by Linda Straker
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Roland Bhola, has disclosed that Blue Growth initiatives will be prominently featured in the 2030 National Development Plan.
This plan is a long-term plan of action to achieve the government’s development goals, and it is expected to be completed and presented to cabinet by June 2016, and then be tabled in Parliament for approval and action.
Addressing the opening session of the second day of the Blue Growth Conference which opened in Grenada on Saturday, Bhola said that the plan is a future blueprint for the island’s sustainable development — we will see various blue growth opportunities featured in the plan as part of an overall effort to make effective use of marine resources.
Bhola told the delegates that the plan will focus beyond the traditional fisheries sector, and will involve other opportunities within the marine environment.
“We have a marine volcano to the north of us called Kick ’em Jenny, and it can supply geothermal energy that has never been explored,” said Bhola, who is of the opinion that the Ministries of Environment and Fisheries must work together on some projects.
Sharing measures already taken by Government with regards to operationalising the Blue Growth Concept, Bhola said that Grenada has approved legislation to the island’s coastal zones, and signed partnership agreements with various donor agencies and other organisations involved in sustainable development for small island nations.
“One of the things that we will be doing during this conference is signing the MOU with Parley as we focus on litter, especially plastic in the marine environment,” he said in his address, which provided an introduction to the progress on current initiatives implemented by Grenada in achieving Blue Growth and sustainable development.
More than 100 international and regional delegates representatives — a wide cross section of agencies and non-governmental organisations such as the United Nations’ Office of the High Representatives for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Development States, the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Global Ocean Forum have gathered in Grenada for the 2-week Conference which is taking place at the Radisson Convention Centre.
The Blue Week 2016 and Investment Conference represents a response to major recent developments in the global oceans agenda: The adoption of the Agenda 2030 by the United Nations in 2015, including the sustainable development goal on oceans and seas (SDG 14), and the Paris Agreement, concluded at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015.