Dr. The Honourable Denis Lowe
Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage
at the start of the second day of the
Alternative Energy Workshop
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre
Dr. DeLisle Worrell, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados
Other distinguished persons;
Members of staff of the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage;
Members of the media;
Ladies and gentlemen
It is my great pleasure to be given the opportunity to address you at the beginning of the second day of presentations at this key workshop in the development of green energy initiatives for Barbados.
Today, we celebrate what can only be considered the evolution of the Green Era. Your presence here gives me hope that Barbadians are no longer comfortable with energy generation and the waste management methods of the past but that we are ready to move forward to a more sustainable way of energy generation, conservation and use. We are now ready to look to our natural resources such as wind, sun, sea, and other biomass materials as key sources of energy.
Today you have the great opportunity to meet, and interact with those persons who are actively working on the transformation of our energy platform at the national, business and householder levels. I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities available to you.
The Harrison’s Cave experience for example, allows persons to enjoy the natural treasure that is Harrison’s Cave, while demonstrating that it is possible to incorporate green principles into major development projects, without compromising the high quality of the finished product. It is therefore the challenge to other developers to be as green in your developments and to Barbadians, in general, to live more green and do your part to help preserve our natural heritage.
Yesterday’s presentation on the solar photovoltaic system at Harrison’s Cave would have afforded you a glimpse of the environmental components incorporated into the development. Other examples include:
- Electric trams
- Motion triggered external lights
- Low wattage light use inside the cave
- Waste water treatment and reuse
- Run-off water capture and reuse
- Recycling and composting programmes
- Use of natural wood and stone quarried on site
I encourage those who have not yet seen the redeveloped Harrison’s Cave to do so. It is truly a magnificent facility that Barbados can be proud of.
Those of you present yesterday would have become familiar with the efforts of the Ministry’s Solid Waste Team, ably led by the Sanitation Service Authority, as we at the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage seek to do our part to encompass the location of recycling operations and the development of waste-to-energy operations.
We need to understand that there has been a philosophical shift in the way we see solid waste. Solid waste now represents a resource from which we can recover energy. The inclusion of a waste-to-energy facility and a landfill gas-to-energy facility into our solid waste management mix will allow us to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, generate electricity and significantly reduce the need for landfilling.
The sophisticated and dynamic facility at Vaucluse that you would have glimpsed in one of the presentations yesterday is but one key component in the modernization of the management of solid waste in Barbados. Over the next few months and years the Vaucluse area will be developed into a special area for solid waste management.
The Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage continues to play a key role in the development of the green economy. It is imperative that we are cognizant of our environment and that we work to minimize our negative effects caused by our lifestyle choices. It is our collective responsibility, so get involved in advancing a greener approach to construction, recycling, composting, waste minimization and the generation of green energy.
Take up the challenge and I give you my assurance that my Ministry will work along with you to make our lifestyles and life choices greener and more sustainable as we continue to work towards the protection and enhancement of our built and natural environment.
It is important to remember that the Green Economy is a national sustainable development paradigm which seeks to highlight the importance of the social (social care, social protection, and social advancement), the economic (both micro and macro economic stimulation and growth, and equality of wealth distribution) and the environmental (environmental protection, environmental governance, and ecosystems management). The environment must never be left to be a consequence of social and economic bad practices, but rather be seen as an integral part of our sustainable development model.
In conclusion let me state that through working together-- the public sector, private sector, civil society and individual Barbadians-- amazing milestones can be achieved in the development of this little independent nation of Barbados. Once we continue to appreciate the importance of working in a collaborative manner, we will continue to punch above our weight and make Barbados a shining beacon which the region, and indeed the world, will want to emulate.
I thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.