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ApaNa ISSUE No.2 I APRIL - JULY 2020

Car ibbean and the SDGs: State of Pr ogr ess Business

Doing Good

Plus

OECS Moving Ahead on Green Principles & t he SDGS

SDGs are Changing Corporate Social Responsibilit y

Volunteer Cent re of Trinidad and Tobago Support ing t he SDGS

Business Ideas For Retailers in t he Circular Economy

Page 28

Page 44

Sustainability

Page 66

Page 52


LET US TELL YOUR STORY


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Inside this Issue

14 Car i bbean an d t h e SDGs: St at e o f Pr o g r ess

ApaNa Magazine is dedicated to promoting sustainability, responsible business and social engagement in the Car ibbean. The second issue of ApaNa magazine focuses on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to which the Car ibbean member- states committed in 2015 and their progress to attaining the SDG tar gets associated with those goals. We also cover one of the goals SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption and how SDGs are impacting businesses' view of cor por ate social responsibility. We also look at volunteer ism and the SDGs with included inter views and stor ies from people and or ganisations to gain some insight into what they are doing towards achieving the SDGs, their responsible business pr actices and community engagement. In light of the cur rent global impact of the Coronavir us pandemic, we also discuss how philanthropy can suppor t nonprofits in communities.

THE PUBLICATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT ApaNa Magazine is published four times a year by Redcot. ApaNa Magazine is a registered trademark in Barbados and the Caribbean. To adver tise in ApaNa Magazine, please email: adver tising@apanamagazine.com

Su st ai nabi l i t y 20

The SDGs: Ar e t hey Real i zabl e i n t he Car i bbean? With 10 years to go, is the SDGs realizable given the Caribbean's limitations and vulnerabilities?

34

For ces of Responsi bl e Consumpt i on and Pr oduct i on Responsible consumption and production are critical to saving our planet. We provide 2 examples in the beverage industry.

38

The Menst r ual Cup: A Sust ai nabl e Sol ut i on For Women and t he Envi r onment A cost-effective and sustainable solution impacting young women and protecting the environment.

41

Human Choi ces Wi l l Dr i ve Mor e Out br eak s Experts believe that human choices including climate change will cause more epidemics.

Feat u r es 28

OECS Movi ng Ahead on Gr een Pr i nci pl es and t he SDGs Interview with Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General of Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

66

Volunteer Center of Trinidad & Tobago: Connect ing Volunteers wit h Causes Interview with Giselle Mendez, founder of Volunteer Centre of Trinidad & Tobago (VCTT).

www.apanamagazine.com ApaNa Magazine is printed on FSC-cer tif ied, acid-free, Recycled and FPFC paper

ApaNa Magazine - April - July 2020


Bu si n ess 44

SDGs ar e Changi ng Cor porat e Soci al Responsi bi l i t y (CSR) The SDGs provide an opportunity for businesses to become part of the CSR movement for development.

50

For Survival: Think Post-Recycling In these uncertain times, the Caribbean should think of the circular economy model.

54

Ol d i s Now Vi nt age: Secondhand Indust r y i s Tak i ng Of f Thrifting is on the rise, creating value and profit while protecting the environment.

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

CANDICE RAMIKISSOON

Do i n g Go o d 60

Hel pi ng A Communi t y St r i ve f or Sust ai nabi l i t y Kirk Elliott, a St.Lucian photographer, shares his experience helping the Fond Gens Libre Community in The Pitons.

64

Cor porat e Vol unt eer s Can Hel p Achi eve SDGs Companies, nonprofits and volunteers help attain the SDGs with volunteering programs.

71

Phi l ant hr opy and Cor onavi r us (COVID-19) What can philanthropy do to help us tackle the Cororanvirus outbreak that has swept the world?

72

Empower i ng Ci vi l Soci et y t o Achi eve Sust ai nabl e Devel opment Goal s CANARI host s an online plat form t hat connect s people and organisat ions t o implement t he SDGs

76

Mi cr osof t Suppor t s St udent s Embrace Technol ogy i n t he Car i bbean Aspire Artemis Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit partners with Microsoft for Caribbean women and girls.

Pl u s 17

Uni t ed Nat i ons Transf or mi ng Our Wor l d: 2030 Agenda f or Sust ai nabl e Devel opment - Pr eambl e

40 46

Cor onavi r us/ COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-19

52

Busi ness Ideas f or Ret ai l er s i n t he Ci r cul ar Economy

Ways t o Int egrat e Sust ai nabi l i t y i nt o Your Busi ness

MICHELELAUREN HACKSHAW

KIRK ELLIOTT

Wr ite to Us ApaNa is accepting ar ticle submissions, case studies, news and stories about corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, sustainable business practices, social engagement and good works in the Caribbean. Kindly note that all submissions are subject to editorial review and approval. Please send your ar ticle ideas and submissions to editor@apanamagazine.com.


Publ isher and Editor DEBORAH HACKSHAW dahackshaw@apanamagazine.com Contr ibuting Wr iter s MICHELE-LAUREN HACKSHAW CANDICE RAMIKISSOON KIRK ELLIOTT Design SUFYDIAN

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Ed i t o r 's No t e

In 2020, f ive years after the Caribbean signed on to the United Nations Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda 2030, we f ind that the region has a long way to go towards achieving the 17 goals and 169 targets by 2030. The SDGs aim to address some of the challenges faced by humanity such as pover ty, hunger, war, and inequality. They also seek to protect the environment through climate action, responsible consumption and production, protecting life underwater and land, among others. Clearly, the Caribbean governments cannot achieve this huge agenda on their own, nor should they. No doubt, the recent Coronavirus pandemic will place added pressures on the already fragile socio-economic systems as the countries diver t resources to tackle evolving priorities. Although this will negatively impact progress, we should not lose sight of the SDGs. We are now living in uncer tain times where strategies and operations are being severely affected and businesses' focus must change. Nonprof it organisations are expected to shift priorities and work harder in communities with their limited resources. They will require help from those who can give. While businesses struggle to overcome their challenges, many do have the resources and knowledge to assist. However, they are yet to come on board as there is a great deal of uncer tainty in terms of how Caribbean businesses should or could contribute. Companies need to be serious about becoming sustainability leaders and should not adopt a 'wait and see' approach. They should look at examples in other countries and begin to critically think about their roles in suppor ting the desired outcomes for society. Cross-sectoral par tnerships including public-private and nonprof it par tnerships are necessary if the Caribbean wants to overcome the current crisis while achieving the targets in a scalable way. Some might say that the SDGs are not a priority but one needs to be mindful that they promote the well-being of people who are ultimately consumers. They do present oppor tunities for all. They present what our society should look like in 10 years. The successful implementation of the SDGs will strengthen the environment for doing business and building markets. As the Coronavirus pandemic unfolds, we wish you all the best and hope you and your loved ones have been spared and the anticipated long-term social and economic impact is minimal.

Debo r ah h ac k sh aw / Ed i t o r /dah ac k sh aw @apanamag azi n ec o m


16 17 Global Goals 17 Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 18 10 CARICOM Count ries Will Not Achieve 70% of t he SDGs by 2030 20 The SDGs: Are t hey Realizable in t he Caribbean? 26 Organisat ion of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) 28 OECS Moving Ahead On The SDGs: Interview with Dr. Didacus Jules, Director-General of OECS 34 Forces of Responsible Consumpt ion 36 Responsible Consumpt ion in t he Beverage Indust ry 38 The Menst rual Cup: A Sustainable Solut ion of Women and t he Environment 40 Coronavirus/COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 41 Human Choices Will Drive More Out breaks


SUSTAINABILITY


Car ibbean and the SDGs: State of Pr ogr ess Image by Oleksandr Pupko

apanamagazine.com / APRIL - JULY 2020

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SUSTAINABILITY

For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals visit: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

Goal 1. NO POVERTY

Goal 10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES

End pover ty in all its forms everywhere

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 2. ZERO HUNGER

Goal 11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Goal 12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 4. QUALITY EDUCATION Goal 13. CLIMATE ACTION Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning oppor tunities for all

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 5. GENDER EQUALITY Goal 14. LIFE BELOW WATER Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 6. CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION Goal 15. LIFE ON LAND Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Goal 7. AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all Goal 8. DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

Goal 16. PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Goal 17. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

17 Gl o b a l Go a l s For Sustainab le Develop m ent 14 16

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat deser tif ication, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

APRIL - JULY 2020 / apanamagazine.com

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Par tnership for Sustainable Development


Tr ansfor ming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Extr act from the Agenda published by the United Nations in 2015

Preamble

Planet

This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognize that eradicating pover ty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme pover ty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can suppor t the needs of the present and future generations. Prosperit y

All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative par tnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of pover ty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today (maybe change to 'announced'?) demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what they did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The Goals and targets will stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical impor tance for humanity and the planet. People We are determined to end pover ty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulf ill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.

We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulf illing lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature. Peace We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. Part nership We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Par tnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in par ticular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the par ticipation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people. The inter-linkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial impor tance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realized. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better. Source: United Nations (2015), Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , A/RES/70/1, p.3-4.

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SUSTAINABILITY

SN APSHOT

10 CARICOM Countr ies Will Not Achieve 70% of SDGs by 2030 Here is a snapshot of the progress that Antigua and Bar buda, Bar bados, Dominica, Gr enada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia, St. Vincent and the Gr enadines and, Tr inidad and Tobago are making towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national level and as a region. This is based on data extracted from the SDG Index and Dashboards (https://dashboards.sdgindex.org/#/) prepared by a team of independent exper ts of the SDSN Secretariat and the Ber telsmann Stiftung. This annual review summarizes 162 countries' current performance and trends on the seventeen (17) SDGs which are weighted equally in the Index. The repor t, which was successfully audited by the European Commission of Joint Research Centre, is not an off icial SDG tool but is intended to be complementary to the collection and standardization of indicators to monitor the SDGs. The char t depicts the sustainable development goals that the countries achieved by 2019; the goals that they are expected to attain by 2030 and the goals that will not be met by 2030 based on trends provided in the repor t. While the repor t provides a snapshot of the progress that the Caribbean is making towards the SDGs, a holistic review of SDGs is not possible since not enough data exists or was made available to the authors. Only a few indicators are populated with data. It is also possible that where there is data, it is not comprehensive or consistent. Based on data provided, the ten CARICOM countries will not achieve over 70% of the SDGs by 2030 with at least 40% not expected to attain any of them. However, the majority are making progress albeit some more than others but face signif icant challenges.

