Keeping an Eye on the People’s Business: Tracing Grenada’s Trajectory Blue Economy and Blue Growth

Sandra Ferguson

by Sandra CA Ferguson

  1. Grenada and Blue Economy:

In May 2016, Blue Economy crashed into Grenadian consciousness:

  • Blue Growth Investment Conference 2016: Grenada was holding an International Blue Investment Conference at Radisson, next door to Camerhogne Park. Who was participating? Did the disappearance of the Camerhogne Park signage have anything to do with this conference?
  • Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan: And then the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan surfaced: half of the near shore coastal areas to be declared Marine Protected Areas — what would happen to fishing in the coastal villages of south-east Grenada? Quarantine Point, a public green space, ‘offers a unique opportunity to advance blue growth and research with the siting of the Blue Innovation Institute as well as the Coral Restoration Institute’ — besides Camerhgone Park, was the people’s access to and use of Quarantine Point also under threat? On Petite Martinique, ‘consideration will be given for the relocation of the school play field in order to utilise this site to create a major Grenadines Marine Service Center’ — did that mean the school children and people of Petite Martinique were going to lose their recreation space? Plans for the ‘transformation of St George’s — relocate the national hospital to a new Health and Wellness Campus at Morne Rouge for the development of a 5-star hotel and casino along the cliff and terracing down to the harbour’ — for real? But weren’t the old steel frames taken down and other hospital facilities being erected?
    ‘The Blue Growth Development Zone for the Grand Anse Tourism Centre, includes the entire length of the Grand Anse Beach as well as the property adjoining either side of Spiceland Mall, an existing road will be partially closed to create a pedestrian promenade that links the ocean to the special event grounds — did that mean closing the Morne Rouge Road on the seaside, and cutting off access to the beach at Journey’s End? Significant plans to reclaim and construct along the coast — eg Esplanade Mall to off Cherry Hill to create a national sports centre and village. But extensive land reclamation is a no-go in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation, so what was Grenada proposing and who was involved? Besides the land reclamation, ‘public spaces’ would now be going into the control of ‘private actors.’ WHERE did ‘we the people’ fit in and HOW?
  • Current Blue Growth Planning: Among the projects identified as existing Blue Economy Development Projects by the Master Plan were the following: Sawaris Hotel Development (Silver Sands Resorts Development); Mt Hartman Resort Development[1].Clarkes’ Court Bay Marina Development (adjoining the Woburn-Clarkes Court Bay Marine Protected Area); Secret Harbour Resort Marina Development; Levera Resort Development[2] (being planned to include hotels, villas, and golf course); Carriacou Resort Marina Development (a controversial marina development which has intruded into the Sandy Island Oyster Bay Marine Protected Area).
  • World Bank Connections: And then sometime this year, we noted that the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan was on the World Bank’s website[3] with World Bank staff cited as authors of the plan. The Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan is so obviously flawed — both process and product — that it brings into question the credibility and competence of the ‘authors’ of this plan, who are staff members of the World Bank.
  • Grenada a Leader in Blue Economy: Grenada was being described as a regional and global leader in the development of the Blue Economy (??!!). In another study, also funded by the World Bank, Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean[4] , which annexed a summary of a Case Study of Grenada’s ‘high level coastal development master plan’ that ‘outlines a Blue Growth and Sustainable Nation Strategy’. Bru Pearce, the founder of Sustainable Nation Foundation and of Poole Capital fame, must be smiling!!
  • Chair of Small States Forum: Grenada, through the Rt Hon Prime Minister, is now the Chair of the World Bank’s Small States Forum. Blue Week January-February 2017, was an informal meeting called by the Rt Hon Prime Minister to provide guidance on: Grenada’s chairing of the Small States Forum and Grenada’s partnerships relating to Blue Growth and Blue Grenada. Among the objectives of the Blue Week 2017 meeting were:
    •  Blue Innovation Institute and Debt for Nature Swap: identify, agree and take action upon key next steps for the development of the Blue Innovation Institute including the debt for nature swap as a financing mechanism; and
    • Blue Grenada: identify, agree and take action upon key next steps for Blue Grenada including on resilience and key economic projects.
  • Debt for Nature Swap/Debt Conversion: In April this year, representatives of Civil Society had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the German Development Bank and The Nature Conservancy who were in Grenada ‘to meet with representatives of the Government of Grenada and other agencies to discuss the planned debt-for-nature swap to finance marine conservation and adaptation to climate change and to assess the feasibility of the this transaction.’ There was a presentation titled ‘Financing Action in Grenada’s Blue Economy via a Debt Conversion.’
  1. Blue Economy and National Sustainable Development Plan 2030:

