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Premier’s 2023 Earth Day Message

Government 24 Apr, 2023 Follow News

Premier Wayne Panton

Every year, more than 1 billion people, governments, institutions, and businesses around the world celebrate Earth Day.

Last year’s theme – Invest In Our Planet – is being repeated in 2023. This is the first time in the event’s history that the theme has been repeated.

To me, investing in our planet means engaging all sectors of our society to accelerate solutions for climate resiliency and sustainable development, and challenging the idea that economic prosperity must come at the expense of our planet.

Sustainability is the path to prosperity for humanity and businesses alike. We need to act boldly, innovate broadly, and implement equitably.

When my administration came into office, it was with a vision for a Cayman Islands that is held up as one of the most sustainable countries in the world, a trio of islands where all its citizens can thrive; a peaceful and prosperous place known for its resourcefulness, its diligence, its excellence, and its innovativeness.

Since coming into office, my administration has facilitated the purchase and protection of significant acreage across the Cayman Islands. Including parcels in the Salinas Reserve, Sand Cay, Western Mangroves Area and Central Mangrove Wetlands in Grand Cayman, Tarpon Lake and the East Interior of Little Cayman, and Hemmington Forest in Cayman Brac.

We established the National Tree Planting Programme to introduce more native and endemic plants into our built communities.

We have launched a new project to enhance awareness and understanding of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the Cayman Islands Government with the ultimate goal of identifying priority areas of strategic alignment and local targets under the Goals.

We undertook a Climate Change Risk Assessment for the Cayman Islands - the most comprehensive review of climate risks and opportunities to our islands undertaken to date – to inform our efforts to develop a national Climate Change Policy.

We waived the import duty on energy efficient devices and building materials.

We achieved four grants from RESEMBID – the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity Programme – to improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings and Government-built affordable homes, to train unemployed and underemployed Caymanians in sustainable career paths and install a solar array at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

And we participated in the launch of the Commonwealth Climate Growth Fund to deliver climate mitigation and adaptation throughout the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth. This includes a specific allocation of up to $50 million for sustainable projects in the Cayman Islands.

Though we have accomplished a great deal since April 2021, we know there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Unsustainable development and climate change are risks, not just to our physical environment, but to our unique Caymanian culture, and to the lives and livelihoods of current and future generations. Achieving a balance between our environment, economy and society is essential to ensuring we can maximise the benefits of sustainable development to benefit our people both now and in the future.

That is what sustainability means to me. It’s more than an abstract concept – it’s a contract between our generation and the children of tomorrow.

The PACT government is committed to taking a sustainable approach to the social, environmental, and economic development of our Islands, ensuring a peaceful, prosperous future for the generations of Caymanians to come.

If we are all working together, across our communities and across our three wonderful islands, I am confident that we can make that future a reality.

Thank you and God bless our beloved isles – today and every day.


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