Lat in America and t he Caribbean Latin American and Caribbean countries perform best on SDG 1 (No Pover ty) and SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and show fast progress on SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). Yet, compared to other par ts of the world, fur ther effor ts are needed to reduce income and wealth inequalities which are underlined by the poor performance of all countries in the region on SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Improving access to key quality services would help strengthen performance on SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and SDG 4 (Quality Education). In most countries in the region, a high homicide rate is associated with a low share of

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Caribbean's Progress Towards SDGs

Compiled by Redcot www.redcotltd.com

people that feel safe walking alone. Combined with high and often stagnating (or even increasing) perceptions of corruption, these explain poor current and trend performance on SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). Finally, as for other par ts of the world, economic growth has not been decoupled from the negative environmental impact which is characterized by large achievement gaps on SDG 12 to SDG 15. Source: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network, p 23

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SUSTAINABILITY

The SDGs: Ar e they Realizable in the Car ibbean? No t w i t h st an d i n g t h at t h e SDGs ar e ex t r emel y r el evan t t o t h e Car i bbean 's d ev el o pmen t , o n e beg s t h e q u est i o n as t o w h et h er t h e SDG Ag en da c an be ac h i ev ed by 2030.

D

espite the progress made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia, St.Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago in 2015, they continue to lag behind other countries. According to available data in the 2019 Sustainable Development Repor t by Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C. Lafor tune, G., and Fuller, G., of Ber telsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the countries face many challenges in attaining the SDGs. It is little wonder given the Caribbean's historical structural limitations, high levels of indebtedness, f iscal def icits and inherent environmental vulnerabilities within the global economy. It is notewor thy that the Caribbean has had some notable successes in high literacy rates and other education measures of progress, health achievements, lowered infant mor tality rates.

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Bac k g r o u n d On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly established the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which embodies 17 goals and 169 targets for sustainable development. All United Nations (UN) member states, including the Caribbean, committed to this Agenda and pledged to achieve those goals and meet the targets by 2030. The SDGs builds on the eight (8) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which ended in 2015. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs not only focuses on eradicating pover ty but on tackling global and local inequalities and environmental problems and the consequences of consumption of our planet's f inite resources. The targets range from eradicating pover ty, managing sustainable production and consumption cycles, ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls to ensuring clean energy for all and strengthening resilience and adaptability to hazards tied to climate change. This ambitious 2030 Agenda reflects a transformative


vision that is premised on sustainability and provides an impor tant reference mechanism for implementing the national and regional development agenda of the Caribbean. St i l l , A Lo n g Way t o Go According to the 2019 Sustainable Development Repor t, some of the ten countries under review have achieved or are on track to achieving the goals by 2030. Notwithstanding data limitations, the trends indicate that some are making progress while others are stagnant with a few moving fur ther away from the SDGs. The following countries have achieved 2 SDGs and will remain on track for 2030. They are: - Tr inidad and Tobago - SDG1 (No Pover ty) - Bar bados, Dominica, St.Kitts and Nevis, and St.Vincent and the Gr enadines - SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy). With 10 years to go, the forecast is that none of the

countries are likely to meet al l of the SDGs by 2030. However, 6 will collectively attain 5 out of the 17 goals if they remain on track. They are: - Barbados: - Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6) - Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) - Dominica: - Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) - Climate Action (SDG13) - St.Kitts and Nevis: - Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) - St.Lucia: - No Pover ty (SDG1) - Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6) - St.Vincent & the Grenadines: - Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) - Tr inidad & Tobago: - No pover ty (SDG1) - Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) - Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG8) Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica, are not expected to achieve any of the SDGs by 2030.

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SUSTAINABILITY

Goal 1: No Pover ty -

2019

Goal 7: Affor dable and Clean Ener gy -

Sust ai nabl e Devel opment Goal s Achi eved by 2019

Trinidad & Tobago

Barbados Dominica St.Kitts and Nevis St.Vincent and the Grenadines

Source Data: Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G. (2019): Sustainable Development Report 2019. New York: Bertelsmann Stiftung and Sustainable Development Solutions Network

A Ch al l en g i n g Vi si o n f o r t h e Car i bbean The Caribbean's current architecture is incompatible with achieving the sustainable development goals. It is estimated that developing countries will need between US$3.3 trillion and US$4.5 trillion a year to implement the SDGs. This covers infrastructure such as roads, por ts, power stations, water sanitation and ensuring health, education, and food security through agriculture and rural development and addressing climate change issues. The high and middle-income status of these countries limits their access to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and their high debt levels fur ther limit their f iscal space. Consequently, the cost and limited access to f inance for the SDGs constitute major challenges for the Caribbean. The national governments of these resource-constrained countries will likely prioritize national defense, foreign affairs operations and national budget def icits over the SDGs. The countries know that they cannot meet the SDG

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Goal 1: No Pover ty -

Trinidad & Tobago St.Lucia

Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation -

2030

Barbados St.Lucia

Goal 7: Affor dable and Clean Ener gy -

Barbados Dominica St.Kitts and Nevis St.Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad & Tobago

Goal 8: Decent Wor k and Economic Gr owth Trinidad & Tobago

Expect ed Goal s To Be Achi eved by 2030

Goal 13: Climate Action -

Dominica

targets on their own but still gravitate towards a nation-centric approach in achieving the SDGs.

An I n t e g r at e d Re g i o n a l , Nat i o n a l a n d c o m m u n i t y Ap p r o a c h

There is a general lack of coherence and coordination between government, private sector, civil society and the donor community in identifying oppor tunities for greater alignment to implement the SDGs.

The possibilities to advance the shared interests of the Caribbean through the implementation of the SDGs collectively as a region is great.

The paucity of data in the Caribbean for sustainable development planning, monitoring and evaluation is still a major problem despite the investment in building the statistical capacity over the years. For too long, Caribbean countries do not possess up-to-date data for the SDG-related sectors: pover ty, health, education, agriculture, social protection, infrastructure, justice and conservation. These challenges have contributed to uneven progress towards achieving the SDGs as a region with some countries lagging very far behind others due to the unique challenges that each country faces.

Concrete and immediate action is needed to create an enabling environment at the regional, national and community levels for SDG implementation. Regional organisations such as CARICOM and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean State (OECS) and the central banks must play a more proactive and coordinated role in SDG implementation. The government should not only consider models of national institutional arrangements (which the OECS is developing for its member-states) but should also look at establishing strong regional and sub-regional governance frameworks with clear repor ting, accountability, roles and responsibilities for the SDGs.

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Ph o t o : So u f r i er e, St .Luc i a

SUSTAINABILITY

@Ki r k El l i o t t .c o m

Cities, municipalities and communities are well-positioned to advance projects to advance the SDGs as they better understand and provide social and public services that meet their community needs. They are also able to convene local stakeholders and get them involved. Caribbean governments are empowering local governments to collectively help achieve the SDGs. For example, the Government of Jamaica conducted the "Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS)" mission to adapt the 2030 Agenda to the local situation, and three municipalities (Montego Bay, Saint Thomas and Trelawny) are leading effor ts to mainstream the SDGs in their sustainable development plans. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Por t of Spain City Corporation is implementing the project "Making the Capital City Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Towards Achieving SDG11 by Improving Accessibility" which focuses on improving accessibility in the Central Business District. The private sector needs to become aware of their role in achieving the SDGs (with special emphasis on SDG 12, 8 and 9) and the benef its of incorporating an SDG framework into their business strategies. There is

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also a need for proper stocktaking of how they are addressing the SDGs and an institutional framework to suppor t them. Innovative solutions such as the Jamaica Social Stock Exchange (JSSE) which promotes the social capital markets could play a critical role in mobilizing resources for the SDGs. Go o d q u a l i t y Dat a Sy s t e m s Ar e Ne e d e d A more concer ted effor t is needed to develop a data-centric approach that links the SDGs with each country's development priorities and to actively work with international and regional organisations that are willing to suppor t the countries in addressing their national data needs. To make the SDGs realizable, we need to break them down into quantif iable targets that require a greater understanding of the causes of underdevelopment, pover ty, environmental degradation and inequity to design solutions to pursue those goals. Improving data systems and access to good quality, timely and accessible data for tracking progress on the 169 SDG targets and their impact is of paramount impor tance. Some


international and regional organisations are providing suppor t.

advancing in one goal may threaten another.

Adver t isement UNICEF is suppor ting the Eastern Caribbean in providing suppor t to implement the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) to monitor the SDG indicators and the Voluntary National Review process. The countries began implementing the MICS in 2019 with more to come on board in 2020.

The SDGs must be integrated into development planning at the national and regional levels posthaste if the Caribbean wants to meet the targets by 2030 or, advance at a reasonable pace. Goal 17 (Par tnerships for the Goals) is critical to improving the means of realization of the SDGs in the long-term.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) plays a key coordinating role as the regional mechanism for monitoring the SDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, ECLAC needs the right information at the right time to effectively suppor t the Caribbean in designing and implementing policies and actions that advance the goals.

A governance structure for the private sector which emphasizes engagement of the private sector organisations and par tnership building will help effor ts to reach targets of development.

Knowledge-sharing, public awareness and better use of technology can also serve to accelerate our progress towards the SDGs. Co n c l u si o n While the Caribbean will not achieve some goals by 2030, they are making some progress despite the challenges. But a more systematic approach to SDG implementation is needed. It is not enough to check the goals in isolation as one may f ind that

The Caribbean countries must work together and share their best practices and resources to increase the momentum to be the SDGs realizable in the Caribbean. They must advance from the rhetoric and constant planning, strategies and studies to take the needed strategic and meaningful steps towards achieving sustainable development leaving no Caribbean neighbour behind.

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Organisation of Easter n Car ibbean States Established in 1981 by the Treaty of Chauguaramas revised in 2010, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States is dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS comprises 6 member-states, namely, Antigua and Bar buda, Dominica, Gr enada, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia and St.Vincent and the Gr enadines and 4 associate members, Anguil la, Br itish Vir gin Islands, Guadel oupe and Mar tinique. www.oecs.or g


Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Grenada St.Kitts and Nevis St.Lucia St.Vincent and the Grenadines Anguilla British Virgin I slands Guadeloupe Martinique

St r at eg i c Obj ec t i v es o f t h e OECS: -

-

Regional I ntegr ation. Advance, suppor t and accelerate regional trade, economic and social integration Resil ience. Mainstream climate, economic, environmental and social resilience Social Equity. Promote and suppor t equity and social inclusion; and leverage the cultural and linguistic diversity of the OECS For eign Pol icy. Suppor t alignment of foreign policy of Member States with the development needs of the OECS High Per for ming Or ganisation. Align and strengthen the institutional systems of the Commission to effectively deliver its mandate.