And how does Blue Grenada and this Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan fit in with the National Sustainable Development Plan 2030, whose development had been launched in the glare of the media on 27 May 2015? We recall the remarks of the representative of the Social Partners at the launch event: “This is for the Social Partners a bold, responsible people centered, bottom up approach by which we as Grenadians will determine for ourselves where we want to go and how we will get there. The process of developing the National Development Plan is not a project; it is a process to look ahead and work deliberately for the future, to advance what we believe is possible — development that is sustainable, rights based, inclusive, participatory and all embracing.” (my emphasis). Checks have revealed that the committee members responsible for guiding the process of the development of Plan 2030 were also ‘in the dark’ about the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan and Blue Economy development.

The following is an attempt to put in context those actions/decisions of which we have become aware — the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan, the Blue Growth Investment Conference, the proposed Debt for Nature Swap/Debt Conversion and other actions. It is not exhaustive and tracks the period from about June 2012 to February 2017. Hopefully, it will contribute to helping citizens identify and critically query the proposals and decisions that seem to be rolling out.

  1. Tracking the Trajectory of Blue Economy and Blue Growth Development In Grenada:
    • Sustainable Development Goal 14:

An outcome of the Rio+20 Development Summit in June 2012 was the commitment of world leaders to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 14 commits world leaders to ‘Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.’

Ocean Economy and Ecosystems:

  • Ocean Economy: The ocean economy is significant for food security and services eg tourism, leisure activities; maritime transport; and extractive industries — eg oil exploration and other minerals.
  • Ocean System Ecosystems: are important for ecosystem services they provide: carbon sequestration; coastal protection; biodiversity; food security
  • A deterioration of ocean health and its ability to provide those ecosystems services is the result of overfishing; land-based pollution; agriculture and untreated sewage; climate change and ocean acidification
  • SIDS and Oceans: Oceans are particularly important to small island developing states which have significantly larger Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) than their land area eg Grenada 133 square miles, but an estimated 10, 000 square miles of EEZ.
  • Potential for Economic Growth and Development: Oceans can provide increased goods and services but growth needs to be balanced with conservation in order to sustain healthy oceans.

Blue Economy Concept:

  • Green Economy: The Blue Economy concept originates in the Green Economy concept endorsed by the Rio+20 Summit, 2012. Coming out of the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, the blue economy comprises the food, jobs and opportunities for development provided by ocean and coastal assets. Blue growth emphasizes conservation and sustainable management of aquatic resources and equitable benefits to the coastal communities that rely on them.[5]
  • Blue Economy Concept: ‘blue economy concept is a lens by which to view and develop policy agendas that simultaneously enhance ocean health and economic growth in manner consistent with principles of social equity and inclusion’ — Towards A Blue Economy In The Caribbean, World Bank/ Commonwealth Secretariat /OECS/Duke University[6]

Caribbean Challenge Initiative CCI):

Grenada was one of the first countries to commit to the Caribbean Challenge Initiative which was launched at the Convention of Parties (COP) meeting of the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) in Germany in May 2008, making initial commitments to protect at least 20% of near shore and coastal marine environment by 2020. In September 2012, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund(CBF), an endowment fund, was established — with an initial financial commitment of US$42 million from the German Development Bank (KfW), the Global Environmental Fund and The Nature Conservancy — to support financing of conservation actions.

Phase 2 of the CCI was launched in May 2013, at a Caribbean summit of political and business leaders hosted by Sir Richard Branson on his private island, Necker Island. Political leaders committed to a ‘Leaders Declaration’ while business leaders signed a Corporate Compact to support 2 overarching goals:

  • 20/20 Goal: effectively conserving and managing at least 20% of the region’s marine and coastal environment by 2020.
  • Sustainable Financing: to have in place a fully functioning sustainable finance mechanism that will provide long-term and reliable funding to conserve and sustainably manage the marine and coastal resources and environment in each participating country and territory.

CCI Secretariat: Grenada agreed to the permanent hosting of CCI Secretariat.

