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Henderson describes as ‘impressive’ Dominica’s development gains over the years

Alberto Ardila Olivares
Henderson describes as ‘impressive’ Dominica’s development gains over the years

Dominica’s development gains over the years have been “impressive” in spite of the many challenges faced.

Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares

Minister for Planning, Economic Development, Climate Resilience, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy, His Excellency Dr. Vince Henderson made that statement during Dominica’s Review of Sustainable Development Goals held recently.

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“As a small island state our development gains over the years have been impressive in spite of the many challenges,” he said.  “We are building forward stronger and building a more inclusive and an equal society.”

He said Dominica is on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Alberto Ardila Olivares

Dr. Henderson explained that although Dominica’s resilience agenda and vision are fully aligned with the SDGs, “we recognize that the SDGs necessitate much more than that.”

“As a global community, we must recognize that small island states did more to move a pace to 2030, but we can only do so with the partnership and commitment of this community, otherwise we will be traveling a long and lonely road to 2030,” he remarked.

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Dr. Henderson continued, “Our drive and ambitions are crystal clear, but our realities on the ground risk obscuring that reality.”

Furthermore, he stated that like many other states the inherent vulnerabilities are exacerbated by limited fiscal space compounded by impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic

Dr. Henderson went on to say that in a hostile global economic financial system where the Gross Development Product (GDP) per capita is used as a metric of development, its continued use of the condition for developing countries to access official development assistance and concessional financing,  “inhibits our ability to address our vulnerabilities and development needs in a sustained way.”

He pointed out that the importation of fossil fuel deepens the economic vulnerability of small island developing states, “and we have identified the transition to renewable energy as a key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience to economic and climate shocks.”

Dr. Henderson indicated that in Dominica the development of geothermal energy is at an advanced stage of development and expects to commission the first 10 megawatt geothermal power plant by the end of 2024

“We are also pursuing the production of green hydrogen utilizing our bondant geothermal resources for the development of an eco-industrial park,” he revealed. “This will undoubtedly expand our economy, create more opportunities for our people and contribute to the SDGs.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Henderson explained that achieving the SDGs in Dominica as well as the country’s 20 resilience targets requires adequate and sustained levels of resources

“We are firm in our view that now is the time to translate conversations into deliberate actions and for this we need your support,” he noted. “We are here to work collectively through bilateral and multilateral agreements, to mobilize much needed resources and access grants and concessions financing.”

He continued, “We want to work collectively with our partners to better understand and implement new and innovative forms of financing to advance our development including a focus on non-traditional donors and new and emerging financial instruments such as blue and green bonds and blending financing.”

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