OECS an d Su st ai nabl e Dev el o pmen t Go al s The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are integrated with the organisation's strategic goals. It recognizes that ending pover ty and creating a brighter future for all must go hand in hand with strategies that increase economic growth and addresses social needs such as education, health, social protection and job oppor tunities while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

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SUSTAINABILITY Ph o t o : Dr . Di dac u s Ju l es, Di r ec t o r - Gen er al , Or g an i sat i o n o f East er n Car i bbean St at es

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OECS Moving Ahead on Gr een Pr inciples and the SDGs


Inter view with Dr. Didacus Jules Director- General, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission As Smal l Island Devel oping States (SI DS), the OECS countr ies face many gl obal, r egional and national chal l enges that hinder their devel opment. After 40 year s, the OECS stil l plays an integr al r ol e in the sustainabl e devel opment of its Member States and continues to l ead the sub-r egion within the context of "r egional unity, sol idar ity and cooper ation". The OECS is now moving ahead on gr een pr incipl es and has integr ated the Sustainabl e Devel opment Goal s in its str ategic objectives. For the past six year s, St.Lucian bor n, Dr Didacus Jul es, the Dir ector -Gener al has l ed the OECS Commission based in St.Lucia. Dr Jul es was the for mer Registr ar and Chief Executive Off icer of the Car ibbean Examination Council (CXC) based in Bar bados. He is known for his innovation and for war d-thinking pr incipl es. I n an inter view with Apana, Dr Jul es pr ovides his vision for sustainabl e devel opment in the Car ibbean and how the OECS is suppor ting its Member -States to incor por ate the SDGs and gr een pr incipl es in its devel opment agenda.

Tel l us about the OECS and the wor k that it does to pr omote the sustainabl e devel opment of its member -states. The Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States in an intergovernmental organisation established by the Treaty

of Basseterre (1981 revised in 2010). The OECS is dedicated to economic harmonization and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean. We suppor t the sustainable development of its Member States by assisting them to maximize benef its from their collective space. This is achieved by facilitating their intelligent integration with the global economy, contributing to policy and programme formulation and execution, addressing regional and international issues and facilitating bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Since the 1990s, the OECS has been a leader in the area of sustainable development in the Caribbean. After the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 and the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action was developed taking into account the special circumstances of Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) we went on to develop the Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability in the OECS which mirrors the current SDGs today. What is the OECS doing to help its Member States pr ogr ess towar ds achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainabl e Devel opment Goal s (SDGs) by 2030? Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the OECS has assisted with the mobilization of funding to under take projects spanning all goals and forging and maintaining the par tnerships to under take capacity building,

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SUSTAINABILITY institutional strengthening and technology transfer. We assisted countries in mobilizing approximately US$30 million between 2018 and 2021 for development projects. We have also facilitated the implementation of several projects in the areas of health, environment, institutional strengthening, climate change, biodiversity conser vation and management, the blue economy and waste management (in par ticular marine litter or plastic waste reduction) that contribute to some of the targets under the SDGs. Given the cur r ent chal l enges that the OECS countr ies face, do you think that these goal s ar e attainabl e by 2030 consider ing the l evel of commitment, f inance and technical suppor t needed for SDG impl ementation? The OECS countries face several challenges

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including inadequate f inancing (ineligibility for overseas development assistance), biodiversity loss, chemicals and waste management issues and the impact of climate change among others. In recent times, we have seen f irsthand the devastating and compounding effects that climate change has on the countries. Astronomical GDP losses, loss of life and destruction of natural ecosystems cause erosion of development gains, placing countries in a vicious cycle of response and recovery, making attaining the SDGs goals even more challenging. The level of commitment from the international community, f inance and technical suppor t needed is inadequate and too slow. Despite the challenges, all is not lost. OECS countries are looking at areas where we can adapt and learn from each other. For example,

Ph o t o s: Children involved in the Mag Stabilisation Project, St.Lucia http://pr Par ticipants at the Tr ade and Enhancem Car ibbean Progr amme: Business Retre http://prez.ly/Z0L (top right); OECS Teacher Education and Professio Conference 2018: "One Voice in Re- eng Education? http://prez.ly/uyF (bottom ri


gretoute River Bank ez.ly/i1E (top left); ment for Easter n eat in Mar tinique 2018

onal Development gineer ing OECS Teacher ight).

engaging in South-South cooperation, suppor ting science and technology and innovation and the involvement of the private sector in addressing the challenges can result and contribute to a type of domestic and regional resource mobilization to f ill some of the gaps. A key related issue is the lack of capacity for data collection and repor ting against the goals and targets. In executing its work, the OECS is deliberate in ensuring that new projects build upon work of successive projects to maximize the impact of funding received in the Member States. Notwithstanding, this does not excuse the international community from mobilizing suppor t to meet the needs of OECS SIDS. What is the SAMOA Pathway and what is needed to ensur e its impl emented? Within the 2030 agenda, the OECS is guided by the SAMOA Pathway as the internationally approved development agenda specif ically for SIDS, as it is impor tant to maintain the special circumstances status of SIDS. The OECS proposes that a f inancial mechanism is required to suppor t the SAMOA Pathway similar to the climate funds which suppor t the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the absence of this, OECS member-states may consider an alternative funding mechanism which is capitalised through traditional and non-traditional means such philanthropy and private sector. However, the reality is that doing nothing to help ourselves and relying on philanthropic responses is not enough to provide the critical mass and capacity needed to accomplish these agendas. The pr ivate sector del iver s signif icant value in achieving the SDGs which ar e impacting business and, ther e is signif icant untapped business potential. Do you think that the OECS businesses ar e suff iciently awar e of the r ol e that they can play and how to apply the SDGs in their business oper ations? The businesses in the region are becoming more informed but there is still signif icant work needed in sharing information on oppor tunities and promoting best practices. Translating the SDGs into new oppor tunities for the region will require innovation and par tnerships within and between the sectors. Government and intergovernmental organisations can facilitate the process by

suppor ting some key sectors but ultimately the private sector will have to choose which business models work best for them. That is what we expect the upcoming SDM [Sustainable Development Movement] conference to galvanise people. I n September 2020, the OECS is hosting 'The Sustainabl e Devel opment Movement', which wil l br ing together pr ofessional s fr om the inter national devel opment, pr ivate and publ ic sector s as wel l as academia to discuss the SDGs. What is this about? The SDM is more than just a conference - we have called it a movement because we need to mobilize all sectors and stakeholders around a mind shift that recognizes our potential and our obligation to help ourselves. Despite our vulnerabilities, we have the capacity to think and achieve beyond. SDM will focus on the imaginative possibilities of building resilience to climate change and taking a development pathway that is consistent with the SDGs, that is focused on building regenerative societies and ensuring equity and inclusion. Does the OECS have any mechanism in place to ensur e that the knowl edge and best pr actices shar ed at the event wil l be impl emented to achieve the goal s so that it is not just another tal k-shop? I f so, what is it? The SDM will not be another talk-shop because the event has built-in mechanisms for showcasing best practices and innovations that will be scaled up through private and public f inancing. We are taking an eco-systemic approach and here is how it will work: - Registered entrepreneurs (especially youth) with good business ideas will receive business strategy coaching and assistance (pro bono) to prepare themselves for a pitch competition that will be led by the star of ABC TV's Shark Tank, Daymond John. - The best business ideas will receive direct investment oppor tunities. The CEO of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (deemed to be the world's best-performing stock exchange) will be presenting and laying the basis for a revitalization of capital markets in the OECS so that arising from the conference will be on-going oppor tunities or mechanisms for investment in innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives.

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SUSTAINABILITY

SUSTAIN ABILITY

The Easter n Car ibbean Gr een Economy Bar ometer r epor t, r el eased in November 2018, found that the OECS' tr ansition to a gr een economy is bel ow aver age. How is the OECS suppor ting the countr ies in making this tr ansition? The Commission recently facilitated a study on the increased uptake of renewable energy by MSMEs [micro, small, medium-sized entrepreneurs] in the OECS. This was based on the recognition that the high energy cost of impor ted energy stymie growth and competitiveness of the region and renewable energy could address this challenge. In addition, the use of renewable energy could provide some level of resilience for businesses. Consequently, the increased uptake of renewables would help spur demand for these goods and services and suppor t the green economy of the region.

Ph o t o s: Students at the OECS Reading Roadshow dur ing Reading Month November 2018 http://prez.ly/ORP (top); Children holding plants in Malgretoute, Soufr iere, Malgretoute River Bank Stabilization Project http://prez.ly/kgeb (bottom).

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The OECS Commission has been working with some energy companies to build capacity and suppor t their growth under the Trade Enhancement for Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project. The project seeks to suppor t companies with oppor tunities to advance effor ts in meeting market entr y requirements with a focus on producing quality goods and services as well as forging new par tnerships for increased joint trade and marketing arrangement between the English-speaking OECS countries


and the French West Indies. The OECS, in collaboration with CANARI, is also in the process of developing a Green-Blue Economy Strategy and Action Plan (SAP) which is the f irst of its kind in the region and globally to combine green and blue economy strategies for sustainable development is a follow-up to recommendations proposed in the GE Barometer repor t. The Green-Blue Economy SAP will provide a model for transitioning into a Green-Blue Economy regionally and nationally. Hence, input from the private and public sector from producing this road map is vital. It is now widely accepted that ther e is an ur gency to act on plastic pol lution and eff iciently manage our natur al r esour ces to ensur e l ong-ter m sustainabil ity. The cir cular economy appr oach is cited as a solution to some of these pr obl ems. Apar t fr om the l egislative bans on the impor tation and use of singl e-use plastics, is ther e an OECS al ignment to al ignment to act on plastic pol lution and manage r esour ce use? Is ther e an OECS vision of buil ding a cir cular economy for plastics etc? The OECS is currently implementing its development strategy with plastics and waste pollution being one of the thematic areas. The main objectives are to address pollution in terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems by facilitating the development of regional

guidelines for reducing liquid and solid waste and, suppor t the implementation of community-based interventions aimed at reducing sources of pollution using a ridge-to-reef approach. With this in mind, the OECS is engaged in the implementation of the following initiatives relating to the management of plastic waste: - The Replast Project suppor ted by French Government to pilot a system for separation, collection for recycling in selected communities for scaling nationally and OECS-wide; - The Plastic Waste Free Islands Project suppor ted by the IUCN and REMLit Project suppor ted by the Nor wegian government for building resilience in marine ecosystems through a reduction of marine litter and pollution in the Caribbean. What do you wish to see for the OECS's futur e devel opment? Ultimately, I am impatient for us to arrive at a point where our development agenda is fully people-focused so that the person in the street can recognise how regional integration works and that we are stronger together. We will reach there when it is possible to live, work and place everywhere in the OECS as easy as it is for us to occupy our national spaces.

