In a ceremony today at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. Permanent Representative, announced U.S. support for Sustainable Communities in Central America and the Caribbean, a competitive grants program to enhance hemispheric cooperation on sustainable community development in the context of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA).
Technical review panels selected 14 non-governmental organizations from 10 countries in Central America and the Caribbean to receive grants of up to $50,000. Announced at today’s ceremony, these grants will support innovative community-level initiatives linked to the following priority areas: 1) Clean energy and energy efficiency; 2) Resilience to natural hazards; 3) Sustainable transport solutions; and 4) Waste management and recycling (including electronic waste). Specific projects range from an effort to strengthen the network of micro-hydroelectric systems in the Dominican Republic to the development of a Sustainable Transportation Plan in St. Kitts and Nevis that emphasizes bicycling and walking.
During his keynote address, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Lawrence J. Gumbiner highlighted U.S. government support for collaborative efforts in the Americas to further creative solutions to global challenges such as climate change and the rising demand for energy and water resources. The Sustainable Communities project will strengthen the capacity of civil society groups to contribute to sustainable development, he added. Gumbiner noted the wealth of knowledge and experience on sustainable city and community development in the hemisphere and invited representatives of OAS Member States, and members of their civil society and private sector, to explore how their countries can contribute to the project by sharing technical expertise and best practices with project implementers.
The OAS Department of Sustainable Development will implement the Sustainable Communities project. A steering committee made up of U.S. technical agencies and U.S.-based NGOs evaluated project proposals and will respond to specific requests for technical assistance from project implementers.
More information about the project can be obtained from the following website: http://www.oas.org/en/sedi/DSD/Biodiversity/Sustainable_Cities/SustainableCommunities.asp