Dominica, whale friendly nation is now demonstrating global leadership by going green

by Phil Kline

September 27, 2010

You may have heard of the small island nation of Dominica. A couple of years ago, they stood up for the protection of whales by no longer supporting Japan’s agenda of reestablishing commercial whaling. Now, I’m excited to share that Dominica is about to launch a comprehensive effort to transition their nation into a truly green and sustainable future. You might now be asking yourself what the heck does that mean, a truly green and sustainable future?

Well let me tell you: it means becoming self sufficient with renewable energy production, organic farming for both local consumption and export, clean water for all citizens, modern sewage treatment, a transition to and support for non polluting industries, universal heath care, better education opportunities, maintaining and protecting their nature environment on both land and sea and the list goes on. Let’s hope all goes well for Dominica with this precedent setting effort and Dominica becomes a model for the world – a green future is a legacy to be proud of.

Visionary local leadership from environmentalists, government officials, and the private business sectors have organized a signature event to launch this ambitious effort and move from talk to action. The Green Investment Conference (GIC) will happen the week of Oct. 4th. You too can be a part off this precedent setting effort or just follow the progress of the GIC on the following websites.

Complete GIC information:

Here you can connect directly to the Oct 4, 5, 6 GIC conference live via streaming video. This is a pay for view site to help defer the costs of the conference.

Learn about Dominica’s good whale policy and enjoy photos and video of Dominica.

Background on the Green Investment Conference

In the face of the economic and financial crisis that continues to plague the world community with disastrous impact on small vulnerable island economies like Dominica, a cluster of organizations comprising private, public and civil society sectors has come together to implement a response that is in keeping with relevant best practices as proposed in the many International and Regional strategies for sustainable development. The time for “talk” has passed and implementation has become our password. The time for “handouts” has also passed and investment by people in their own future signals the strategic approach to lasting solutions to poverty, ecological destruction and social chaos.

It is our view that the small size of our island and economy offers a singular opportunity to show how it is possible for local communities to mobilize knowledge, technology, management and finance for effective stewardship of natural resources in ways that meet the needs of present generations while ensuring the chances for future generations to do the same.

The core of this strategy is a process for implementing a transition from current non-sustainable systems of production and living to one of social and commercial investments that reflect and respect local strengths.

Following months of planning by the cross-sectoral Organizing Committee, three overarching areas for action on green investment have been identified for urgent attention. These are: health and wellness, renewable energy and, creative arts/manufacturing. The focus is implementation of a green investment strategy in the selected areas through partnership.

The approach involves creating and nurturing an enabling environment for green investment at the local community level and the national level and preparing local entrepreneurs for partnering with each other and with external investors for the transition to a green economy.

More than a Green Investment Conference, we have set ourselves the task of mobilizing and organizing the factors of investment and production needed to deliver concrete investments in areas that involve and benefit the local population. This means that activities are planned over the next five months that will take inventory of the challenges and the resources needed to meet those challenges. Interested investors will be identified who bring some elements of this investment mix to the table and the optimal goal is the conclusion of “green investment partnership agreements” (g.i.p.a.) that will drive the transition to a greener economy. The organizers are aware of the potential impact and implications of this initiative for other countries and communities and understand the need to keep the process open to persons and organizations from other countries even while focusing on demonstrating in Dominica what is possible when a cross section of the investment community take the decision to green the economy.

The organizers are convinced that sufficient work has been done and documents written on sustainable development that the time is “now” to get started on converting sustainability into 3 practical action that involves and benefits the people of our island.. To enable this, Waitikubuli Ecological Foundation (WEF) and The Development Institute (TDI) have organized the preliminary dialogue and collaborated in the establishment of a multi-sector Organizing Committee1 that has commenced the planning for lead up activities between May and October 2010 leading up to the signature event in October, the Green Investment Conference.

Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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