Conservation Trust Funds: Each participating country was required to set up Conservation Trust Funds to be the conduit through which support will be received from the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund to support implementation of the CCI actions.

  • Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth, April 2014, The Hague, the Netherlands[7]:

In April 2014, Prime Minister Mitchell and the Hon Minister of Agriculture participated in the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth hosted by the Government of Netherlands with support from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Bank Group and partner countries — Grenada Indonesia, Norway, and the United States of America. The summit:

  • Importance of Local Communities: highlighted the importance of local communities as key to implementing sustainable growth and fisheries, promote changes across the entire production chain and put fairness and the environment at the centre.
  • Local Innovations: Recommended the identification and scaling up of local innovations.

Partnerships for SDGS:

Grenada and Kingdom of Netherland launched the partnership for transformation of Grenada to Blue Economy Ocean State. It was noted that Grenada’s Exclusive Economic Zone offered unique opportunities, including its many MPAs, its fishing zones, its European Union Fish Export License, its marine tourism potential, unique genetic biodiversity of the hemisphere’s largest submarine volcano (Kick-em-Jenny), the possibility of seabed minerals such as rare earth metals and potential oil and gas deposits.

  • Coral Conservation Partnership with Grenada, Caribbean[8]

A release from the High-level roundtable at Global Oceans Action Summit advised as follows:

  • Project for Conservation of Coral and Fish: With support from the Netherlands, the Island State of Grenada in the Caribbean will launch a project for the conservation of coral and fish. This will ensure that tourism and fisheries will continue to drive economic growth. Grenada is highly dependent on the ‘blue economy’ through revenues from cruise ships, diving tourism and fishing.
  • Public-Private Partnerships for Investment in Knowledge/Oceans Governance Institute: The Government of the Netherlands committed an investment US$1 million re knowledge with the requirement that the business community also contributes through public private partnerships. In this context, Grenada and the Netherlands also agreed to set up an Oceans Governance Institute to build up and exchange knowledge in the Caribbean.
  • Grenada and Netherlands in EC$10 Million Sustainable Growth Co-operation[9]:

A GIS news story on the official government website provided the following information:

  • Two Memoranda of Understanding: On 24 April, Grenada’s Prime Minister signed 2 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on sustainable development with the Dutch Government, on the ‘Blue Economy’ and on ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’ — 2 integrated programmes to improve sustainable productivity at land and at sea so as to benefit farmers, fishermen, agri-businesses and tourism businesses.
  • Funding of EC$5 million: Under the MOU arrangements, the Netherlands is providing EC$5 million to Grenada and the Netherlands will also work with Grenada to attract a further EC$5 million from the Dutch private sector banks and businesses.
  • International Spice Institute and Blue Economy and Oceans Governance Institute: The co-operation agreement with the Netherlands envisages the establishment of an International Spice Institute, to be co-located in Grenada and the Netherlands, and the establishment in Grenada of a Blue Economy and Oceans Governance Institute. These will enable Grenada to institutionalise knowledge and human capacity and also to ‘crowd-in’ other partners and funders.
  • Supporting Grenada’s Growth Agenda: The institutes will help Grenada to grow its economy through more value-added agri-business products and through the development of an ocean-based economy that builds on fisheries and tourism. Ultimately this could include, for example, aquaculture, algae-based cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, ocean energy and other sectors.

 

  • Establishment of an Ocean Governance Institute[10]:

In a post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of Agriculture, Hon Bhola announced that during a recent visit to The Netherlands to attend the Global Ocean Actions Summit on Blue Growth and Food Security, he had signed an agreement to protect the country’s ‘blue space.’ He advised that Cabinet had approved the establishment of a National Ocean Governance Committee, which over a period of time will be upgraded to an Ocean Governance Institute and would address the issue of Illegal Unreported and Unregulated Fishing ﴾IIU﴿.

  1. Global Action Network for Blue Growth and Food Security: Strategy Meeting for Action on Blue Growth and Food Security, 11-13 March 2015, St George’s, Grenada[11]:

A 2nd meeting organised by the Governments of Grenada, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Indonesia, was held in Grenada in March 2015. A number of other governments participated as well. It is interesting to note that the few private entities who were part of the Grenada representation (along with the public functionaries) did not represent a wide cross section of the social partners or interests. Among them were two individuals from Sustainable Nation Foundation promoting the Mt Hartman Medical Park.

