“The Sea that surrounds us and connects us has the potential to catapult us to an entirely new development trajectory. ... We may be small island developing states, but we are also large ocean developing states. We are a lot bigger than we think we are. To ignore our vast seascape and its tremendous potential is developmental malpractice. We must cast our eyes outward and recognize that the beach or the coastline is not the edge of our world but the beginning of the immense untapped resource that can sustainably fuel our growth and development.”

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— Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, SDM Summit 2020

EventOverview

Identifying the Opportunity

The Caribbean Sea, with its high level of biodiversity, covers less than one percent of the world's ocean area (2.75 million sq km), nonetheless, it directly supports the economies of 34 coastal and small island countries and territories. It is a large marine ecosystem characterized by coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grasses as well as sandy beaches and rocky shores.

These tropical ecosystems present high biodiversity associated with fauna and flora, and has resulted in high rates of national and regional endemism and contains the greatest concentration or rate and endemic marine species in the Western Hemisphere. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) marine and coastal assets offer an unprecedented opportunity for strengthening the region’s economy and closing the gap on poverty and unemployment rates.


2020 Success

The 2020 virtual Blue Economy Investors forum was attended by several international development partners including the Government of Norway, the World Bank, the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Government of Canada, the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank.

These development partners disclosed available funding for existing and new Blue Economy initiatives and investments under various programmes and projects, some of which are already being implemented.

Blue Economy Round Table Overview

The Ocean and Blue Economy Investor Roundtable discussions are designed to raise interest in, and drive sustainable ocean investment across the OECS.

To promote effective ocean governance and pursue a blue economy, the OECS has taken a first step through the adoption of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) and its Strategic Action Plan (SAP). 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. In response to the outcomes of the ECROP and with funding from the Global Environmental Facility, the OECS and World Bank are currently implementing the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) which seeks to facilitate a ‘long-term perspective’ through sustained funding and long-lasting collaborative partnerships.

Agenda

Round Table Overview

See Events

9:00 - 9:55 AM

Opening Ceremony

Blue Economy Webinar

9:55 - 10:00 AM

Interlude

More Than Just Islands Music Video

10:10 - 12:30 PM

Blue Economy Investor Roundtable

Blue Economy Webinar

12:30 - 12:35 PM

Interlude

OECS Blue Economy Video

12:35 - Until

Virtual Exhibition

Blue Economy Webinar

Speakers

Blue Economy Round Table
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Beate Stirø

Norwegian Ambassador to Cuba since 2020

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David Robin

Programme Director, Oceans Governance and Fisheries at the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States(OECS) Commission

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Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon

President of Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

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Justin Ram

CEO, Justin Ram Advisory Associates & GSEC

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Karen Hill

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

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Leo Brewster

Director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Government of Barbados

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Reynold Murray

Environmental Consultant

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Blue Economy Round Table

BlueEconomy

FAQS

What is the Blue Economy?

The ‘Blue Economy’ is an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources. It supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 ‘life below water’, and recognises that this will require ambitious, co-ordinated actions to sustainably manage, protect and preserve our ocean now, for the sake of present and future generations.

The worldwide ocean economy is valued at around US$1.5 trillion per year.

Eighty per-cent of global trade by volume is carried by sea.

Small island states, relative to their land mass, have vast ocean resources at their disposal – presenting a huge opportunity for boosting their economic growth and to tackle unemployment, food security and poverty. They also have the most to lose from the degradation of marine resources.

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