The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Shaping infrastructure for a more sustainable future in Saint Lucia
A new report highlights the growing infrastructure needs that the Small Island Developing State faces from climate change and economic growth.
Produced by UNOPS and the University of Oxford-led Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, in partnership with the government of Saint Lucia, the report uses an evidence-based approach to anticipate the island’s future infrastructure requirements.
UNOPS works hard to help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development. As part of that, we support countries in making decisions that ensure sustainable development.
“Saint Lucia is to be commended in adopting this approach, which will help ensure that limited resources are applied to maximize socio-economic development while protecting the country’s unique natural resources and ensuring its resilience amid global challenges,” said Ms. Faremo.
“Saint Lucia is highly vulnerable to the extraordinary changes that are being recorded to our global climate as well as to unexpected human crises, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Minister of Finance Allen Chastanet.
“We must act swiftly to ensure preparedness for the worst-case scenarios, and to ensure resilience for our people and communities,” he added.
Saint Lucia’s infrastructure is the backbone of the country’s economy. As the country seeks to grow its tourism and agriculture sectors, the demand on its infrastructure is likely to increase. But the effects of climate change – including rising sea levels and extreme weather events – also heavily impact infrastructure on the island nation.
Integrating both sustainability and resilience into future infrastructure planning in Saint Lucia will be crucial for the country to meet its growing infrastructure needs while also improving social, economic and environmental conditions.
The report uses extensive data collection and analysis to estimate Saint Lucia’s future needs for energy, water, wastewater and solid waste services. Recommendations are then provided for meeting those needs – while also aligning national development priorities with international development commitments, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This is a strategic move – taking a step back and assessing our current infrastructure, including socio-economic systems, is a critical step towards a thriving economy for a developing nation like ours,” said Cointha Thomas, Permanent Secretary, Department of Finance, Saint Lucia.
The report also assesses social, economic and environmental risks posed by climate change, across 24 sectors, to help the government prioritize adaptation measures and support infrastructure decision-making that will ensure long-term sustainable and resilient development.
“We want to see the fruits of our research making a difference around the world. This report is the latest in what I hope will be a growing number of applications that are helping to shape sustainable infrastructure worldwide,” said Jim Hall, Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks, University of Oxford.