GEF National Lessons Learned Workshop
Over the last six (6) years, the Basel Convention Regional Centre has executed The GEF 5558 Project titled “Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Caribbean.”
The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in conjunction with the Department of Analytical Services (DAS). The DAS functioned as the Stockholm Convention Focal Point and GEF 5558 Project Working Committee Chair and the National Solid Waste Management Authority as the National Project Coordinator (NPC), on behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GoAB).
The GoAB has benefited as a signatory to the Stockholm Convention, where the project undertook building capacity in the region to manage POPs and UPOPs, through institutional strengthening, human resource capacity building and with the installation of infrastructure and management systems in the eight (8) participating countries.
In addition to the update of the Antigua and Barbuda National Implementation Plan (NIP), the government and national stakeholders have continued to benefit from several other project outputs such as the development of a regional model Integrated Chemicals Management Act, public education and awareness strategy and toolkit, training for various topics with respect to the environmentally sound management of POPs, the design and construction of a hazardous waste storage facility and a source separation pilot project for green waste.
The NIP update was viewed as significant deliverable, given that one of the obligations under the Convention is the development and periodic updating of said NIP, which addresses the management of POPs.
In anticipation of the project closure, the BCRC-Caribbean, in collaboration with the Department of Analytical Services (DAS), hosted a National Lessons Learned Workshop for the GEF 5558 Project on Tuesday 05 April 2022 at the Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa and virtually via Microsoft Teams.
Director of the Department of Analytical Services within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Dr. Linroy Christian, gave welcoming remarks and chaired the proceedings.
In addition, Dr. Alfredo Cueva, Industrial Development Officer of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Ms. Jewel Batchasingh, Director of BCRC-Caribbean each gave remarks. They both reflected on the work done over the past six (6) years and commended the Antigua team on their efforts and continued work.
Objectives of the workshop included a review and sharing of information on the major project activities and outcomes in the context of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as discussion of the issues and challenges encountered and mitigation measures. Recommendations were made for successful execution of similar national and/or regional projects and promotion of continued cooperation.