According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development sustainable development “is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (IISD, 2011). Sustainable development in the Caribbean context can be viewed by looking at both the benefits and challenges it presents to the region.
Some of the benefits associated to sustainable development, are “preserves functionality and diversity of system while providing a wide range of economic benefits. Promotes the diversification of forest products, and preserves the natural services provided by forests” (Mongabay.com, 2011).
The challenges of sustainable development in the Caribbean are governance; governments are unable to adequately update laws and regulation or to implement them because most of the islands lack strong community level governing institutions. Vulnerability, the small size and open economies make the countries of the Caribbean highly vulnerable to external market conditions. They depend economically on fragile natural resources while geography exposes them to natural hazards, such as climate change. The epidemic of HIV/AIDS makes the Caribbean vulnerable as well. Human resources, even though there is a high literacy rate in the Caribbean, the educational system fails to deliver the necessary skills required to compete in the global market. The human resource pool that is already available in the Caribbean reduces as highly skill individual migrate with their skills and education (Unicef.org, 2004).
These are the benefits and the challenges that can be looked at when discussing sustainable development in the Caribbean context.
IISD (2011). What is Sustainable DevelopmentRetrieved on 19 June 2011 from
Mongabay.com (2011). Sustainable Development: Cost and Benefits. Retrieved on 21 June 2011
Unicef.org (2004). Sustainable Development Strategy for the Caribbean Region – 2005-2009.
Retrieved on 21 June 2011 from
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