By Government of the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands, (BVI) – The draft National Sustainable Development Plan will be placed on the government of the Virgin Islands website bvi.gov.vg on January 15 for comments, recommendations and submissions from the public and industry stakeholders.
The government of the Virgin Islands is, therefore, asking the public to prepare for public consultation on the proposed National Sustainable Development Plan developed with technical support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC).
According to premier and minister of finance Andrew A. Fahie, the National Sustainable Development Plan was built on inclusivity with recommendation from public and industry stakeholders from the onset.
There were more than 70 sets of consultations and submissions that have been received from many individuals, schools, community leaders, organisations, the private sector, public officers, ministries, district representatives, institutions and Virgin Islanders in the diaspora who provided valuable input and support in the development of the Plan.
Premier Fahie explained that the consultation is ongoing and that in January, UN-ECLAC lead consultant Dr June Soomer and her team will meet with special groups such as farmers, fisherfolk, financial services, teams from ministries, tourism stakeholders, private sector officials, sports personnel and Civil Society Organisations to ensure that they are well represented within the plan.
“The overarching goal of preparing a development plan is to strengthen the resilience of the society to withstand future hurricanes, pandemics and any other crisis that may come; and to secure the future prosperity of the Virgin Islands through sustainability,” the premier added. “One of the promises made to the citizens of this country was that the draft National Sustainable Development Plan would be submitted to them for comments before it was completed and taken to the House of Assembly for approval.”
The public will be given one month to make comments, recommendations and submissions. This will be the public’s final opportunity to ensure that there is an overarching plan in place that will guide the sustainable development of the Virgin Islands for the next 15 years.
According to Dr Soomer, the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) is grounded in a vision espoused by the people of the country for their future and is sustained by an implementation strategy and a monitoring and evaluation, which will measure its progress.
“In this regard, a series of goals have been prioritised and each goal will advance one of the key pillars of sustainable development namely people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnerships in order to ensure a focus on the achievement on the national vision,” Dr Sooner said.
She added that success, however, will be dependent on collective ownership of the plan and collaborative partnerships between the people, government, community leaders, businesses and civil society.
Premier and minister of finance Fahie officially launched the public consultations on March 12 in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The government is seeking to establish a National Sustainable Development Plan to ensure that current and successive governments fulfil their commitment to citizens and to engage at the regional and international levels more effectively.
The plan is aligned with the national development priorities with the Sustainable Development Goals, which is an indication of national ownership of the global agenda and will help to meet international monitoring and evaluation standards, as well as allow government to be accountable to the people of the Virgin Islands.