The national government of an island in the Caribbean wished to develop a sustainable planning process and a national integrated strategic plan for the sustainable development of the island’s economy. This was because the present economy had become over-dependent on tourism resulting in a negative impact on the overall economic, environmental and social sustainability. This project was funded to stimulate the self-sufficiency of the island, with funds allocated for “Quality of Governance”.
This two year multi-stream project, in partnership with the department of economic affairs, commerce and industry, developed a sustainable planning process operating within the island’s culture.
We engaged with a broad cross section of society to develop future global and regional scenarios that shaped the overall context for a sustainable development plan for the island. This involved all social groups and stakeholders through arranging an appreciative inquiry summit, holding a public symposium on sustainable development and other mass participation events. 12 independent commissions were established with committed stakeholders to develop clear plans for each of the priority elements of the overall strategy. The whole process was governed by a single integration team comprising the chair persons of each commission.
The project generated a widespread commitment to sustainable development and an understanding of the implications for achieving this at all levels. This covered political parties, government departments, the chamber of commerce, tourism authority, key private sector stakeholders, a national investment bank, community leaders with autonomy over local issues and a broad cross section of all social groups on the island.
This has led to a self sustainable planning process that brings together the public and private sectors. Focusing the limited resources on the robust elements of the plan, it builds towards sustainability across all the most significant macro-economic, social and environmental scenarios.