A suite of standards for the tourism industry, ranging from environmental management to food safety and sanitation, as well as sewerage treatment management, are currently under development in CARICOM.
The Tourism Suite of Standards
The seven standards currently being circulated for public comment by the National Standards Bureaux in all 15 CARICOM Member States, are being developed by CROSQ. They are:
- Environmental Management
- Energy Efficiency
- Food Safety and Sanitation
- Integrated Pest Management
- Solid Waste Management
- Water Resource Management
- Sewerage Treatment Management
Mr. Fulgence St. Prix, Technical Officer – Standards, explained that after this period of public consultation the comments received will be disposed and the Draft Standards will be amended accordingly. Should the changes to technical content of the Draft Standards resulting from the comments received be extensive, the drafts will then be subjected to another round of public consultation, with the changes.
If the technical content is not changed significantly the Draft Standards will be registered as Final Draft Standards based on the consensus principle (which is the absence of sustained objection). The Final Draft Standards will then be submitted for acceptance and once accepted by at least 75% of the Member States, they will be presented to the Technical Management Committee (TMC).
The standards development process is validated for each Final Draft Standard by the TMC which is a technical committee of the CROSQ Council which oversees the regional standards development process and ensures its integrity.
Thereafter, the Final Draft Standards will be presented to the CROSQ Council with a recommendation to present the Final Draft Standards to the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) for approval to therefore be accepted as regional standards.
Adoption and implementation thereafter happens at the national member state level.
Based on the composition of these standards, this tourism suite, according to Mr. St. Prix, could be the first set of standards to be examined for the possibility of framing them as sustainability standards for the sector.
CROSQ is currently exploring the feasibility of developing sustainability standards in the region, wherein the standard also examines the impact of the elements of the standard on the environment, producers and consumers for the future, and to ensure the products or services that derived are produced in a manner that considers such factors.
You can learn more about United Nations Sustainability Standards here.