M.P. FOR CHRIST CHURCH EAST, MINISTER OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND DRAINAGE
Dr. Lowe is a Social Scientist and a licensed Clinical Psychologist who has benefited from 16 years of tertiary education and work in the USA. Having completed his Master’s and Doctoral Degrees at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, he taught courses in Human Growth and Development, Psychology and Education at both the University of Cincinnati and Wilberforce University in Ohio. He then became one of the Caribbean Region’s foremost corporate consultants and motivational speakers.
Dr. Lowe brought this knowledge and skills to his first political appointment as Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Urban Development in 2008; and then to the Ministry of Environment and Drainage in June 2011. As Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Lowe immediately found himself at the epicentre of a movement that is necessary not only to help to pull the economy out of recession but also to ensure the very survival of our small island nation.
For decades environmental protection had been promoted as a means of sustaining our tourism industry. A strong case was made to focus on the given natural resources, including year-round sunshine, clear blue seas, cool refreshing breezes and our national parks and open spaces. But today, with the threat of global warming, it has become absolutely essential for Barbadians to become aware of (a) the dangers of greenhouse gas emission; (b) the enormous benefits of the Green Economy; and (c) the need to protect our island from rising sea levels.
In keeping with the Democratic Labour Party’s philosophy of putting people first, the Government has adopted the strategy of diversifying the economy and placing it on a more sustainable footing. The use of alternative energy in the creation of a Green Economy places the Ministry of the Environment in a strategic position.
Dr. Lowe has placed great emphasis on the role that alternative energy must play in this country’s development and its ability to survive and compete globally. Under his leadership, the movement towards the Green Economy has turned to cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable technologies to harness renewable energy and reduce Barbados’ dependency on fossil fuels. Programmes and projects so far include:
- The establishment of a regional Centre for Resource Efficiency and Technological Innovation.
- The Consett Bay Pilot Project for Up-scaling Sustainable Resource Management in Coastal Watershed Communities of Barbados’ National Park and other open spaces.
- Compliance with the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer by reducing CFC imports by 95%.
- The construction of a $400 million waste-to-energy plant at Vaucluse under the Build Operate Lease and Transfer (BOLT) arrangement.
- Acceleration of the programme to install solar lights in facilities around the island.
- Restructuring and equipping the National Conservation Commission to be in the forefront of executing Government’s greening programme.
- Involvement of the youth in the move towards a Green Economy though the Global Environment Outlook, a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network.
- Establishment of the Green Economy Scoping Synthesis Study, a collaborative effort between the Government of Barbados, the University of the West Indies and the United Nations Environment Programme.
- The Establishment of the Green Energy Programme that includes: (a) the Landfill Gas-to-Energy Facility; (b) the Waste-to-Energy Facility; (c) the Wind Energy Project; (d) the Solar Energy Project.
It is projected that these projects combined will produce up to 31 mega watts of energy of electricity and will power up to 43,000 households.
In order to protect its coastline, the Government has put in place some of the most rigorous legislation in the Caribbean and Latin America. These include the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Marine Pollution Prevention Act.
With respect to drainage, two flood relief projects estimated to cost $1.25 million were launched in 2009. The Brathwaite’s Road Canalization Project in Bank Hall, St. Michael and the Holetown Flood Mitigation Project in St. James have significantly alleviated flooding in those areas.
Government’s programmes have gained international recognition notably from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which has lauded Barbados as a global frontrunner in the move to a Green Economy. In addition to this, Barbados hosted the Sustainable Energy for All Conference and the Rio+20 Ministerial Meeting in May 2012, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme. These were preparatory meetings for the Rio+20 Conference which was held in Rio de Janeiro in June. Indeed, the country’s climate change projects have been so successful that delegations from Belize and Columbia have sought our assistance in mitigating the effects of global warming.
The movement for the restructuring of the Barbados economy and the survival of its people must include efforts to eliminate many of the struggles that ordinary communities faced in the past while creating a progressive community-based, holistic, sustainable development programme. In working towards this socio-economic objective, efforts have been put in place in several communities across Barbados.
In the Minister’s own constituency of Christ Church East, the following projects have been developed:
- Helping the Farmers who were affected by the Shell oil spill in Gibbons to bring to resolution a matter that existed over twelve years prior to the DLP coming to office. The majority of those farmers have reached a settlement with Shell.
- Relocating residents of Thyme Bottom, Wilcox Land, etc. who have been waiting for over 12 years. Six families have received settlements and have relocated to their new homes, while the others are at an advanced stage of completing the process of relocation.
- A general improvement in the quality of life through an aggressive employment programme; the placing of recreation park facilities across the constituency; the refurbishment and/or repairs of the homes of residents; the addition of two new public transportation routes through Parish Land and Fairy Valley.
- The establishment of the Christ Church East Friends of the Environment, an organisation designed with the purpose of attending to the environmental needs of the Constituency. Its activities include the cleaning of beaches; the removal of overgrown bush to enhance the safety and beautification of the constituency; and the establishment of recycling programmes.
- The establishment of the Swing Low Youth Club, which has assisted in the educational, social and economic development of many young people in the constituency.
This movement for the restructuring of the Barbados economy and the survival of its people must continue. Dr. Lowe needs your support to continue this vital work.
Contact the Candidate
Constituency Office (246) 420-6759