The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a new project that aims to foster sustainable public procurement processes in the region. The project will support the development of sustainable public procurement frameworks and tools, while also building capacity in this field. A focus will be on the construction sector and on identifying opportunities for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. During a virtual meeting in early November, representatives from UNEP and the OECS signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides a background for the cooperation.
Public purchasing accounts for about 15% of global GDP and, in many developing countries, up to 30% of the total economic activity. Therefore, governments are crucial actors that need to align their consumption habits with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustainable recovery efforts. Leo Heileman, Regional Director of UNEP in Latin America and the Caribbean, said:
“Sustainable public procurement has an essential role to play in guiding post-COVID-19 economic recovery, as governments gradually shift their focus from saving lives to rebuilding livelihoods. It is important that authorities have coherent frameworks in place to move forward, and that is precisely what this new project is aiming at.”