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Partnership vital, says minister

Barbados and Brazil are expected to explore the possibility of developing partnerships on matters pertaining to the environment.

This was the main conclusion drawn during a courtesy call between Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, and Brazilian Ambassador Appio Claudio Acquarone at the Brazilian Embassy recently.

Barbados is expected to prepare project documents to facilitate an exchange mission to better facilitate cooperation accommodated, and to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries.

Lowe noted that Barbados was pursuing a number of environmental projects, particularly those along the island’s coasts as well as renewable energy.

Noting that there was ongoing work being done by the Coastal Zone Management Unit to stablise Barbados’ shores, Lowe pointed out that the country was also paying much attention to renewable energy.

He said that a tremendous amount of expenditure was used for the importation of fossil fuels, and noted that it was an expensive undertaking that had a negative effect on Barbados’ economy, and the environment.

“We have a number of environmental sites which we are trying to convert to renewable [energy] sites using solar,” he said, noting that one was being rolled out in Bay Street, St. Michael, while others were also on the cards.

The Environment Minister told those present that Government was aiming to have its buildings retrofitted with solar technology, and for its vehicles to use natural gas. “[So], there is a menu of areas that we can work with…,” he added.

Lowe stressed that a partnership between the two countries was vital, especially as issues of production, consumption, and how small states like Barbados could create niche markets for Brazil were considered.

During the visit, Acquaron said Brazil could offer Barbados assistance in a variety of areas including the protection of the coastline against rising sea levels.

However, he noted that the first step would be to establish a technical cooperation agreement and engage in feasibility studies on what could be done. This, he suggested, could be followed up with a team of Barbadian officials visiting Brazil to observe procedures.

Barbados and Brazil established diplomatic ties in 1971.

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