At the Budget 2024 Community Consultations at the Lodge/Ottleys Community Centre on Tuesday, October 31st, Dr. Terrance Drew, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, underscored the critical urgency of working towards a sustainable future.
“With respect to the Sustainable Island State, it is critical. This is an existential threat, this is no joke,” stated Prime Minister Dr. Drew.
What is a sustainable future?
The most common definition comes from 1987’s Brundtland Report:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Dr, Drew went on to explain how the very existence of thriving communities in St. Kitts and Nevis is under threat due to climate change.
Dr. Drew explained that the anticipated rise in global temperatures above 1.5 degrees from the baseline could lead to stronger and more frequent category-five hurricanes, calling these the acute impacts of climate change.
He urged the citizens to understand the gravity of the situation and the imminent threat it poses to the country.
To safeguard the nation’s future, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of public participation in building a resilient and adaptive Sustainable Island State.
“As we build the sustainable island state, it is really to create a country that would adapt to the changes, that would be resilient to the changes. And to make sure that all of our citizens have an opportunity to grow and thrive,” he said.
In this light, Dr. Drew pointed out the significance of taking the budget consultations on the road, ensuring that all citizens have a voice in deciding the strategic path to mitigate climate change impacts and ensure sustainable development.
This series of consultations is part of a broader government initiative to ensure that the journey towards a sustainable and resilient island state is inclusive, participatory, and well-informed.
By inviting citizens to actively partake in these discussions, the government reaffirms its commitment to securing a future that is resilient to climate change while ensuring growth and prosperity for all.
The consultations, themed Marching Forward on the Journey to a Sustainable Island State, are intended to show the government’s commitment to engaging citizens in dialogues concerning the nation’s future.
The initial consultation, aimed at involving the youth, took place at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on October 11. The concluding consultation is set to occur at the Old Road Community Centre on November 02, 2023.
The press release does not contain any details of concerns or specifics raised by citizens during the series of consultations within various sectors of economic life, for example transportation, agriculture, waste mangagement, fisheries, building codes.