On March 2, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) met with the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, at the OECS Commission to discuss the Caribbean-EU partnerships for 2021-2027, with a focus on its EUROCLIMA programme. EUROCLIMA is the flagship EU programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America and the Caribbean Region – a major contribution to the Caribbean-EU Partnership for a Green Deal. Its objective is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects by promoting mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience and investment.
The Delegation also promoted two additional interrelated strategic partnerships, namely: A Partnership for economic resilience and trade; and Partnership for governance, security, and human development.
The Partnership for a green deal will focus on these thematic areas:
- Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
- Circular economy
- Disaster Risk Reduction
The EU recognises that the Caribbean is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and prone to severe hurricanes and natural hazards. Consequently, there is a need to build climate resilience, but many islands are limited by resource constraints. The Green Deal partnership will help Caribbean countries to scale up their inclusive green transition, while building resilience in various economic sectors.
The Partnership for economic resilience and trade will seek to enhance trade and investment between the Caribbean and the EU through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and sustainable growth of the Caribbean private sector. It will ensure that common challenges in the Caribbean are progressively addressed at the regional level.
The Partnership for governance, security, and human development will seek to ensure that Caribbean societies are safer, more inclusive, and resilient.
The EU delegation affirmed the strong EU-OECS partnership and their commitment to continuing to work with the Commission in areas of alignment between the aforementioned partnerships and the pillars of the OECS Commission’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2027 [1. Accelerating Regional Integration 2. Reinventing the Economy 3. Valuing the Environment 4. Building Resilience 5. Ensuring Equity and Inclusion].
The European Union is currently funding three flagship projects in the area of the Green Deal through the OECS Commission: The BioSPACE Project, the Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) Project – which are aimed at conserving marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the region; and the Recycle OECS Project (through the French Development Agency (AFD), which focuses on the development and implementation of a recyclable plastic waste collection and treatment programme in the OECS.