Description of project

CANARI has been implementing a programme on green economy in the Caribbean since 2010. As part of this work, in May 2012 CANARI established the Caribbean Green Economy Action Learning Group (GE ALG). Members are development professionals and academics from across the English-, French- and Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean, with a range of expertise including macroeconomics, planning, tourism, agriculture, rural development, gender and climate change.  The GE ALG aims to identify and promote ways in which a green economy approach can advance sustainable development in the Caribbean, as outlined in a Terms of Reference. Its multidisciplinary approach seeks ways to achieve synergies across the social, environmental and economic objectives of sustainable development. CANARI serves as convenor for the Group. This work was supported by UK aid from the UK Government through the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED). The GE ALG is acting as a regional knowledge network that can inform and advise national and regional policy and practice initiatives to transform economic development in the Caribbean.


  • A variety of terms and concepts around “green economy”, “green growth” and “blue economy” are being put forward in regional and global discussions.  The vision of Caribbean stakeholders to a new approach to economic development (see Policy Brief 13 in EnglishFrench and Spanish) needs to be clearly communicated these policy discussions. CANARI’s input to the NGO Major Group statement at the Inter-regional Preparatory Meeting for the Third International Conference on SIDS (held in Samoa in September 2014), ensured that it included a message that “Social equity and environmental sustainability must become core and entwined objectives of economic development” which drew heavily on policy briefs and papers produced by CANARI and the GE ALG.
  • CANARI is a member of the Green Economy Coalition, a diverse set of organisations and sectors from NGOs, research institutes, UN organisations, business to trade unions that are working together to accelerate the transition to a resilient economy that provides a better quality of life for all within the ecological limits of the planet. As part of this work, CANARI is facilitating a Caribbean dialogue to explore what ‘green economy’ means in the Caribbean context and local ideas are shared with the network of partners across the world.


Key activities and results

  • A Caribbean position on pathways to more socially equitable and environmentally sustainable economic development was refined and validated by the GE ALG at the regional meeting in Saint Lucia in May 2013. The importance of clearly defining and communicating this was emphasised. This vision characterises a green economy in the Caribbean as: promoting equitable distribution of economic benefits and effective management of ecological resources; being economically viable and resilient to both external and internal shocks; being more self-directed (more independent of external forces) and having greater self-reliance; and having as an objective being pro-poor and generating decent jobs and working conditions for local people. This vision is expressed in CANARI’s Policy Brief 13 (in EnglishFrench and Spanish).
  • The GE ALG produced an action learning agenda at its regional meeting in Saint Lucia in May 2013. The June 2013 draft produced outlines areas for action on research, communication (awareness and policy influence), and capacity building.   The GE ALG explored ideas for work on priority areas: How can governments, the private sector and civil society collaborate on building a green economy? Can triple bottom line methods be adapted for assessing public sector investment proposals (or business investments)? Where is there potential for uptake of such methods? How can sustainable urban development be achieved in the Caribbean context? What kinds of policy measures, institutions and programmes are able catalyse, support and scale up sustainable micro, small and medium (SMME) development? CANARI started work on the latter in 2015 through a project examining how can we catalyse, support and empower Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) so that they bring co-benefits (economic, environmental sustainability, social equity) and address issues of the informal sector.
  • Members of the GE ALG prepared a report on A New Paradigm for Caribbean Development: Transitioning to a Green Economy for the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which was presented to their Board of Governors in 2014. The report examined how renewable energy could support transitioning to a green economy in the Caribbean and the attendant implications for policy and institutional arrangements. This recognised that most Caribbean countries clearly want to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, develop alternative sources that are more sustainable and locally available, and include renewable energy within broader strategies to green key sectors. It sought to provide policy makers with concrete advice and direction on the economic costs and benefits of switching to renewable energy, including information on the potential for significant foreign exchange savings, revenue impacts, employment generation and environmental impacts.


Recent news and blogs


  1. The “Green Economy Factory” in the Caribbean by Yociel Marrero Baez
  2. Triple bottom line methods for assessing public investment: the case of Invest Saint Lucia by McHale Andrew
  3. From a “doorstep economy” to a green economy: a case study of Cuba by Yociel Marrero
  4. Catalysing and supporting sustainable small, medium and micro enterprise development by Sarah McIntosh
  5. Green Economy in Practice: The Barbadian Perspective by Winston Moore
  6. The Policy Flux: Current Green Economy Policy Initiatives in the Caribbean by Shawn Carter
  7. Community-based development through arts and culture: Case study from Laborie, Saint Lucia by Augustine Dominique and Yves Renard
  8. Regional economic uncertainties and risks – the next 10 years by Michael Witter
  • Policy Brief 13: Towards a green and resilient economy for the Caribbean (in EnglishFrench and Spanish)
  • Policy Brief 14: Supporting Green Economy Pathways in the Caribbean through Action Learning (in EnglishFrench)

For more information, contact Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director [email protected]

See related work under CANARI’s Green Economy programme.

Tags: Green economy, Economic development, Sustainable development, Action learning group, Small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), Renewable energy