Hon Simon Stiell, Minister of Environment and host of the meeting advised participants:

  • Grenada Open for Business: Grenada was ‘open for business’ in terms of the Blue Economy.
  • EU Fisheries Export Licence: The fishing sector in Grenada was a major economic pillar and Grenada was one the few countries in the southern Caribbean with an EU Fisheries Export Licence.
  • Underwater Volcano: “Grenada’s submarine volcano was the largest in the hemisphere; the marine biodiversity was similar to the rich biodiversity found at hydrothermal vents. This could be important for research and development for the pharmaceutical industry, in the near future”.
  • Support for the Development of the Blue Economy: Grenada was working with The World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, GIZ, the Global Environmental Fund, The Nature Conservancy and others on its Blue Economy.
  • Role of Kingdom of Netherlands: Grenada was also working with The Government of the Netherlands on a Blue Growth program which included the development of an EEZ and Coastal Master Plan as the foundation for a Blue Growth Investment Prospectus, which will help to attract significant investment to Grenada’s Blue Economy.

Launch of Global Network for Action on Blue Growth and Food Security:

  • A key outcome of this summit that was held in Grenada was the launch of the Global Network for Action on Blue Growth and Food Security.
  • According to the Summit Report, “the Network will have a light organisational composition, supported by a small team, which will be co-facilitated by the Governments of Grenada, Indonesia and the Netherlands, and will be housed in FAO headquarters, to support the work of the Network.
  • Action Groups:
  • Three action groups were also announced ‘for accelerating action and facilitating partnerships which will form the heart of the Network’ — Blue Growth +Essentials; Investment Ready Facility; Knowledge and Technology. These three Action Groups would ‘work towards defining the fundamentals, scope, principles, guidelines and indicators for Best practices of BG, promotion of investment and an exchange platform to monitor and evaluate progress and impact[12].
  • Investment Readiness Facility: Government of Grenada along with World Bank and WorldFish Centre would be the co-facilitators of this action group which would be working on: pipeline development/creative pathways; country risk assessment; safeguards; instruments for Blue Growth. The following were identified as instruments for Blue Growth: Debt for Adaptation Swap; Blue Bond Principles; Insurance.
  • Grenada Partnership/Deal:
  • Partners: Hon Roland Bhola, Minister of Agriculture, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Prosperity of the Commons International (PCI) and the University of Queenland. Intended to ‘combine action’ on Grenada’s fisheries sector. The parties envisaged a full agreement by the fourth quarter of 2015, following consultations with local stakeholders.
  • Improving Livelihoods of Fishers: In order to improve the livelihoods of fishers in Grenada an integrated approach was envisaged. Under consideration would be:
    • Specialised Development Zones: specialised development zones with community involvement and ownership.
    • Coral reef restoration
    • Renewable energy to improve fishing operations, pre and post-harvest.
  • Grenada, a place to harvest projects and deals: Participants welcomed the announced ‘deal’ as an integral part of the agenda which would ‘attract positive attention and make Grenada a place to harvest projects and deals to come to solutions.’
  1. Caribbean Region Dialogue with the G20 Development Working Group, April 2015[13]:

In April 2015, CARICOM leaders participated in an inaugural dialogue with the Development Working Group of the G20 nations in Washington. Also participating were other regional and international organisations and development partners. Among areas discussed were:

  • Caribbean Blue Economy: opportunities and challenges re development of Caribbean Blue Economy. Grenada gave a presentation on the country’s policy and institutional progress in transitioning to a blue economy ocean state;
  • Domestic Resource Mobilisation: New and innovative sources financing such as Disapora Bonds and Blue Bonds were discussed as sources with ‘strong potential to scale up domestic resource mobilisation flows.’
  1. Plenary Meeting of the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, New York, September 2015[14]:

Grenada’s Prime Minister was at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Prime Minister spoke of Grenada’s efforts to ‘green’ its economy. He highlighted the following:

