Barbados to benefit from Blue Economy Project / Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Barbados to benefit from Blue Economy Project Sat, 10/23/2021 – 5:00am Barbados is one of three Caribbean countries to benefit from the Harnessing Blue Economy Finance for SIDS Recovery

and Sustainable Development Project.

It joins Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the two-year project, which capitalises on the technical capacities and comparative advantage of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to enhance the blue economy in all three territories.

Speaking during a donor meeting earlier this week, Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey, highlighted three pillars in developing a blue economy – findings, financing and friends.

“These are the areas now as we go forward that are going to be very important for us in terms of… small island developing countries,” he said.

The Minister explained that the findings showed that like most small island developing states in the Caribbean, Barbados was grappling with limited fiscal space, “very” high debts, slow implementation capacity, and limited blue economy investment.

“Many of us have started preparing ourselves for this journey recognising that the blue economy presents great opportunities for us going forward.  Now is the time to recognise that the opportunities to be found, and that we need, can be located in the ocean,” Mr. Humphrey said.

For Barbados, he outlined that the Blue Economy Scoping Study found that there were opportunities in maritime transport, fisheries, energy, marine biotechnology, marine living and non-living resources.

However, he stressed, there were clear gaps that needed to be filled with assistance in order for the country to maximise the opportunities presented by the blue economy.

During his address, the Minister noted that financing was also very important, but lamented that blue economy investment was difficult.

He pointed out that only two per cent of official development assistance went to the ocean world-wide.  “Consider how much is actually coming to the Caribbean,” he stated.

Despite this challenge, he said Barbados and its Caribbean counterparts were working on innovative mechanisms, debt swaps, blue bonds and climate resilient bonds, as they moved forward.

He added that there was also room for adaptation finance in the Caribbean as several islands continue to watch their beaches disappear, coral reefs die, and fish reach their maximum thermal capacity.

He thanked agencies such as UNDP, UNEP, FAO, the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, TNZ, and other agencies which worked with Barbados in doing development work.

The Minister also gave the commitment to lifting the standards in the blue economy in Barbados and across the region; ensuring and abiding by proper ocean governance; establishing proper financial strategies; closing the policy gaps on all regulation issues, and improving the rate of implementation.

“The blue economy is our highest priority,” he assured.

LINK ORIGINAL: Barbados Advocate

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