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SUSTAINABILITY

For ces of Responsible Consumption and Pr oduction SDG 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITHOUT ACTIVELY ENGAGING ALL STAKEHOLDERS

Consumption and production are interlinked. Consumption is the end of all productive activity. Producers make goods in order to satisfy consumption wants and the needs of people. This determines the level of income and employment in the economy. Consequently, it is in everyone's interest to f ind solutions to enable sustainable consumption and production. Responsible consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy eff iciency, sustainable infrastructure and providing access to basic services, decent jobs and a better quality of life. Ir r espo n si bl e Co n su mpt i o n an d Pr o d u c t i o n As individual prosperity rises, the increasing demand for goods and services is placing considerable pressure on constrained natural resources. It is estimated that one-third of the world's food

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ends up as food waste (rotting in bins of consumers and retailers) and two-thirds are destroyed due to poor transpor tation and poor harvesting practices. While over 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year, almost 1 billion people go undernourished and 2 billion are hungr y. Land degradation, declining soil fer tility, unsustainable water use, over-f ishing and marine environment degradation are all reducing the natural resource base to produce food. Despite technological advances that have promoted eff iciency gains, energy use will continue to grow. Commercial and residential energy is the most rapidly growing area of global energy use after transpor t. Households consume 29 per cent of global energy and contribute to 21 per cent of the resultant CO2 emissions. If the appropriate actions to change consumption patterns are not taken, it is predicted that this will cause irreversible environmental degradation,


depletion of natural resources and waste which increases air pollution and exacerbates climate change. Bu si n esses an d c o n su mer s Four forces back responsible consumption in our world today: health and wellness, environmental sustainability, social and economic inclusion, data and transparency. Consumers want to suppor t businesses that care about their business and these social elements. The SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, have the potential to connect business strategies with sustainable development priorities. With responsible consumption and production, we can manage the challenges of sustainability and society.

WHAT IS...? Responsible Consumpt ion: Responsible consumption, also known as sustainable consumption 'is the consumption of goods and services that have minimal impact upon the environment, are socially equitable and economically viable whilst meeting the basic needs of humans worldwide. Sustainable consumption targets everyone, across all sectors and nations, from the individual to governments and multinational conglomerates.' (Srinvas, 2010). Responsible Product ion: Responsible production involves the production of goods and services in an ethical way which involves the minimization of waste and pollution. SDG 12: Responsible Consumpt ion and Product ion focuses on promoting resource and energy eff iciency, reducing waste generation, shifting consumption patterns and production processes to a more circular economy approach and raising awareness of sustainable lifestyles. It has the potential to reduce business costs and enhance corporate sustainability while opening business oppor tunities that deliver innovation solutions and technologies to advance sustainable development, builds brand reputation and, strengthens customer relationships. apanamagazine.com / APRIL - JULY 2020

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SUSTAINABILITY

Responsible Consumption and Production in the Bever age Industr y An h eu ser - Bu sc h In Bev So u t h Af r i c a Anheuser-Busch InBev, an international brewery group which produces popular beers such as Corona, Stella Ar tois, Budweiser and Bud Light, believes that businesses that sell their products and services locally are well-connected to the community and well-placed to develop sustainable business models that keep money circulating within the country. "If the community is thriving, their business will thrive. Businesses that care about the impact of their operations on people and the planet are not only focused on sustainability," said Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Off icer of the brewery group Anheuser-Busch InBev. Anheuser-Busch InBev wanted to suppor t its local market in South Africa so it decided to adapt one of its original beer recipes to use produce grown by local farmers. The beer manufacturer provided a ready market, technology, equipment and technical assistance to the farmers as they transitioned from subsistence to commercial farming. To make it more prof itable for the farmers, Anheuser-Busch InBev hired a company to consolidate and transpor t the produce to the plant. After some time, Anheuser-Busch InBev realised that the hired company was not transferring all the monies and benef its to the farmers and decided to make the system more transparent. An Indian company was commissioned to develop a distribution system built on block chain technology, where all transactions are added to a ledger. This helped Anheuser-Busch InBev to keep a record of purchases from the farmers and track supplies in the value chain. With this new system, the farmers became bankable because they could prove that they were suppliers to the company and were able to access f inance.

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Bar bad o s Bo t t l i n g Co mpan y, Bar bad o s The Barbados Bottling Company (BBC) which is owned by Coca-Cola's bottling par tner KOSCAB Distribution Barbados Ltd., is the largest beverage manufacturer in Barbados. It employs approximately 120 people and produces international brands such as Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Light, Coco-Cola Zero, Powerade, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta, Canada Dry, Schweppes and an indigenous brand, Frutee. Its primar y market is the local Bajan market where the consumption of soft drinks is pretty high. The company is one of the largest users of water in its production process and plastics for packaging. Recognising its negative impact on the environment, the company has built-in sustainable business practices into its operations to reduce the consumption of water and plastic waste and save energy. Some of these practices include: Wat er Out of every gallon of water used by BBC between 10 - 20% is used as wastewater. The company currently produces about 8000 gallons of water. The company captures its wastewater then purif ies and uses it for cleaning or it may return some of it to the aquifers. The company's General Manager, Andre Thomas, believes that this reduces the cost to the company and provides an oppor tunity for wastewater to be used by the community. For example, it could be used to irrigate football f ields thereby saving the government money. Pl ast i c Eighty per cent (80%) of the plastic bottles produced by the company is recycled and expor ted as raw materials. En er g y BBC recently installed a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of its manufacturing plant. It expects to save about 12% of energy consumption.

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SUSTAINABILITY

The Recyclable Menstr ual Cup: A SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION FOR WOMEN AND THE ENVIRONMENT By Michele- Lauren Hackshaw 38

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Although the menstrual cup was introduced aeons ago, it only recently made a resurgence and a powerful one too! The menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product f itted under the cer vix to collect menstrual blood. It is shaped like a funnel and is typically made of flexible medical-grade silicone. Period pover ty is a global issue. It is most common in women and girls in underprivileged communities who have no or limited access to feminine hygiene products as well as safe and hygienic areas to use such products. They have no choice but to use rag cloths which increases the risk of infection. In some countries, women feel embarrassed and fearful during this time of the month due to the community stigma attached to menstrual health. It is a human right that no woman should feel shame or anxiety due to the natural occurrence of her female anatomy! This reality often leads to women's health issues and creates a barrier to education for young women and girls. Adolescent girls may be forced to skip classes during that time of the month which eventually leads them to drop out of school. It also impacts women's jobs. They may have to miss a week of work every month thereby increasing the risk of losing their livelihoods. For a single mother, who might be the sole breadwinner of the family, this is devastating. Yes, menstrual cups can help reduce period pover ty and positively impact a woman?s life to live freely. Compared to other sanitar y products, the menstrual

cup is more benef icial in the long run. It is cost-effective and sustainable since it lasts up to 10 years. Fur thermore, they are safer to use with less risk of bacterial infections that are usually caused by other sanitary products. Traditional sanitary products aren?t exactly the cheapest and females spend a for tune on them yearly. They are not all environmentally friendly and do not meet the criteria for safe, reusable, and eco-friendly products. The popular sanitary products (tampons and pads) plus the packaging and individual wrapping generate approximately 200,000 tons of waste per year and the majority of it is plastic which eventually ends up in landf ills, oceans, rivers and beaches. Sanitary products require cotton and the production of cotton needs a vast amount of water. Some brands use non-organic cotton which has been waterlogged in pesticides and insecticides. Moreover, most pads contain polyethene plastic which allows them to stick to the underwear is a harmful

environmental pollutant. Fur thermore, almost all tampons contain chemicals like dioxin, chlorine and rayon. The chemicals in these waste products are being absorbed into the ear th causing water and air pollution. When compared to other disposable products, the menstruation cup is eco-friendly with little impact on the environment, par ticularly with regards to packaging. The material (silicone) used to create the menstrual cup is procured from silica which is the second most abundant mineral in the ear th?s crust. This type of sand degrades and slowly transitions back into its original form. It is non-hazardous to the environment and the human body. The menstrual cup?s long lifespan without useless packaging and material waste will help protect the environment. It is cheaper in the long run with fewer health risks. If every menstruating female switches to the eco-friendly cup, they are helping to protect the environment from 10 years?wor th of waste. Not only does the menstrual cup unmistakably change lives but it also positively impacts the environment.

Michele-Lauren Hackshaw is current ly st udying for her BSc Nut rit ion and Healt h at Edgehill Universit y, United Kingdom. She has a st rong interest in public healt h.

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DOING GOOD Image: Shuttershock

Co r o nav i r u s/ COVID- 19/ SARS- COV- 2

The new Coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 has not been seen in humans before. The f irst repor ted case of the recent Coronavirus outbreak was on 1 December 2019, in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province, Central China.

COVID-19 is believed to be transmitted through close contact with people or by touching contaminated surfaces. In most cases, infected persons recover from the virus. However, persons over 50 years and those with pre-existing conditions seem to be the most vulnerable.

According to the World Health Organisation, by 25 March 2020, the COVID-19 virus was detected in 195 countries. The number of cases has surpassed 424,000 globally and almost 19,000 people have died. The number of repor ted cases in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.Kitts and Nevis, St.Lucia and St.Vincent and the Grenadines are over 120.

To prevent the virus from spreading, countries have imposed restrictions on the freedom of movement of people. These restrictions included closing commercial enterprises, public areas, gatherings and internal and international travel. Many countries have also closed their borders limiting air and sea traff ic to returning nationals and cargo. As expected, this has had a negative impact on business, education and the healthcare system.

We are still learning about this virus and its effect on humans. So far we know that the symptoms are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the flu. While many who are infected are asymptomatic, others often develop a fever and a dry cough. Some repor t symptoms of exhaustion, shor tness of breath, nausea and, develop a runny nose and diarrhoea.

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This outbreak has changed our lives. We have hit the pause button. We can only wait and see what happens next.


Human Choices Will Dr ive More Outbreaks The Coronavirus pandemic changed our lives in a few shor t weeks. An unforeseen disruptor that has created a new reality. Governments, businesses and civil society are simultaneously dealing with an unprecedented global health challenge that has disrupted health systems, economies and societies. As governments closed their borders, limited movement and restricted access to deal with the crisis, formal social distancing, self-isolation and quarantines became the norm. The number of conf irmed cases in the Caribbean is rising and no one can anticipate the extent of the social and economic fallout. Governments, businesses, civil society and individuals fear the worst. Exper ts believe that this is not the last major outbreak and we should expect more epidemics. Why? They say it is the result of the way human beings are interacting with the planet. Our choices are driving us into a position where we will see more outbreaks. This is par tly due to climate change.

