$100 million investment will go towards sustainable development opportunities
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — There could be a wealth of new blue and green economy jobs in Barbados in the near future thanks to a new World Bank loan.
Just this month, the World Bank provided USD $100 million (over BBD $200 million) in financing to support sustainable economic development and growth in Barbados.
Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley has pledged that this financing will be used to help create job opportunities in emerging blue and green economies, which can overlap in some respects.
The blue economy refers to marine-based jobs, especially where it pertains to sustainable development. This includes maritime careers and high-tech emerging fields like aquaponics, ocean-based renewable energy and coastal engineering. But it also includes more traditional fisheries fields like seafood processing and marine tourism.
Similarly, the green economy refers to sustainable jobs that are centered around protecting the environment. These include renewable energy jobs, solar electricians, green construction and even organic farming.
Barbados has for years now been spearheading the move towards sustainable economic development within the Caribbean.
This has been the case even before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted regional nations to get more serious about diversifying their economies away from tourism.
Now, the million-dollar World Bank loan will help to bolster Barbados’ efforts in this regard.
Blue economy identified as potential for job growth
The World Bank’s loan comes at an ideal time as regional and global economic bodies have identified the blue economy as ripe for sustainable development within the region.
Some economists and even politicians have suggested it is a largely untapped economy, especially for a region that is so rich in natural resources — including the ocean.
However, Caribbean nations need financial support and investment to further pursue these emerging sectors and help create job opportunities therein.
An official World Bank statement on the matter seemed to hint at a similar possibility, as it highlighted the organization’s ongoing commitments to provide financial support to Caribbean countries where sustainable development is concerned.
Commenting to this effect, Prime Minister Mottley said, “I cannot underscore enough the necessity of support such as this to middle-income Small Island Developing States.
“This loan allows Barbados to advance its efforts to achieve climate resilience, including continuing our shift to clean energy.
“This ultimately allows us to better shield Barbadians from the worst excesses of the climate crisis while creating opportunities for green and blue jobs and investment as we adapt to our new reality.”