For developing countries like Dominica, the New Year ushered in some good and promising news: the coming into effect of the much talked about Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by world leaders last September at the United Nations.

                                                                                        According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: "The seventeen sustainable development goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world's leaders and the people. They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success."

The SDGs (they replaced the earlier "Millennium Goals"…) address the needs of people in both developed and developing countries, emphasizing that no one should be left behind. That surely includes Dominica, especially in a post-Erica REBUILDING perspective. Ambitious in scope, the new international agenda created by the "goals" addresses social, economic and environmental, as well as other aspects related to peace, justice and effective institutions.

The mobilization of the means of implementation, including financial resources (the usual bugbear), technology development and transfer and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships, will be critical.

The successful Paris Conference on climate change is seen by many as the first test of political will to implement the agenda. For the first time, every country in the world has actually signed off to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and act internationally and domestically to address climate change.

For most Dominicans, our immediate "climate" change needs are to vastly improve the management of GARBAGE COLLECTION. A recent pronoucemrnt by the Prime Minister suggests that the government may be moving in the right direction by giving more powers to the Solid Waste Corporation. It would be an excellent first step.