Global warming is making our planet more hospitable to viruses and bacteria. In addition, we have encroached on the territories of other living beings, destroyed their habitats and over-used resources. When we burn and plough the Amazon Rainforest for cheap land for ranching, clear trees for houses, developments and farms, or when wild animals are hunted into extinction (as in China), human beings come into contact with animals that they would never have come into contact with before. These animal populations have new kinds of diseases, bacteria and viruses that we are not ready for. Bats, in par ticular, hosts illnesses that can affect people. If we do not tackle climate change and continue to make remote places, less remote, we will have fur ther outbreaks. In the meantime, we need to deal with the current outbreak and mobilize resources to cushion the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. apanamagazine.com / APRIL - JULY 2020

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M an agem en t & Bu sin ess Con su lt in g Ser vices We specialize in the standardization of business processes to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness

For more information, contact: Dr. Alison Gajadhar info@kma.consulting

P O Box GM840 Castries, Saint Lucia

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44 SDGs are Changing Corporate Social Responsibilit y 46 Ways to Integrate Sustainabilit y Into Your Business 48 Waste Sort ing 50 For Survival: Think Post-Recycling 52 Business Ideas for Retailers in t he Circular Economy 54 Old is Now Vintage: The Secondhand Indust ry is Now Taking Off


BUSINESS

SDGs ar e Changing Cor por ate Social Responsibility THE SDGS PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESSES TO BECOME PART OF THE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) MOVEMENT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN.

T

he private sector has a major role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caribbean. As the primar y engine of growth, the private sector owns and operates production systems that account for most of the investment in the country. The SDGs offer a great oppor tunity for businesses engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to contribute to the social development of the region. Caribbean companies are increasing espousing CSR either as a manifestation of their philanthropy or as key business functions and as a consequence they suppor t development effor ts. Some have gone much fur ther to practice the concept of 'creating shared value' (CSV) which involves strategies and practices that create economic value for the company and social value for society. Globally, in order to become meaningfully involved with the SDGs, more companies are aligning their CSR and CSV actions with the SDGs. This has yet to take root in the Caribbean. To achieve this, companies would need to shed their

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mere philanthropic attitudes and develop principles of sustainability. They would have to embed these principles into their day-to-day operations and strategies and shift from a shareholder approach to a stakeholder approach that focuses on people. In addition, the SDGs are creating new business oppor tunities for the private sector and is proving to be a game-changer for businesses that are getting involved in the process of achieving the SDGs. For example, for SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, businesses are setting goals to become eff icient users of natural resources, reduce food waste and food losses, achieve environmentally sound management of chemicals and waste, increase effor ts to establish eco-design programs and integrate sustainability information into the repor ting cycle. Food retailers are using their power and influence to reach and promote more sustainable products to their customers. As businesses successfully integrate SDGs into their operations, they are more likely to implement resilient sustainable business models that increase


economic activity whilst reducing the negative impact of resource use in production and consumption. They are in agreement with national and international policies and adapted to changing regulations on carbon emissions and climate change among others. Before integrating the SDGs into its operations, a business must f irst conduct an assessment of its own impact and, that of the businesses within its value chain so that it can modify its strategies accordingly. When selecting the SDGs, it must carefully consider them within the wider context of the business. The initiatives selected to achieve the SDGs must be specif ic to the situation within the wider context so that negative impacts are minimized and positive impacts maximized. The business should align its strategies within national priorities and suppor t government goals. This requires a proper understanding of the SDGs. This also requires closer cooperation between the public and private sectors with companies becoming more amenable to collaboration and

par tnership development. This is necessary as the private sector is devoid of the exper tise needed to implement the development agenda. Recognising this, a company may hire an in-house team of development professionals or outsource to consulting f irms or par tner with nonprof it organisations. However, most many do not have the resources to do so. Hence, the impor tance of creating corporate par tnerships with civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations as active par tners to achieve their CSR and SDG goals. Given the limited awareness of the sustainable development goals among the private sector in the Caribbean, it is unlikely that businesses will galvanize into action unless the government and international agencies show them the way. In the meantime, businesses can make a difference by simply reducing carbon emissions in their operations and using 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable waste and plastics with their brands.

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BUSINESS PLUS

9 Ways t o In t eg r at e Su st ai nabi l i t y i n t o Yo u r Bu si n ess REDUCE WASTE Set annual targets to reduce waste to reach the goal of zero waste to landf ill. Find innovative ways to re-use resources and regenerate natural capital. For example, re-use food waste or use it for composting. Eliminate or reduce the use of single-use plastic. REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS Conduct an Energy Audit of your business to understand and prioritize actions. Under take an Energy Retrof it which can include switching to LED lighting. Adopt Clean Energy. For example, install and use solar panels or other renewable energy system to generate your own power. Or, purchase 100% renewable energy from a solar project.

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Conduct a water audit to understand your water consumption and identify oppor tunities for using less water (and save money). Develop a water conservation plan and educate employees about water conservation. Implement water conservation techniques such as regularly checking for leaks, purchasing water-eff icient equipment or eff iciently operating water-intensive machiner y Install water-eff icient technologies such as aerated faucets, tank-less water heaters and timers and controls that automate conservation effor ts. Recycle water or re-use water. For example use water to irrigate outdoor green areas. Reduce landscape water use by planting native landscapes or less water intensive plants.

CONSERVE WATER

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTS

Reduce water use in company operations.

Produce products with sustainability attributes (environmental, social,


technical and cost) using eco-design and sustainable strategies. Increase energy eff iciency of your manufactured products USE SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS Identify greener alternatives or eco-friendly products that do not harm the ear th or environment. Use sustainable materials for your products or environmentally safe products. Set goals to achieve 100% sustainably sourced materials in your business operations. GREEN THE PLANET Plant trees to help combat climate change. Trees help to sequester carbon and restore natural habitats and act as natural pollution f ilters. Planting a tree can be linked to purchases or events. THINK OF THE FUTURE

climate-smar t practices that will prof itably transform your business and reduce emissions and energy use. Develop and implement inclusive and climate-smar t business models in the value chain. For example, a food company can work with farmers on climate-smar t agriculture to assure productivity of their yields and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RAISE AWARENESS Suppor t customers to reduce household waste such as food waste. Adjust your marketing practices to raise awareness on issues that your suppor t. Engage employees, customers, civil society and communities to raise awareness of sustainable development and promote lifestyles in sync with nature. INTEGRATE SUSTAINABILITY INTO YOUR REPORTING

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PLUS

WASTE

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SORTING

Credit: alazur

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BUSINESS

For Sur vival: Think Post- Recycling A

s the focus on corporate sustainability shifts from the use of recyclable materials to circular business strategies, the Caribbean must recognise that focusing on recycling and re-use is not enough. The recycling industry in the Caribbean is still in its infancy and may never mature. Many do not think about recycling or properly sor ting their waste. If they do, what happens to it? Do recyclable plastics get recycled? If they are recycled, how long will it take for recycled items to re-enter the waste system? The ban on the impor tation and use of ?single-use?plastic is a step in the right direction, but this is just a one-dimensional solution that does not go far enough. We should look beyond differentiating between ?single-use?and ?recyclable?and accept that nearly all plastic is used only once, and many items cannot be fully recycled. A more holistic strategy to sustainability is needed. We are moving beyond the recycling age. Companies are looking at diversif ied and sophisticated circular business models to reduce the environmental impact of their business practices and dependence on scarce resources. Some are including recycled plastic in the production of their

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CARIBBEAN BUSINESSES MUST RECOGNISE THAT WE ARE ENTERING THE POST- RECYCLING AGE AND MUST EMBED NEW TOOLS AND APPROACHES INTO THEIR BUSINESS PRACTICES. products. For example, Adidas is using up-cycled plastic collected on beaches in the Pacif ic to make yarn for the upper material of their sneakers. Some T-shir ts are made from a mix of up-cycled cotton and recycled f ishing nets. However, we still face the problem of dealing with this plastic when it turns up in the waste system again. Caribbean businesses must become savvy in enabling technologies and the changes in consumer preferences that are fueling this post-recycling age. They need to keep abreast of new ways to avoid waste and ineff iciencies so that resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the maximum value is extracted while in use, and they are recovered and regenerated at the end of their useful lives. Businesses must recognise that we are entering the post-recycling age and embed new tools and approaches into their business practices. They must f ind innovative ways to: - Replace traditional material inputs derived from virgin resources with bio-based, renewable, or recovered materials par ticularly in countries which are def icient in natural

resources - Recycle waste into secondar y raw materials - Extend the use period of existing products - Facilitate the sharing of under-utilized products

In light of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, countries are focusing on saving lives and their economies. The f inancial, social and economic challenges simultaneously faced by every country has resulted in changing priorities and how we do business. The circular economy model is now more relevant for economic and environmental survival. We must maximise our scarce resources in the challenging times ahead.

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Business Ideas for Retailer s in the Circular Economy The circular economy system is an emerging trend with a great deal of untapped business potential. Exper ts have concluded that the circular economy is a US$1 trillion industry that is expected to grow to $4.5 million in the next ten years. Some few large companies have taken advantage of this system. However, Caribbean entrepreneurs seem to be snoozing on this one. There are many business oppor tunities for small and medium-sized businesses some of which require little capital. We present some business ideas for the retail sector.

1. Resal e You can help customers sell the products that they no longer need or make it easier for them to do so. You can pick up items, repair, refurbish and sell or expor t them. Examples: - Create a buy-back scheme for your store - Create resale-themed social events that bring customers together to sell or swap products. - Integrate a donation pickup service with a resale service. - Create an app, web forum allows buyers to f ind sellers or connect people who want to donate with those want to take them.

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2. Rec yc l i n g You can collect products that are at the end of their useful life and feed them back into the system. Examples: - Create a business to collect recyclable items especially for those that are not yet popular and expor t or sell them to companies that buy recycled items. - Set up a system such as an app, mobile forum or drop-off centre to exchange items for a monetary value or a motivational reward.

3. Sh ar i n g an d Ren t al The culture of sharing rather than owning has

become more popular. Businesses built around sharing and rentals can be prof itable. Examples: - Technology sharing service - Flexible shareable work spaces - Jeweller y rental - Clothes - Buy, Sell, Swap

4. Res ear c h an d Co n s u l t i n g You can provide research and consulting services to companies that want to deliver sustainable and practical solutions in the circular economy.

