Side event at the 4th International Conference on Small Island Development States (SIDS4)
St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda

Tuesday May 28, 2024
Room 4

The Right to a Healthy Environment

A Prerequisite for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean

Overview of the session:

The event emphasizes the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a foundation for addressing the development challenges facing SIDS – developing resilient economies while ensuring environmental protection and safe and prosperous societies. Speakers from Caribbean governments, civil society and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights will explore how the right to a healthy environment is foundational for sustainable development, how access to information, public participation and justice in environmental matters contributes to upholding the right to a healthy environment, and the role of the Escazú Agreement in bolstering national institutions to advance these objectives. Caribbean environmental defenders will offer insights from their lived experiences, sharing good practices and recommendations aimed at strengthening access rights to support the right to a healthy environment. The side event will bring together representatives from Caribbean governments, civil society organizations and international organisations to exchange experiences and identify policies and practices to place equity and justice at the core of development in Caribbean SIDS.

Lead Organization:

Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)

JET, established in 1991, is a not-for-profit environmental non-governmental organization based in Kingston, Jamaica. Its mission is to protect Jamaica’s natural resources using education, advocacy and the law to influence individual and organizational behaviour and public policy and practice. 

Read more here:

Organizing Partners:

Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI)

CANARI is a non-profit technical institute with more than thirty years’ experience of research, policy influence and capacity building for participatory natural resource governance in the Caribbean. It is highly regarded both regionally and internationally including for its work supporting inclusive governance, rights-based approaches to natural resource management, and environmental and climate justice. 

Read more here: CANARI – Caribbean Natural Resources Institute

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

They are the lead United Nations entity mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, they:

  • Work with and assists Governments in fulfilling their human rights obligations
  • Speak out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide
  • Provide a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today’s human rights challenges
  • Act as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities
  • Work with a wide range of partners in order to widen the constituency for human rights worldwide.

Read more here: UN Human Rights Office (

Department of Sustainable Development – Government of Saint Lucia

The Department of Sustainable Development is the lead government seat of all matters pertaining to environmental and sustainable development issues. Its work program areas include climate change, biodiversity, hazardous waste and pollution, the ozone layer and substances that affect it. It also oversees projects that enable sustainable livelihoods and development of flora and fauna ecosystems in the North East Coast and South East Coast of the island as well as some GEF funded projects. It is the home of the focal point for the Escazu Agreement and the Montevideo 5th Programme for the Periodic Review and Development of International Environmental Law. It conducts several programmes towards the attainment of the 17 SDGs and the overall 2030 Agenda. It works closely with the Department of Gender Relations to mainstream gender issues in all aspects of environmental planning and policy and employs a participatory and collaborative approach to all its programs ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are consulted at all stages of product and process development.

Further it works closely with the OECS Commission on several developmental matters including the sustainable management of oceans and the marine space.

Read more here: Web Portal of the Government of Saint Lucia (