the private sector and trade unions, and a National Sustainable Development Policy. Its National Strategic Plan (2006-2025) (NSP) provides a framework for Barbados for becoming a fully developed society that is prosperous, socially just and globally competitive. The Plan advances six strategic goals in pursuit of the national vision for 2025. Goal four of the NSP speaks specifically of “Building a Green Economy: Strengthening the Physical Infrastructure and Preserving the Environment”.

Ever since the creation of the NSP, an inclusive green economy (IGE) as a development priority has remained despite changes in administration. Specifically, the current administration has been articulating its commitment to IGE in the context of a “Blue Economy” (defined by the World Bank as the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.").

In Barbados, PAGE activities contribute towards the achievement of SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 17 (Partnerships).

Individual, Institutional and Planning Capacities Strengthened

Individual, Institutional and Planning Capacities Strengthened

In addition to developing individual and institutional capacity through collaboration with stakeholders in national development planning, sectoral, and thematic reforms. PAGE is developing green and blue economy-centred academic curricula and establishing a regional green economy knowledge hub that will service the Caribbean. A Collaboration with UWI is planned for integrating existing PAGE e-courses into existing curricula and contextualizing them to local and regional conditions.

Evidence-Based Sectoral and Thematic Reforms

Evidence-Based Sectoral and Thematic Reforms

PAGE is supporting the Government of Barbados with various sectoral and thematic areas. A green industry assessment is being conducted with a focus on manufacturing value chains and with the view of creating jobs for youth and women. PAGE has surveyed the relevant opportunities by identifying skills gaps and developing tools to build skills for green jobs in the green and blue economy. 

PAGE will conduct a green-blue economy study on fisheries in Barbados’ Scotland District with the intent of using the findings to stimulate investments in this sector on a larger scale. There will also be a close collaboration between PAGE and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and the Ministry of Environment and Drainage in the formulation of a youth engagement and communications strategy to operationalise the National Youth Policy of Barbados which identifies the importance of IGE in providing opportunities for the youth.

Integration Of Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) Goals and Targets into SDG Aligned National Development Planning.

Integration Of Inclusive Green Economy (IGE) Goals and Targets into SDG Aligned National Development Planning.

An earlier Green Economy Scoping Study (GESS), conducted in 2012 by UN Environment, the Government of Barbados and University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus (UWI), produced a Green Economy Roadmap for Barbados, which includes sectoral and national opportunities for green and inclusive growth. The Parliament of Barbados subsequently adopted the GESS as a national informational document, illustrating support for a transition to a green economy.

PAGE will conduct a stocktaking study in Barbados with an emphasis on the sectors that were prioritized in the GESS, which include agriculture, fisheries, building/housing, transport and tourism, and assure alignment with national blue economy priorities. In addition, the study will review fiscal policies that can mobilise both public and private green investments.    

The stocktaking study will also include an inventory of best practices on inclusive green economy in the country national SDGs & NDCs processes as well as an inventory of sustainable finance practices. This study will serve as a launch pad for a subsequent study by PAGE on green economy metrics and measurement, in which green economy indicators will be elucidated.

PAGE has also supported the Barbados government with reviewing the existing national green economy policies, strategies and plans.