During a media launch Tuesday, The Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation for St. Kitts and Nevis, highlighted several international and regional agencies collaboration with the upcoming 28th Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition slated for Oct. 14-18 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and the Royal Beach Casino.
Minister Brantley, speaking from a foreign affairs perspective, noted that the collaboration with international and regional agencies participating “highlights the importance of multilateralism and the benefits which can be derived from membership and active participation…”
A list of regional and international agencies include the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC); Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Organization of American States (OAS) and the CWWA.
“The collaboration spirit we see evident today is a strong demonstration of our joint efforts to highlight the opportunities for managing our precious water resource in a more efficient manner, while addressing the challenges faced by our region in attempting to do so in accordance with Goal six (6) of the post 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Minister Brantley, adding that goal six calls upon the international community to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
Minister Brantley touched on one of the areas of focus for the upcoming conference, climate change. He noted that stakeholders will address “how the region builds a resilient infrastructure in the context of efficient use of water, while protecting ourselves from water related disasters such as floods, hurricanes and droughts.”
“This for us is a major challenge and therefore that merits our full attention. We have long established that climate change in such small states like St. Kitts and Nevis and the rest of CARICOM is an existential threat to our objective in achieving sustainable development in all of its dimensions,” he said. “We believe that the general public needs to be adequately seized of the issues related to climate change, adaptation and mitigation. Indeed, our very survival depends on it.”
Minister Brantley thanked all the stakeholders who played a part in ensuring that the media launch was a success, and who continue to play a part in planning the conference and exhibition.
“At a national level, we must recognize the involvement of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, in particular the Water Services Department on both islands, the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs collaborating with the other agencies within the public and private sector to ensure the success of the conference.”
This is the second time that St. Kitts and Nevis will be hosting the CWWA Conference, the first being the 12th Annual in 2007.
The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) is a regional non-governmental organization established by an Act of Parliament in Trinidad & Tobago in 1991. The CWWA is a grouping of water, wastewater and solid waste professionals in the public and private sectors. CWWA brings together the water and sanitation community in the Caribbean towards the protection of public health and the promotion of sustainable development. Through collective leadership, CWWA positively influences advancements in technology, education, science, management, and country and regional policies in the water and sanitation field.