According to Cabinet’s latest decision document, the extension approved was six months. Work is said to have started in July of this year and is expected to finish at the end of December.
The Cabinet document stated that the extension was granted “to complete the work on the development of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP) that was delayed due to the July COVID-19 spike and the intense capacity and time constraints created by the Commission of Inquiry”.
During the period of extension, a consultant was hired to help with the sustainable development plan. Cabinet has also approved a monthly compensation for this person whose name was not disclosed.
Cabinet has approved “that compensation for the consultant contracted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean to assist the Virgin Islands will receive a monthly stipend of $7,500.00 for a period of six months from July to December 2021,” the document added.
In January of last year, it was announced that the Virgin Islands government was developing a National Sustainable Development Plan that aimed to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The then resident representative of the UN Development Programme in Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Magdy Matinez-Solimon said the NSDP was hoped to be the most ambitious plan for sustainable development of the territory and the highest government officials had pledged to align the Virgin Islands’ national development priorities with the global agenda.
Premier Andrew Fahie had also explained that his government was launching the NSDP in partnership with a UN agency, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, to guide the territory’s development in the face of climate change.