CASTRIES, St. Lucia, November 9, 2016 (CMC) – A World Bank mission, responsible for the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) have ended a visit to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) aimed at advancing project preparation in anticipation of approval early next year.
During the discussions held here, the head of the delegation, Pawan Patil, outlined the importance of the Caribbean region in leading the blue economy movement.
“The delegation leader pointed out that, although small, the region serves as an inspiration and the overall aim of the CROP initiative is to expand upon the work that has already begun,” according to an OECS statement issued here, today.
Patil said that the CROP will provide support to implement the OECS Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) which was developed with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat and approved by the OECS leaders in June 2013.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, assured the sub-region’s full support to ensure a more progressive, effective and sustainable framework for the utilization of the region’s marine resources.
“The health of our marine environment is largely tied to the economies of OECS member states, whether that be for example, tourism or fisheries.
“The sustainable management of our oceans, in close collaboration with our partners, is therefore critical to the on-going prosperity derived from the blue economy, from which the OECS is heavily dependent,” Jules said.
The three-day visit facilitated seamless collaboration with many OECS units directly connected to the CROP, including the Oceans Governance and Fisheries, Environment, Legal, Education, Communications and Resource Mobilisation.
The inaugural Caribbean Region Dialogue with the G20 Development Working Group (DWG), held in Washington last year, recommended, among other things, the preparation of an in-depth analytic report, to define an overarching framework to better understand the economic potential of transitioning to a blue economy in the Caribbean.
The meeting also identified the World Bank to develop CROP to support development of a blue economy in the region.
Through the CROP, the World Bank intends to mobilize US$108.3 million in collaboration with Caribbean countries and development partners to support ‘blue solutions’ for sustainable ocean-based economic growth and development across the region.