Championing Resilient Oceans For Prosperity : GEF-World Bank/OECS Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project
Monday, June 8, 2020 (OECS): The world’s ocean offers great potential for economic growth and development, improved livelihoods and jobs, and closing the gap on poverty and unemployment rates. Of note is the peculiar circumstance of small island developing states, such as member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), where their sea space is about 100 times that of their land space.
As stated by Dr Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS: “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.”
However, sadly, anthropogenic activity is threatening these systems and putting potential benefits at risk. As one of the key blue economy frontrunners in the Caribbean, the OECS has taken a first step to enabling transition to a blue economy through the development and adoption of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) and associated Strategic Action Programme (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.