SLHTA and GEF-UNDP Sign Letter of Collaboration

January 15, 2019 (PRESS RELEASE) – Earlier today, the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programme Small Grants Programme (GEF-UNDP SGP), signed a letter of collaboration with the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) at a short ceremony held at the Bay Gardens Hotel, in the heart of Saint Lucia’s tourism belt.

This letter, which was the output of over one year of occasional talks on the environment and sustainable development, lays the foundation for long-term joint funding of projects in the areas of climate change, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, international waters, chemicals and waste. Both organisations will share their expertise and financing with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), towards achieving the objectives of environmental sustainability, poverty reduction and capacity development.

The ceremony began with Mr. Noorani Azeez, the executive vice president of the SLHTA, noting that GEF-UNDP SGP and SLHTA had collaborated on projects from time to time, but it was the recent highly successful GEF-UNDP SGP Knowledge Fair, which gave both parties an opportunity to test their ability to collaborate.

Mrs. Karolin Troubitzkoy, the president of the SLHTA, emphasised the importance of partnerships and collaboration and remarked that for the SLHTA it was indeed “.a milestone in [their] efforts to establish stronger alliances with global partners who share [their] commitments and aspirations”.

She concluded, that “given [the] ongoing challenges with pollution, unsustainable agricultural practices, high energy costs, habitat [destruction] and the unsustainability of some traditional livelihoods” this new and official avenue for cooperation between SLHTA and GEF-UNDP SGP, was key “to unlocking sustainable solutions to these challenges.”

Mrs. Chisa Mikami, the acting UNDP resident representative for Barbados and the OECS, joined the press conference via SKYPE, and focused her remarks on the complex nature of modern problems and the absolute necessity for organisations to collaborate in addressing adverse environmental impacts, while not succumbing to the temptation of working in silos.

She explained that “we live in times when no one person; no one family; no one community; no one organisation; no one government; or no one country can solve” the complex problems society faces today. “Instead,” she noted, society required “a critical mass of partners working together in a genuine manner to reach the tipping point for positive change”.

Mr. Giles Romulus, the national coordinator of the GEF-UNDP SGP for Saint Lucia, referred to this letter as the beginning of a permanent alliance for progress in addressing problems and challenges of common interest. He also made a broad appeal to CSOs in Saint Lucia to make use of that opportunity to access financial and technical assistance to address sustainable development problems and challenges at the community and national levels.

Within the context of the Government of Saint Lucia’s intent to pursue community and village tourism and the increasing concerns with pollution, this letter of collaboration is the first of its kind between a private sector organisation and a multi-lateral environment donor and technical agency. There is now greater expectations that very capable CSOs will access higher levels of funding for upscaling projects which can have more extensive impacts in Saint Lucia.


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