Photo: Jason Boldero/Flickr. St. Lucia report on sustainable planning outlines the future.

SOUFRIERE, St. Lucia–The Government of Saint Lucia continues its thrust to achieve long-term development which seeks to include Sustainable Development Goals, climate change resilience and the economic growth of the country.

Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, at the official handing over ceremony of Saint Lucia’s National Infrastructure Assessment on Oct. 7, welcomed the findings of two years of extensive data collection and research. The data will be used to shape policy and development.

This assessment report establishes the first milestone in a partnership between the Government of Saint Lucia, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the University of Oxford Led Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC). The purpose of the report is to establish a vision for the islands’ future infrastructure aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report equips Saint Lucia with a robust approach to infrastructure planning that can ensure that social, economic, and environmental needs are met in a range of future scenarios.

Civil Engineer with the National Integrated Planning and Program Unit (NIPP) Fabian Felix, presented on Evidence-Based Infrastructure (EBI) database, developed by UNOPS. EBI addresses the need to move away from a traditional silo-based planning approach to one that recognizes the interdependence of infrastructure systems across cities, countries and regions. He noted that Saint Lucia has lacked proper access to information and data but with the Assessment Information Management System, governing agencies can make sound decisions based on the relevant data and assessment.

Prime Minister Chastanet stated that the engagement began in 2018 with the formation of the National Integrated Planning and Program Unit (NIPP) based in the Department of Finance with the responsibility to define the overarching vision, strategy and roadmap for the development of Saint Lucia.  He added that the country must start to reimagine the way it does business to compete globally.

The report expresses that Saint Lucia’s natural beauty, favorable renewable energy conditions and agricultural potential provides the island nation with opportunities to develop a sustainable and self-sufficient economy. The publishing of this report is the beginning of creating linkages and synergies with governmental agencies and resources, to achieve greater output and productivity as a nation.