Photo Description: Special Envoy to the Caribbean, Jan Henderson, with Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, during this morning’s courtesy call. (Photo credit: BGIS)
Author: Julia Rawlins-Bentham/BGIS
New Zealand remains committed to Barbados and the Caribbean despite closing its office in Barbados.
This assurance came from New Zealand Special Envoy to the Caribbean, Jan Henderson, when she paid a courtesy call on Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, with responsibility for the Blue Economy, Adrian Forde; Permanent Secretary for the Blue Economy, Sonia Foster, and other Ministry officials today.
She explained that the office was closed over the last two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Government was now looking to make use of technology and work from bigger missions or directly from New Zealand with the Caribbean.
Ms. Henderson further noted that the ambassador was now based in New Zealand, but would continue to work with governments in the Caribbean to find the best location from which to operate.
However, she outlined that Barbados stood to benefit from a number of initiatives emerging from cooperation agreements with New Zealand in four areas – climate agriculture; renewable energy; scholarships; and advocating for the special needs of small island developing states with international financial institutions.
Minister Forde thanked the New Zealand Government for the “tremendous support” provided with fisheries and sargassum seaweed, especially in identifying that there were higher than normal levels of chemicals found in the algae.
The Minister also offered to share Barbados’ knowledge on gabion structures and types of plants to use to prevent soil erosion with New Zealand, which is currently experiencing challenges with deforestation and soil erosion.