5. M ai n t en an c e an d Repai r s For products to have a longer useful life, there should be easier access to maintenance and repair services. Retailers can star t repairs and maintenance service within their business niche. Example: - Mobile phone - Clothes - Watches - Shoes, - Electronic gadgets - Books apanamagazine.com / APRIL - JULY 2020

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BUSINESS

Old is Now Vintage: Secondhand Industr y Is Taking Off THRIFTING IS ON THE RISE CREATING VALUE AND PROFIT WHILE PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT.

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You may possess clothes that you do not wear or want because they are no longer your size or style but they still hold value. Why not par ticipate in thrift schemes and programs that end over-consumption while protecting the planet? Cu l t u r al Sh i f t In the Caribbean, there is still the stigma attached to accepting or buying secondhand clothes and, the feeling that wearing those clothes is degrading and for the poor. As 35-year old Tina, a receptionist from Bridgetown, Barbados said, "When I was growing up we did not want to wear second-hand clothes because it represented people not having enough money to spend on new clothes." However, attitudes toward secondhand clothes are changing and businesses are cashing in, par ticularly in developed countries where the thrift economy is well-developed. Climate concerns and the need to protect our environment are driving a boom in the resale industr y. This cultural shift is yet to take off in the Caribbean. Cl o t h i n g Wast e Clothing waste is one of the biggest pollutants. It is hard to believe that 85% of clothes end up in the garbage and later in the landf ills. It is said that the cotton for T-shir t requires 2000 litres of water and toxic pesticides to produce. It is then processed using chemical dyes and bleaches that contaminate the waterways. This


T-shir t may be worn only a few times before ending up in the landf ill where it will rot for at least 200 years, emitting methane as it decomposes. The garment industry is responsible for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. Rec yc l i n g Cl o t h es We hear about recycling plastics, glass, metal and paper but sadly recycling clothes, shoes and accessories are largely ignored. "If you donate or source your secondhand clothes from a charity or rental shop, swap clothes, repair your garments or up-cycle them into new fashionable pieces, you are par ticipating in a circular economy where items are repaired, reused, recycled or re-manufactured. No new raw materials are introduced into the system," said Ricardo, a social entrepreneur. Th r i f t i n g With the term 'old clothes' being replaced by what is now called trendy 'vintage and authentic' clothes, the stigma is gone more and more consumers who are interested in fashion that is restorative and regenerative by design and does not want their clothes ending up in a landf ill. As a result, thrifting is on the rise as more people reject fast fashion. The secondhand industry is estimated to double in value in the next f ive years.

Ret ai l Ser v i c es Companies are also experimenting with different ser vices for customers' unwanted clothes. These services range from offering customers a voucher or free product in return for unwanted items to simply picking up unwanted clothing on demand. Businesses are par tnering with nonprof it organisations and social enterprises to deliver these ser vices that create value and prof it while protecting the environment. More online and retail companies are implementing take-back and buy-back schemes for unwanted clothes such as John Lewis in the UK. Many are using an app-based service. Renting clothes are becoming more popular. For example, Rent The Runway provides a subscription-based service for unlimited rental of clothes. Some retail outlets are also offering a repair service to customers. Charity shops are playing a greater role in collecting, sor ting and reselling good-condition used clothing, the proceeds of which often suppor t charitable causes. For those of us, wishing to make a contribution to saving our natural resources and our environment, we must change our mindset and take note of the new trend. We, as consumers must rethink our buying habits and ensure that we are investing in eco-friendly clothes that will last for many years to come.

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Fond Gens Libre Communit y, Soufriere, St .Lucia

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Helping a Communit y St rive For Sustainabilit y

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Corporate Volunteers Can Help Achieve t he SDGs

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Benefit s of Corporate Volunteering

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Volunteer Center of Trinidad and Tobago: Connect ing Volunteers wit h Causes

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Philant hropy and Coronavirus

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Empowering Civil Societ y Organisat ions to Achieve t he SDGs

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Microsoft Boost s Caribbean Female Part icipat ion in Technology


DOING GOOD Photo: Execut ive Team of t he Fond Gens Libre Development Commit tee, Communit y Greaters and Tour Guide wit h t he t he Honourable Dominic Fedee, Minister of Tourism, Saint Lucia and Kirk Elliot t

Fond Gens Libr e Community, Gr os Piton, The Pitons Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Fond Gens Libre community is a remote rural community located at the base of Gros Piton, The Pitons which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. This small community which dates back to the 1700s is home to descendants of the brigand runaway slaves (freedom f ighters). Fond Gens Libre, with the suppor t of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation and Kirk Elliott, established the Fond Gens Libre Development Community as a registered nonprof it entity for its community development.

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Val l ey of the Fr ee Peopl e Fond Gens Libre (in Kwèyòl) means Valley of the Free People. Kwèyòl (Creole Patois) is a language spoke in St.Lucia. It has its origins in French and West African languages.


Photos By: Kirk Elliott @KirkElliott.com

FOND GENS LIBRE IS LOCATIED AT THE BASE OF GROS PITON, THE PITIONS - A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Community Meetings at Fond Gens Libre

The objectives of the Fond Gens Libre Development Committee are: 1. Increasing direct and social benef its derived from the Gros Piton Nature Hike by the community residents, 2. Empowering community youth, 3. Establishing adult literacy programs and developing community recognition for Fond Gens Libre The Gros Piton Nature Hike originates at Fond Gens Libre where the interpretative centre is located. The community is developing a new visitor experience to promote and share its unique history and culture to visitors. This is expected to be launched later in 2020.

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DOING GOOD

ONE TO WATCH

Kir k El l iott St. Lucian-born Kirk Elliott is an internationally-acclaimed photographer and photo educator. He is also a Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneur & Activist with over 25 years of experience in the tourism industry. He is the founder and CEO of the St. Lucia Photo Tour which was inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame in 2019. Elliott ser ves as a Director at the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association and as a Councilor at the Saint Lucia National Trust. He is actively involved in this unique Community-Based Sustainable Tourism project within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Kirk Elliot t


Helping a Community Str ive for Sustainability A COMMUNITY- BASED SUSTAINABLE TOURISM JOURNEY WITHIN ST.LUCIA'S UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE - THE PITONS BY KI RK ELLIOTT

It is accepted within economic circles that the Caribbean is the most tourism-dependent region in the world. It is also well-established that the Caribbean enjoys one of the lowest economic yields from tourism compared to other world regions. On the flip side of these worrisome facts more and more of today?s travellers are no longer interested in just sun, sea and sand, but instead are seeking authentic local experiences that introduce them to their destination?s unique culture, history and cuisine. ?Flavour s of the Car ibbean? we might call it! Many travellers especially the younger demographic, tend to be more socially and environmentally conscious and wish to ensure that the money they spend abroad has the greatest impact on the people of the country they visit rather than fur ther benef iting large foreign-owned hotels that repatriate prof its back to their homeland.

Th e Fo n d Gen s Li br e Bac k St o r y It is with this scenario as the backdrop that I f irst came to learn of the community of Fond Gens Libre in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, having been invited to assist the community in

developing a tourism product par excellence. Fond Gens Libre (translating to - Valley of the Free People) is home to descendants of the island?s freedom f ighters or Maroons. A signif icant percentage of the community?s residents earn a living as tour guides, leading visitors up the island?s world-famous Pitons. Fond Gens Libre lies at the base of the Gros Piton, the taller of Saint Lucia?s celebrated twin peaks and serves as the gateway to the ascent, hence the business model. In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the area on the World Heritage List as The Pitons Management Area World Heritage Site in recognition of its geological signif icance and its superlative natural beauty.

Th e Mi ssi o n While the Gros Piton Hike is extremely popular, in its current iteration it barely scratches the surface of its true potential. Thus, this became the canvas upon which to paint a tapestry that seeks to establish a tourism product that becomes an international benchmark of sustainable community-based tourism within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With travellers today interested in more than just sun, sea and sand this makes sense and, preliminary

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DOING GOOD studies indicate a willingness among visitors to pay a premium for such an experience. These sur veys indicate that knowing the money they spend contributes directly to improving the lives of community residents is a huge motivating factor especially among travellers who are not shor t on discretionary funds. However, crafting this raw idea into reality is where the challenge lies. I became a mentor, a business par tner and a staunch suppor ter in the community?s quest for excellence. I have been working with the community since 2015 and while the going has been slow, the progress has been both real and meaningful.

Th e Ch al l en g e I found that the challenge at hand is multi-faceted and deep-rooted. For star ters, this is a rural

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community that feels neglected and resigned to what many residents perceive as just their lot in life. However, digging beneath the surface reveals very beautiful people who lead a simple, peaceful and happy life. It is a community where residents look out for each other, where doors are never locked, where the sound of vehicles is a rarity and where one can truly experience an escape from the stresses of the modern world. And so, the challenge is ? how do I motivate and help this uniquely beautiful community develop a tourism product that shares its essence with the world without losing its charm and mystique.

A Ro ad map f o r Su c c ess I began by seizing every oppor tunity to share the Fond Gens Libre story with anyone who would listen. My commitment to the community began attracting attention from organisations like the


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)?s the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Small Grants Programme (SGP). SGP provided a planning grant to?Establ ish the Basel ine Social, Economic, Envir onmental and Management Conditions at the Fond Gens Libr e Community and Gr os Piton Natur e Tr ail?. With this baseline study completed the SGP has funded a full grant to assist the community in establishing its new visitor experience and in doing so, realize several of the United Nations?2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ph o t o s By: @Ki r k El l i o t t .c o m Community Greeter s for the New Visitor Exper ience (top left); Stimulating Empower ment through Fun Lear ning (top centre); St.Lucia Hospitality & Tour ism Association (SLHTA) Facilitated Guide Tr aining Stimulation (below left) Empower ing the children through fun lear ning (below right)

I have found that the more I work with the community, the greater my understanding of the challenges at hand. I f inally realized that the overbearing challenge facing the community originates in the island?s current education system which is loaded with the vestiges of colonialism which still shackles its people. Because the community has traditionally been without a champion, the great potential that so many residents possess has atrophied. To arrest this problem, I see meaningful and practical real-life education as a must for the school-aged children of the community and, for the cohor t of tour guides who are about to be trained. To me, the education needed is one that is empowering, rooted in the history and culture of the area, promotes inclusivity and causes a psychological transformation from ?l et us wait for other s to help us? to ?OH YES WE CAN!?

