Dominica launches low-carbon climate resilient development strategy

Carrette (left) and Darroux at Tuesday's press conference

Dominica on Tuesday launched its low-carbon climate resilient development strategy, signaling its hope to have a “green economy” by 2020.

According to that strategy, the government will be seeking “more consciously to integrate green principles into national economic management and planning, and marry environmental preservation and management into our country’s strategy for achieving higher levels of sustained economic growth”.

Environment Minister Kenneth Darroux told reporters at a news conference that the island hopes to tap into available climate change funds from the international community, and that the priorities under the strategy were wide-ranging and includes acquiring funds for sea defence walls, food security, renewable energy, and water resources.

Emphasis is also being put on geothermal energy, solar energy, eco-tourism and organic agriculture.

Ahead of a three-day international donors conference being held at the Fort Young Hotel from Wednesday (21st March), the minister said Dominica anticipated obtaining $60 million dollars to undertake projects in keeping with its stated strategy, but hoped to in the long term, attract as much as $200 million.

In a message in the document outlining the resilient development strategy, Dr Darroux said “Dominica, the Nature Island of the Caribbean with in excess of 60 per cent forest cover, has the potential to continue to be one of the few carbon neutral countries in the world as we today explore the possibilities of harnessing our tremendous geothermal potential”.

Meanwhile his Permanent Secretary, Samuel Carrette, told reporters at Tuesday’s news conference “We must position the country in a very strategic way to be able to gain access to some of the climate funding”.

He said the idea was to place the country on a path of sustainability and also to secure especially “the survival of our people in the long term.”

Dominica is not likely to go the route that Guyana has taken, in terms of trying to get climate change funds in exchange for not cutting down its forests.

Environment Minister Darroux said Dominica does not have the kind of vast expanses of forest that Guyana does, and such a project in Dominica would not be as lucrative as it is expected to be in the Guyana situation.

However he indicated that the island was interested in that kind of approach on a smaller scale.

He made reference to a “Red-Plus” programme that Dominica was pursuing, without elaborating on that initiative.

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  1. yow yow
    March 21, 2012

    for Anonymous

    you are right that VAT and import duty is waived at times, and it is usually gazetted. However, If you are talkign of companies, VAT exemption can be part of the concessions granted ONLY when the company has not started operating. As soon as the company begins its operations, then the VAT exemption is automatically gone.

    Private individuals who received concessions (by whatever means) are only granted exemption from of import duty.

    I urge you to clarify withthe VAT Office.

    Furthermore, if an individual brings in a solar panel for his personal use, my opinion is that he should pay his duty, you may feel differently. If he has strings to pull and gets it duty free, well… I guess he’s better off that I am.

    March 20, 2012

    Good Stuff
    Emphasis is also being put on geothermal energy, solar energy, eco-tourism and organic agriculture.

    • Sustainable Earth
      March 20, 2012

      Yes . But it would be good to see the government do, at least, what is in his power :

      – Remove VAT on import for Renewable Energy systems. There is no VAT on the first Kw/h of Domlec bills, but there is VAT on the first solar panel, wind turbine or Hydro generator imported,
      – Put pressure on Domlec to propose an attractive price for the purchase of electricty produced with Renewable energy systems and returned to the Grid,

      This would be real “emphasis”, not only talks….

      • yow yow
        March 21, 2012

        Susutainable, please verify with the Ministry of Public Works… There is a pre-approved list of alternative energy items which are duty free. It includes solar panels. Now you can’t get expected to get waiver of import duty PLUS Vat. Pay your vat. Government has to generate revenue too.

      • Anonymous
        March 21, 2012


        Are you aware of the number of people who get BOTH VAT AND IMPORT DUTY waived all the time? I suggest you look at the Official Gazette and see for yourself – don’t take my word for it.

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