The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently partnered with the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) to host the largest gathering of water and waste management specialists from across the Caribbean at the CWWA 2016 Conference and Exhibition.
“Clean water is one of the key pillars of human development and its importance cannot be overstated. The use and management of water impacts all of today’s leading global challenges, including energy generation and usage, food security, natural disaster management and the management of the environment. CDB, therefore, has a vested interest in the well-being of the water and sanitation sector because it is key to us achieving our development mandate,” said L. O’Reilly Lewis, Portfolio Manager, CDB, during the opening ceremony for the CWWA Conference.
The bank sponsored a high level forum (HLF) for Water Minsters in the Caribbean, which included presentations from CDB representatives, and also engaged conference attendees at its booth in the exhibition hall.
The high level forum is a key mechanism for water sector-related policy dialogue, bringing together government ministers and senior officials from across the Caribbean, as well as development partners and key stakeholders.
“CDB was instrumental in the establishment of HLF, playing an integral role in the planning and financing of the first forum in 2005 in Barbados…There is a commonality of challenges facing Caribbean countries and recognition of the fact that the sharing of experiences, expertise and knowledge—including best practices — is key in promoting more strategic approaches at the regional and national levels,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at the CDB.
Topics covered included economic drivers that must be considered in investments in the water and wastewater sector in the Caribbean, promoting the regional water agenda linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6) and SAMOA in the context of climate change and disaster reduction and case studies, focusing on drought conditions in Jamaica and the impact of Tropical Storm Erika on the water sector in Dominica. CDB also participated in a panel discussion on how countries can access concessional funding, specifically through the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, which recently accredited the bank as a partner institution.
“This important policy dialogue on climate financing for the water sector is central to the bank’s strategy…This forum provides the bank with a timely opportunity to build awareness of its role as an accredited body to facilitate access to concessional financing from the Adaptation Fund, and the Green Climate Fund, for much-needed water infrastructure investments in the Caribbean,” said Best.
The CWWA Conference took place from October 25-27 at the Hyatt Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago. This is the 25th year that the conference is being held.