Government is developing a National Sustainable Development Plan that aims to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, but the document is still in its early stages.
“It is hoped to be the most ambitious plan for the sustainable development of the territory, and the highest government officials have pledged to align the BVI’s national development priorities with the global agenda,” said Magdy Martinez-Solimon, resident representative of the UN Development Programme in Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
Consultations, he told the Beacon, are at an early stage and government “will determine the time and opportunity for sharing broadly the first draft, and [soliciting] opinions from concerned stakeholders.”
The UNDP is working closely with government officials to advise them on the NSDP, according to Mr. Martinez-Solimon.
During his budget address in November, Premier Andrew Fahie explained that government is launching the NSDP in partnership with a UN agency, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, to guide the territory’s development in the face of climate change.
There are 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” the UN hopes to achieve by 2030, and all the UN member states adopted this agenda in 2015. The goals include eliminating hunger and poverty, reducing inequality, and ensuring access to health care, quality education, clean water, and reasonable employment, to name a few.
The NDSP, Mr. Martinez- Solimon said, is the “BVI version” of the UN’s International Sustainable Development Plan.
The ISDP targets, also known as Global Goals, make up the framework for the SDGs. These goals replaced the Millennium Development Goals, which expired in 2015, according to the International Plan’s website.
The plan began implementation worldwide in 2016, when governments began translating those goals into legislation.
In the VI, Mr. Martinez-Solimon said, the NDSP will be designed to complement existing plans, including the 2019 National Physical Development Plan and the Recovery to Development Plan, which originally was adopted in 2018 but is being revised.
The NSDP was mentioned in a revised RDP that was passed through the Cabinet under the new government, submitted to the United Kingdom, and then tabled at the House of Assembly last year. Meant to replace the previous plan, the revised RDP is a much shorter document and the list of recovery projects was significantly reduced.