(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Regional and international ocean governance stakeholders met in Saint Lucia last week to strengthen avenues of collaboration in the sustainable management of marine and coastal assets and explore opportunities to support the region’s economic growth objectives.
The 8th Meeting of the OECS Ocean Governance Team (OGT 8), under the theme “Unlocking Ocean Wealth in Support of Sustainable Growth and Resilience” held at the Bay Gardens Hotel, from March 5-9 2018, interalia:
– reviewed progress on the implementation of integrated ocean and coastal management in the OECS;
– examined current and emerging issues to strengthen ocean governance and the transition to a blue economy;
– agreed on measures to strengthen access to ocean resources within the framework of existing and emerging international law and policies, as well as the OECS Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP); and
– identified priority activities for the period March 2018 to June 2019.
Head of the OECS Environmental Sustainability Cluster, Mr. Chamberlain Emmanuel, was pleased with the participation of Member States noting the importance of a collective approach to improved resilience in the region.
“In the context of our intrinsic vulnerabilities and external shocks as Small Island Developing States, it is critical that we enhance our collective capacity for resilience. This must include better understanding of and sustainable management and use of the vast ocean which connects us, for reducing poverty and improving overall well-being in the OECS sub-region,” Mr. Emmanuel commented.
Mr. David Robin, Coordinator of the OECS Ocean Governance and Fisheries Unit, also highlighted the need for a change in the region’s modus operandi toward the sustainable use of ocean resources.
“In ‘Unlocking Ocean Wealth in Support of Sustainable Growth and Resilience’ there is the need for sublime transformation in every sphere of our operations – in communities, in governmental and non-governmental organisations, at the OECS level and in our engagements with partners agencies – to optimise the benefits from ocean resources and services for current and future generations,” Mr. Robin said.
The Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), which is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), administered by the World Bank and executed by the OECS Commission, was also formally launched during the week of events.
Funding support for OGT 8 was provided by the CROP, the United Kingdom Government’s Commonweath Marine Economic Programme (CMEP), and the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project.