A Sat u r d ay Sc h o o l f o r Upl i f t men t & Empo w er men t I propose a Saturday School with a Global Education emphasis, coupled with histor y lessons that celebrate the unique culture of Saint Lucians, as Caribbean nationals and as citizens of an interconnected global village. In the words of Chinua Achebe, celebrated Nigerian novelist, poet, professor and critic: ?Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter? We welcome your comments @twitter.com/Apana Website:StLuciaPhotoTours.com Email:Kirk@KirkElliott.com

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Cor por ate Volunteer s Can Help Achieve the SDGs COMPANIES, NONPROFITS AND VOLUNTEERS CAN HELP ATTAIN THE SDGS THROUGH VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMMES.

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ecognising the value to the business and community, companies are increasingly promoting skills-based volunteering where their employees provide specialised skills and services that leverage job-related exper tise, such as marketing, f inance, information technology and human resources to nonprof it organisatons. However, volunteering programs are not often well-structured and def initely not linked to the SDGs.

programme that suppor ts the SDGs by following these steps: -

-

Volunteers are impor tant stakeholders to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caribbean. They are often well-placed to raise awareness and champion the long-term attitude and behaviour changes needed to attain the SDGs at the grass roots level. A company can develop a skills-based volunteering

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Identify nonprof it organisations with missions that align with the SDGs and also in line with your company's values and goals. Understand your employees' areas of exper tise and skill sets and determine how they can be applied in a nonprof it setting. Determine the level of engagement you like to par ticipate in (shor t- or long-term, ongoing consulting etc), identify the timeline and scope of work for each engagement taking into account the SDGs that you want to suppor t. Educate your employees about the benef its of volunteering. Encourage and recognise


BENEFITS OF CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING Corporate volunteer programs have the potential to drive employee engagement to enhance employee satisfaction and morale thereby increasing productivity and prof itability while delivering meaningful benef its to the community. Connecting volunteering to employee development remains an underutilized oppor tunity in the Caribbean. Companies do acknowledge that very few companies integrate experiential learning through volunteering as a route to employee learning and development. Even fewer have well-structured volunteering programs. Companies that align their volunteering programs with business strategy can have a positive impact on society while accruing benef its to their business. Companies often face the challenge of f inding the right nonprof it organisation that aligns with its strategy. The nonprof its need to consider the oppor tunities that they present to corporate par tners and other organisations, being clear about where they need the skilled assistance and the impact on the organisation. Companies can increase par ticipation and maximize benef its by considering long-term engagements to match professional development objectives with community needs and working with their human resources and training depar tment. Together, companies and individuals can leverage their skills and maximize social impact.

Em ployee Volunteering is a pathway to making a difference through community involvement. It provides individuals with a sense of purpose and oppor tunities to connect with others. It offers them learning oppor tunities to gain skills or use their existing skills in a new environment.

Company Companies that enable employees to volunteer to causes that matter to them can engender loyalty towards the businesses and positively impact employee engagement. Oppor tunities exist to grow and develop employee talent, foster relationships (between employees and business-to-business) and develop brand recognition and trust while building relationships between the company and the local community.

Communit y Communities have access to a different pool of volunteers, skills, knowledge and technical exper tise thereby improving service deliver y to benef iciaries. It provides the oppor tunity for nonprof its to create corporate par tnerships and potential income streams for community projects and public awareness of social and community issues. Volunteering also helps improve the understanding between the business and civil society sectors.

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Inter view with Giselle Mendez Founder, Volunteer Center of Trinidad & Tobago (VCTT) Trinidad & Tobago

Volunteer or ganisations such as the Volunteer Center of Tr inidad and Tobago (VCTT) br oker engagement and connect cr oss-sector al institutional initiatives with volunteer actions in Tr inidad and Tobago and the r est of the Car ibbean. VCTT has evolved over the past eight (8) year s fr om being an or ganisation oper ating mainly via volunteer ing website to an onl ine platfor m that connects nongover nmental or ganisations (NGOs) and community-based or ganisations (CBOs) to one that impl ements str ategic inter ventions thr ough par tner ships that suppor t youth and vul ner abl e communities in Tr inidad and Tobago. VCTT continues to r ely on volunteer s and its cal l for ever yone to play a par t in their countr y's devel opment.

around our mission to connect people, fuel hope and collaborate for change. We specialise in connecting our country's most valuable resources, that is, human resources, to impact causes. VCTT star ted off from a passionate and deep love and appreciation of the true value of volunteerism. It was conceptualized to bridge the gap between NGOs and CBOs that are doing phenomenal transformation work in Trinidad and Tobago and the need for more resources to help them fur ther their mission and objectives. So, it is around that idea that VCTT was born. How do you connect volunteer s with or ganisations?

Recently ApaNa inter viewed Gisel l e Mendez to discuss VCTT and how it has evolved since she founded the or ganisation and her views on volunteer ism in Tr inidad and Tobago and its l ink with the Sustainabl e Devel opment Goal s.

Initially, when we star ted off, were just connecting people to a variety of causes. We suppor ted a diverse por tfolio of organisations. We just had a website which has now evolved into an interactive platform which connects volunteers with causes. NGOs and CBOs can register for volunteers and people with different skill sets can register as volunteers.

Tel l us a bit about the Volunteer Center of Tr inidad and Tobago (VCTT) and why you establ ished it?

I under stand that VCTT focuses on skil l s-based volunteer ing. How did this come about?

We launched VCTT in Trinidad in June 2012. We existed

As the organisation grew and evolved, we recognised that

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DOING GOOD volunteers wanted to be more involved in high impact initiatives. They were asking for more oppor tunities to have a closer connection with change. Also, the NGOs and CBOs were looking for volunteers for their priority areas in their organisation. We realised that it was not about what we qualify as low-tier oppor tunities. Now, low-tier oppor tunities may man? users for an organisation's Family Day. What that initiative is impor tant and volunteering ushers are impor tant as well, we began to focus on channelling people to the high impact areas of organisations. And within that, skills-based tourism became the next step for us. So it has been an evolution of the last 8 years. I just want to mention that, coming out of our strategic planning session which star ted at the end of 2019, we reframed how our organisation does its work. In 2020, we will be focusing less on skills-based volunteer matching and more on delivering custom-built interventions that VCTT will deliver and

mobilize volunteers around. Tel l us about the initiatives that VCTT is cur r ently wor king on. We are working on three key interventions: Mentorship Intervention: This intervention is being piloted for the f irst time in Trinidad and Tobago via a par tnership between VCTT, Princes Trust International, Czar (a marketing agency) and our National Training Agency. It is managed by a steering committee of exper ts with VCTT representatives providing oversight on volunteer recruitment and training and monitoring. There is a psychotherapist, a medical doctor and mentorship specialist onboard. This team has come together to ensure that this intervention bridges the gap between those vulnerable young people who need help and access to resources and those who can suppor t them.

Ph o t o : Good Deeds Day - Plant for Peace: Gonzales C

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"...DO NOT MAKE VOLUNTEERING A HOBBY BUT PART OF YOUR LIFE SO THAT YOU CAN MAKE THINGS BETTER FOR GENERATIONS TO COME," GISELLE MENDEZ, FOUNDEROFVCTT

Community Garden Launch

Ph o t o : VCTT Volunteer Staff at the VCTT's 2019 Annual Award

This intervention is based on a 'one to many' model. That is, rather than one mentor to mentee we are connecting a group of mentors to a mentee. Needs assessments are being carried out with 30 students from 3 secondary schools in Trinidad and one in Tobago. We will recruit and connect mentors to these young persons based on their needs. Community Garden Intervention: In 2018, we piloted a successful community garden initiative in Gonzales, East Por t of Span in a community that is characterised by socio-economic issues concerning crime and violence. We are seeking to promote food security and the impor tance of agriculture for urban communities. We take young people from the community to visit other gardens across Trinidad. We bring in

influencers who are successfully running farms to demonstrate that there are alternatives for personal economic development. VCTT will be expanding this initiative to 2 other communities this year. Caribbean Exchange Volunteer Network and SDGs: We are working with other volunteer organisations in 9 Caribbean countries. This year, we are focusing on suppor ting the SDGs around Climate Action, Sustainable Cities and Communities and Par tnership for Goals. We are focusing on mobilizing volunteers for NGOs and CBOs based on the priority attached to each area and their connection to the SDGs. For Good Deeds Day on March 29, all our par tners within the network committed to add their voices and effor ts around those SDGs. This year

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DOING GOOD

we focused on reforestation effor ts, tree planting and raising awareness around the impor tance of planting trees and its contribution to climate change effor ts. How woul d you descr ibe your r elationship with your publ ic and pr ivate sector par tner s? We have a fairly healthy relationship with the public sector. For our current community garden initiative, we have a running par tnership with East Por t of Spain Development Company which is a state agency and the Por t of Spain City Corporation. They are providing robust suppor t for expansion. We get fairly okay suppor t from the private sector but I think it could be a lot better. It could be reflection of a lot of companies refocusing based on what is happening with the economy and how they coordinate their corporate social responsibility. This has affected many NGOs and CBOs. Overall, their suppor t is fair. What skil l s ar e most r equested by the NGOs and CBOs? This is really an interesting question. VCTT is driven by available projects and initiatives of our par tner organisations. Some very common prof iles that par tners ask for are coordinators for events and project managers. A popular request that we get, and we are not always able to fulf ill, is suppor t for monitoring and evaluation. Another key area for organisations is to help with fundraising. You wor k with NGOs and CBOs with pr ojects that al ign with the SDGs. Do you think that they have ful ly embr aced the SDGs in their oper ations?

As far as the NGO sector is concerned, there are a lot of meaningful effor ts underway with regards to the localisation of the SDGs and to ensure that they are par t of their framework of transformation for change. In a broader context though, I would say that, there needs to be a greater effor t with regards to education and raising awareness of the SDGs. They need funding and resources. We need to do more in terms of breaking down the SDGs to communicate them to the people, so they understand their signif icance in their personal lives. What does the futur e l ook l ike for VCTT and the volunteer ing sector in Tr inidad and Tobago? The future looks very good. Volunteerism is alive in Trinidad and Tobago, but a lot of challenges exist around the def inition of volunteerism, the language around volunteerism and getting people to understand how they can contribute more. People want to give; they want to serve but they need to know how. This is where VCTT really steps in. We bridge that gap. We will continue to raise the call to action, offer oppor tunities and strengthen our platform where anyone who wants to get involved can get involved in volunteering. It is about us providing continued access, building capacity for organisations to better manage their volunteers and monitoring volunteer contributions. The trajectory for the organisation is def initely positive. We continue to get persons and organisations ever y day that want to suppor t the mandate of volunteerism but more has to be done at the state level, at the policy level to ensure the ecosystem to suppor t volunteerism can exist in a sustainable way. Sustainability continues to be a priority for VCTT. Is ther e anything el se you woul d l ike to add? Globally, there are so many issues facing us. It is impor tant that we as human beings reflect on how we can contribute and make our space better. We ask that you do not make volunteering a hobby but par t of your life so you can make things better for generations to come.