  • Electricity Sector:
    • New Electricity Act: The country was working to create a new Electricity Supply Act with a view to going 100% renewables in line with SDG 7[15] on Energy and SDG 13[16] on Climate.
    • US Pilot Country for Transformation of Power Sector: The United States selected Grenada as the pilot country for the transformation of the power sector in the Caribbean.
    • Support from Other Partners: Grenada was also receiving support from China, Venezuela, Germany, New Zealand and others in addressing its energy challenges and attempts to transform the sector.
  • Price on Carbon/Fuel Levy[17]: Grenada had also introduced a price on carbon through a fuel levy which was also helping to improve its fiscal space.
  • Blue Grenada Investment Strategy: Grenada was working with the Government of the Netherlands, the World Bank and others on the Global ActionNetwork for Blue Growth and Food Security and also a Blue Grenada investment strategy
  • Global Blue Growth Investment Conference: Working with its partners, in April of 2016, Grenada would host a Global Blue Growth Investment Conference ‘designed to move the needle on ocean health and wealth.’
  • We Are the Oceans Initiative: Grenada had also joined with Dominica and the Marshall Islands to promote a new initiative called, We Are the Oceans, which would begin by educating youth.
  1. Blue Week 2016 and Blue Growth Investment Conference, St George’s Grenada, April 2016:
    • Blue Week 2016:

The Blue Week 2016 brochure announced an International Conference to Promote Blue Growth and Investment to be held in Grenada over the period 14-22 May 2016. The theme for the conference was ‘towards unlocking the value of maritime and coastal assets for economic growth while conserving natural and social capital.’ Blue Week 2016 was organised and hosted by the Government of Grenada with support from the Government of the Netherlands and in collaboration with the Global Ocean Forum (GOF), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the Clinton Climate Initiative, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, RARE, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Organisation of American States (OAS), the University of Delaware’s Gerard J Mangone Center for Marine Policy, GLISPA, and other public and private partners. According to the information brochure, the Blue Week Conference represented 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.

  • Objectives:

Among the objectives identified were the following: establish a Blue Growth Network; identify partnerships for promoting bankable projects and secure investment in the priority sectors; design the elements of an Oceans Campaign to promote Blue Growth, Investment and Food Security by working with Ocean Champions.

  • Agenda/Presentations:

Among Speakers and their presentations were the following:

  • Hon Roland Bhola Minister of Agriculture: Grenada’s Blue Policy Package; The Experience of Grenada in Pursuit of Blue Growth
  • Raymond Moldenhauer, Master Planner: Cohesive Vision for Grenada’s Blue Master Plan
  • Raymond Moldenhauer with Irina Kostka: Transformational Planning — The Carenage; Grenada’s Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan Process, Plan Strategy and Next Steps
  • Ambassador Dr Angus Friday: The Role of the Blue Growth Network and Grenada’s Blue Innovation Institute; Future of the Blue Economy for SIDS — The Role of the Blue Growth Network and Grenada’s Blue Innovation Institute
  • Robert Weary, The Nature Conservancy: Debt for Nature Swaps in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Ambassador Dr Lutz Gorgens, German Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean: Debt for Nature Swap Partnership Grenada
  • Keynote Address by Prime Minister Mitchell of Grenada[18]:

In his address the Rt Hon Prime Minister noted as follows:

  • Standard for Sustainability: “……we are seeking to develop our nation as a standard for sustainability. We are therefore delighted to be part of this campaign and part of the Blue Growth Network…”
  • Caribbean Challenge Initiative and TNC Co-operation: “This work, together with our cooperation with TNC and the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, is helping Grenada to develop its natural capital and its blue economy….”
  • Blue Policy Package and Commitment to Conservation: “We are announcing a blue policy package and we have already committed to conserve 25% of our near shore marine resources.”
  • Draft Coastal Master Plan: “… we have developed a draft coastal master plan.
    • Blue Economy Clusters: “This draft plan has identified blue economy clusters from Petit Martinique in the North, to Point Salines in the South.”
    • Investment Options: Investment options valued at over $1 billion dollars have been proposed. This covers pollution management, fisheries, marine protected areas, coastal resilience, coastal communities, and coastal and marine tourism activities, amongst others….”
  • Grenada Partnerships:

Parley for the Oceans: The following agenda items were noted: A presentation on Recycled Ocean Plastics as a Blue Growth Strategy: The GrenadaParley Partnership and also the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Parley and the Government of Grenada.  A posting on the UN Oceans Conference website[19] advised: Reduce Ocean plastic in Grenada by avoiding, intercepting and reducing use of plastics in partnership with Parley for the Oceans and Adidas.’ It advised that in May 2016 a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Government of Grenada and the Parley team. This would permit ‘Parley to initiate their Avoid, Intercept, Redesign (AIR) strategy to focus on reducing and eliminating the amount of plastic that ends up at the Grenada’s landfills.’

