August 5, 2020

OECS Commission launches webinar series on Blue Economy

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June 3, 2020 – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) continues to be a regional leader in assessing the potential of a Blue Economy.  For the OECS, a blue economy focuses on using the ocean’s resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, as well as the maintenance of ocean ecosystem health to ensure continued benefits. 

The OECS Commission, through its Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), will host a webinar series.  The CROP is funded by the Global Environment Facility with the World Bank acting as the implementing agency.    The featured speaker is Professor Dickon Howell.  Professor Howell is the Director and Founder of Howell Marine Consulting and is a visiting Professor at Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Science. The first webinar will be delivered on June 10, 2020 from 10a.m. and will focus on Delivering Good Ocean Governance in the OECS. This webinar introduces the concept of a Blue Economy, the principles of good governance and explains how ocean governance is being delivered in the OECS.  This webinar is designed for technical officers and targeted persons will be invited to register. The aim is to provide an understanding of how good ocean governance is central to managing human activities in our marine space, and in turn, how this contributes to sustainable development and the transition to a Blue Economy.  

Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didacus Jules explained that there is a wealth of untapped economic potential in the Caribbean region.  

“As large ocean states, we have much more ocean than land, and  we need to recognise, and take up the tremendous opportunities that our ocean resources can deliver to all our citizens, if we plan, manage and care for them in a sustainable and responsible way.”

The OECS, as an inclusive institution, will engage policymakers, civil society organisations, and the public through its webinar series.  The next session will be on June 17, 2020 at 10a.m to discuss Looking After Our Oceans in the OECS and will engage students, civil society organisations, and the general public and as such, registration is open to all. The final session on June 24, 2020 at 9 a.m. will be a closed session to focus on A Blue Economy for the OECS and target high-level policy makers.

About the Caribbean Region Oceanscape Project (CROP)

The Caribbean Regional Ocean Scape Project (CROP) is a funded project by the Global Environment Facility through the World Bank which aims to move the Caribbean towards a blue economy.  As one of the key Blue Economy frontrunners in the region, the OECS has taken the first step to enable the transition to a Blue Economy through the adoption of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy(ECROP) and its associated strategic action plan (ECROP SAP). Endorsed by the OECS Heads of Government in 2013, the ECROP guides the future use of the region’s marine waters and provides a basis for enhanced coordination and management of ocean resources within the Eastern Caribbean. Notably, the ECROP is the first of its kind in the Caribbean region.  Outputs under the CROP will include an enhanced ECROP that is aligned to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development; National Ocean Policies and Strategies; National Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans; a regional Marine Spatial Plan; readily available web-based and OECS relevant ocean education materials and courses; and spatial tools to enhance decision making on ocean matters.

About Professor Dickon Howell

Professor Howell has over 10 years global experience in managing projects and leading multidisciplinary teams for the development and delivery of all aspects of the Blue Economy, marine policy, governance and regulation within national and international institutions as well as working at the science policy interface to bring marine science into governmental decision making. He has a professional career in bringing together policy makers, regulators, scientists, advisors and users of the sea to find solutions that deliver the Blue Economy and marine sustainable development within a proportionate regulatory framework. He has directed the development and delivery of national ocean policy and marine spatial planning to support the Blue Economy and plan performance monitoring of marine spatial plans, regulatory frameworks and national ocean and Blue Economy policy. This has included delivering the revision of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy and the development of National Ocean Policy for Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. He continues to advise governments and public bodies across the world on the Blue Economy, marine policy, management, marine science and the institutional barriers to delivery in a complex policy environment.

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