September 18, 2020

OECS Commission will conclude Webinar Series on the Blue Economy with “A Blue Economy for the OECS”

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June 23, 2020 – Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are exploring new ways to become more sustainable.  The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States continues to drive innovation in sustainable development with its webinar series on a Blue Economy – 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.   

Through its Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), the OECS Commission will host its final webinar in this series focusing on A Blue Economy for the OECS on June 24, 2020 as part of the Seventh Meeting of the Council of Ministers for Environmental SustainabilityThe featured presenter will be Professor Dickon Howell, the Director and Founder of Howell Marine Consulting and a visiting Professor at Newcastle University School of Natural and Environmental Science.  This webinar focuses on what a Blue Economy means for the OECS, its importance and how it can be managed effectively to meet the triple bottom line of growing economies, protecting the environment, and advancing social wellbeing. 

Heads of State, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other senior decision makers will be exposed to the concept of Natural Capital, what a Blue Economy could mean for the OECS and how a Blue Economy can be delivered through good ocean governance.

The first two webinars were held earlier in June.  The first discussed Delivering Good Ocean Governance in the OECS while the second explored Looking after our oceans in the OECS.  David Robin, OECS Ocean Governance and Fisheries Programme Coordinator said the conversation around the Blue Economy is relevant and timely given the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on world economies.  

“As part of the ‘whole of government’ and ‘whole of society’ response in OECS Member States to the amplified risks and hazards, and unprecedented exposures and impacts caused the COVID-19 pandemic, a blue economy is a foundational building block to support recovery, resilience, reengineering and regeneration from our largest natural capital – our marine space.” 

The OECS, as an inclusive institution, engaged policymakers, civil society organisations, and the public through this webinar series.  

About the Caribbean Region Oceanscape Project (CROP)

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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