Outcomes of the BCRC-Caribbean GEF Workshop to Enhance the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention in the Caribbean

The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean Region (BCRC-Caribbean) in conjunction with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) hosted a three-day workshop from 19th to 21st February 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago in order to enhance the implementation of the Stockholm Convention in the Caribbean Region. The main objectives of this workshop were to:
  • Develop a regional programme or project(s) in the Caribbean in order to assist countries in the implementation of their obligations under the Stockholm Convention; and
  • Test an approach of using a Regional Centre set up by the waste and chemical conventions to assist in the development and subsequent execution of waste and chemical projects as a formal project executing agency.
Thirteen (13) country representatives from across the Caribbean were present at this workshop as well as participants from Trinidad and Tobago agencies such as the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (Trinidad & Tobago Country Office). There was also representation from the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the UNDP Sub-regional Office out of Barbados.

Participants at the Workshop to Enhance the Implementation of the Stockholm Convention in the Caribbean Region
Several presentations were made over the three days of the workshop with the first day comprising of an official opening ceremony with remarks made by Mr. Ibrahima Sow of the GEF, Mr. Kishan Kumarsingh of the BCRC-Caribbean Steering Committee, and the Honourable Minister Ganga Singh of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. Subsequent to this were the plenary session with presentations by the attending international agencies and the presentations made by the respective country representatives.

Country presentations were made until the lunch break of the second day following which Ms. Jonelle Jones and Ms. Camille Roopnarine of the BCRC-Caribbean presented the priority areas based on a summary of the completed NIPs and on the country presentations and discussions held until that time. From this, the countries represented were divided into three (3) groups in order to develop a regional project/programme based on the priority areas previously discussed. At the end of the workshop, came up with the following project proposals:
  • Group 1 (Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines): Developing & Demonstrating a Sustainable Management Mechanism for POPs and other chemicals in the OECS and Barbados - including project elements of data management, monitoring and analysis of POPs and chemicals, education, awareness, training and capacity building.
  • Group 2 (Haiti, Suriname, Belize, and Dominican Republic): Regional POPs Management Programme - including project elements of formulating/updating NIPs, capacity building/training, inventory and remediation of contaminated sites (POPs pesticides), detailed inventory of PCBs, awareness raising, implementation of BAT/BEP, and establishment of temporary storage facilities for POPs wastes and other waste.
  • Group 3 (Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Guyana, and Cuba): Strengthening National Management Capacities and Reducing/ Eliminating Releases of POPs in the Caribbean Region - including project elements of reviewing existing legislation, public awareness, training and education, database and information management systems human resource and technical capacity building.

At the end of the workshop, these proposed projects and their various project elements were then synthesized into one regional project concept that will include the following project areas:
  • Creating the Enabling Mechanisms,
  • Reducing UPOPs from poor waste management procedures at landfills,
  • Contaminated Site Assessment and Clean-Up, and
  • Obsolete Pesticides and PCBs Disposal.
The draft of the proposed Regional Project Concept in addition to a detailed outline of the events that took place over the three days is provided in the final workshop report as well as in the presentations made and materials generated over the three days. This draft will then be “fleshed-out” and be included in the Project Concept Note (PCN) alongside more details on the budget and co-financing. This PCN will then be circulated to all countries for endorsement in principle as a precursor to the preparation of a Project Identification Form (PIF) for submission to the GEF for funding of a regional project.