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Philanthropy and Coronavir us The Coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic on March 2020. The f irst case was repor ted in Wuhan, the city of Hubei Province, China on 1 December 2019 and spread throughout the world within weeks. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that Europe was the epicentre of the outbreak. The Caribbean recorded its f irst case in February 2020 and by the end of March, all of the countries had conf irmed cases of COVID-19. One dares not imagine the extent of the social and economic impact of this crisis. Priorities are continually changing and scarce resources are being diver ted towards this crisis. What can philanthr opy do to help us tackl e the Cor onavir us outbr eak that has swept the wor l d? The strain on governments is immense and they cannot do it alone so charities and nonprof its are taking par t in the national effor t to suppor t the vulnerable. Our cash-strapped nonprof its need adequate funding and volunteers to provide much-needed services.

issues that public and private investment cannot reach. As markets tumble and prof its fall, it is not clear if and how businesses can step up to suppor t civil society. We see companies have already cut back on employee engagements. It is hoped that businesses will not withdraw sponsorships and grants and work with nonprof its to f ind creative ways to help benef iciaries who are ultimately their consumers. Par tnerships are key, so nonprof its must reach out early to public, private and philanthropic organisations and individuals and adopt new strategies for engaging them. Communities that are impacted by the Coronavirus will face persistent health and economic disparities and so recovery resources are needed to ensure community resilience. Philanthropy is critical if nonprof its are to provide services to these communities to ensure community preparedness and provide suppor t long after the pandemic has subsided.

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Empower ing Civil Society to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals BY CANDICE RAMIKISSOON, TECHNICAL OFFICER, CANARI

Whether advocating for humanitarian issues, providing suppor t to the marginalised, holding governments to account or preserving the natural environment, Caribbean civil society organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in sustainable development in the Caribbean region. A recently launched digital platform ? the Caribbean Civil Society Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Knowledge Platform, is hoping to better position civil society as a key development actor and give increased voice and visibility to contributions by CSOs in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is the host of the new online platform that connects people and organisations an interest in the role of Caribbean civil society in implementing the SDGs. By increasing knowledge about the SDGs in the Caribbean and strengthening national and

regional networks, the platform aims to promote and enhance civil society inclusion in and contributions to development, implementation, monitoring and repor ting on the SDGs. CSOs working on sustainable development issues across the region can showcase stories related to their own experiences in advocating for or implementing each of the 17 SDGs, and use the platform as a networking forum to discuss experiences, exchange ideas and share lessons learned. CANARI created the platform as par t of the project CSOs For Good Governance: Enhancing civil society?s contribution to governance and development processes in Trinidad and Tobago (CSOs4GoodGov), which is being implemented from 2017-2020 with the suppor t of the European Union (EU). The project is designed to suppor t and catalyse effective CSO par ticipation in

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implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda in Trinidad and Tobago ? the knowledge platform is a key tool towards achieving this project goal. The SDGs are well known today as the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all and aim to address the key global challenges of our time, including those related to pover ty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Given the scope and ambition of the SDGs and recognition that governments cannot do it alone, the role of civil society actors, including as advocates, implementers and watchdogs of the SDGs, is of increasing impor tance. But they are also facing serious constraints which limit their impact. There is little documentation on the contribution being made by CSOs to implementation of the SDGs. Few are integrating the SDGs into their work or thinking about how to collaborate across sectors. More signif icantly, governments often do not meaningfully engage CSOs who are more aware of realities on the ground, as development par tners. There is a wide consensus that unless civil society actively informs and mobilises

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itself and builds capacity to engage in national SDGs processes, par ticipation will be weak and meaningless. This is where the knowledge platform comes in - CANARI feels that CSOs will be able to par ticipate more effectively in advocacy and implementation if they are well informed about the SDGs and inspired by what other Caribbean CSOs are doing. CANARI itself has built a strong foundation over the last 30 years of suppor ting Caribbean civil society through capacity building, training and mentoring, and facilitating networking and advocacy. The launch of the platform is another milestone in CANARI?s effor ts to ensure a bigger role and more inclusive par ticipation of CSOs in national development and governance throughout the Caribbean. CANARI encourages CSOs to leverage and empowering the platform to grow their knowledge and networks and thus build their own capacity to effectively implement change, raise awareness and advocate successfully on sustainable development issues, alongside government and other development par tners. The online platform can be accessed at: https://hub.canari.org/sdg/


About CANARI The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-prof it organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for over 30 years. Our mission is to promote and facilitate stakeholder par ticipation in the stewardship of natural resources in the Caribbean. Our work focuses on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Equity, Par ticipatory Governance and Resilience. See here for more information on CANARI : http://www.canari.org/

Car ibbean Civil Society Sustainabl e Devel opment Goal s (SDGs) Knowl edge Platfor m https://hub.canari.org/sdg/ Connect with Us

For fur ther infor mation, pl ease contact: Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director at CANARI at nicole@canari.org or +868 638 6062 Candice Ramkissoon, Technical Off icer at CANARI at candice@canari.org or +868 638 6062 Ph o t o : Launch of the SDG Platfor m

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Ph o t o : Secondar y School Students at the Fir st Symposium in Saint Lucia

Microsoft Boosts Car ibbean Female Par ticipation in Technology ASPIRE ARTEMIS PARTNERS WITH MICROSOFT TO SUPPORT YOUNG WOMEN AND GIRLS IN STEM. 76

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More women are gaining prominence in law, business and medicine but still so few are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Although biases against women in STEM-related careers seem to have diminished, environmental and social barriers do not always suppor t women in STEM. These barriers include stereotypes, gender bias and the educational environment. Research continues to show that women still do not envision themselves in these roles because of the unconscious beliefs or implicit biases that underlie negative stereotypes in those f ields. Recognising that young girls and women should be encouraged to pursue STEM-related disciplines and careers, Aspire Ar temis Foundation, a New York-based nonprof it organisation, launched a joint initiative with public and private sector par tners at the Microsoft Times Square off ices in New York on 22 January 2020. At the launch, the Representative of Djibouti, Mr Youssouf Aden Moussa, Counsellor and diplomat in the Permanent Mission of Djibouti to the United Nations said, ?The Aspire Ar temis Foundation has created a programme that helps us achieve our equal-oppor tunity vision. This program does not just describe to girls and young women the oppor tunities available in the sciences or technology or engineering. They


Ph o t o : Students displaying SDG placards at the Symposium, Bay Gardens Saint Lucia

strive to inspire these young people and help them see how much they can change their world by pursuing careers in these f ields. While education is a key element of any initiative to create equality, the Foundation goes fur ther by bringing mentorship and internships to our young innovators through par tnerships with companies like Microsoft.? St.Lucia is the f irst of four countries to benef it from this par tnership. The foundation is working with Microsoft Corporation to establish innovation labs to educate young women and girls in technology based on real-world applications in several countries. Microsoft provides access to the software and volunteers its employees' time to vir tually mentor par ticipants in the program. The program was launched in Saint Lucia at f irst 'Regional Digital Transformation, STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts and Mathematics) Education and Innovation Symposium which was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Saint Lucia on 10 -12 February 2020. Aspire Ar temis integrates ar ts and culture into its STEM programmes to create STEAM to drive innovation and increases oppor tunities for women. Her mi na Jo h n n y, Founder, Aspir e Ar temis Foundation

At the symposium, public and private sector stakeholders, students and the general public listened to keynote addresses

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from senior executives and government off icials. The f irst day's agenda included interactive discussions on the following topics: -

Thinking for ward for an innovative future

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STEAM in the Caribbean

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United Nations Approaches to STEAM

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The Building Blocks of a STEAM-centred future

The panel discussions focused on: -

Education and Innovation: Providing Tools for Success

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Mentorship, Agency and Empowerment Guiding the Creators of Tomorrow

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Fostering Creativity Pipelines

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Overcoming Gender Obstacles in STEAM

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STEM to STEAM

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Pursuing Careers in STEAM

The day ended with Ar ts and Science presentations by regional secondary schools on STEAM projects that they had been working on in the months before the symposium. On the second day, Microsoft held a special event for par ticipants. The corporation presented its program, Microsoft DigiGirlz which gives secondar y school girls oppor tunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees and par ticipate in hands-on and technology programs. The staff presented "Technology... an Enabler," which encouraged children to get 'eMicroxcited' about what technology can do. It also included an interactive session to allow girls to think of their brand and 'superpowers' when they introduce themselves. The par ticipants visited hands-on

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robotics and AI lab where they were introduced to the concepts of programming in a fun and interactive way. According to the symposium's keynote speaker, Ms Harsha Bennur, Director, Par tner Technology Strategy for One Commercial Par tner (OCP) at Microsoft, ?When Aspire Ar temis Foundation approached me about the symposium in the regions of St. Lucia and Djibouti where there was no local Microsoft presence, I knew that I truly wanted to help and be involved in changing the future and infusing STEAM for the girls in the region. This was also an oppor tunity to accelerate women-owned businesses in the region and work with the leaders to help create centres for innovation using Microsoft technologies. These kinds of events fur ther Microsoft OCP?s commitment to bring gender parity in the workforce." "There is no time like the present to encourage women and girls to be equal par ticipants of this movement for more people in STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics]. We cannot do this alone and we call on the entire community to suppor t us in our drive to create sustainable career oppor tunities for young people," said Ms Hermina Johnny, Founder of Aspire Ar temis Foundation.

For more information on the Aspire Ar temis Foundation: Web:http://www.aspirear temis.org Email:info@aspirear temis.org Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AspireAr temis/


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SEE WHAT YOU WANT TOSEE CATALOGUE 2017 - 2020

AMANDA-JANE TANIC PAINTINGS Email: amandatanic@gmail.com

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ApaNa Magazine Issue 2 April 2020  

ApaNa Magazine is dedicated to promoting sustainability, responsible business and social engagement in the Caribbean. The second issue of A...

ApaNa Magazine Issue 2 April 2020  

ApaNa Magazine is dedicated to promoting sustainability, responsible business and social engagement in the Caribbean. The second issue of A...

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