  1. Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean[20]:

This is a publication of the World Bank. According to the Foreword, written by Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, this publication is intended ‘to serve as a guide to help Caribbean policymakers plan a successful transition to a blue economy and to socially equitable growth.’ It provides the following definition of ‘blue economy’: ‘blue economy concept is a lens by which to view and develop policy agendas that simultaneously enhance ocean health and economic growth in manner consistent with principles of social equity and inclusion.’ It is interesting to note that Grenada was identified as regional and global leader in the development of ‘blue economy’ and a summary of |Grenada’s Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan is found in Annex 4 of the report.

  1. PangeaSeed Foundation Seawalls Murals for Ocean Project[21]:

In January 2017, Pangeaseed Founation announced a Seawalls Murals for Ocean Project to be implemented in Grenada[22] supported by the Blue Growth Network. PangeaSeed employs art activism to support ocean protection, using art as means of education and sensitization, re oceans.

  1. Blue Week 2017:

Over the period 24 January to 5 February 2017, Grenada hosted Sustainable Islands, Blue Week 2017. The agenda advised that Blue Week was a series of informal consultations on the Small States Forum; SIDS Finance; Blue Network; Blue Innovation Institute; Debt for Nature Swap and Blue Grenada. Prime Minister Mitchell, in his role as chairman of the Small States Forum of the World Bank, had called an informal meeting to provide guidance on Grenada’s chairing of the Small States Forum and Grenada’s partnerships relating to Blue Growth and Blue Grenada. According to agenda brief, the Blue Week meeting(s) was/were co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment in co-operation with the Ministries of Fisheries and Finance.

10.1.    Participants and Attendees:

Participants expected to attend were high level international executives:

  • World Bank: including the Vice President for the Operation Programme for Caribbean States (OPSC); the Executive Director of the Board; Vice President OECS World Bank;
  • Others: Clinton Foundation; UNDP; UNEP: OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development); The Nature Conservancy(TNC); Caribbean Challenge Initiative(CCI); Germany; FAO; the Netherlands; White Oak; Parley; PangeaSeed
  • Grenada Core Sustainability and Blue Teams: Who are these persons?

10.2.    Broad Objectives:

The 5 broad objectives for Blue Week 2017 were:

  1. Design of Road Map to Guide Chairman’s Tenure: Provide inputs to inform the design of a road map for PM Mitchell’s chairmanship of the World Bank’s Small States Forum (October 2016 – October 2018)
  2. SIDS Access to Financing: Consider options for improving access to finance for SIDS/Small States including a dedicated SIDS/Small States fund
  • Optimisation of SDG14 Conference on Oceans 2017 re Blue Growth: Identify ways in which the Blue Growth Network, BluNet, the Blue Innovation Institute and Blue Grenada could optimize the United Nations Conference on SDG14 on Oceans in June 2017.
  1. Blue Innovation Institute/Debt for Nature Swap: Identify, agree and take action upon key next steps for the development of the Blue Innovation Institute including the debt for nature swap as a financing mechanism.
    1. Blue Innovation Institute/New Blue Masdar Village: “…the Blue Innovation Institute is a major pillar in the Blue Grenada strategy, the institute will be an international concern as a global centre of excellence with Grenada playing one of the leading roles in partnership with others. The Institute will serve as a hub for training, knowledge exchanges, innovation, spin-offs and private sector investment. It is envisaged that the institute will be the central piece in a new Blue Masdar Village”.[23],[24] (Is Isle de Ronde targeted to be the ‘new Blue Masdar Village?’)
  2. Next Steps for Blue Grenada: Identify, agree and take action upon key next steps for Blue Grenada including on resilience and key economic projects.

10.3.    Desired Outcomes:

Among the desired outcomes identified were the following:

  1. Small States:
    1. A roadmap to make the Small States Forum a ‘platform’ for improving access to capital with third parties
    2. Advisory Group. Establishment of the Prime Minister’s small states multi-stakeholder advisory team of experts from across Grenada’s political spectrum
    3. SIDS Fund. Agree on key elements that would shape the development of an international Sustainable Development Fund for SIDS (ideally with Grenada hosting some aspect of this fund).
  2. United Nations
    1. SDG 14: A plan for optimising the UN meeting on SDG 14/Oceans in June 2017 for the development of the Blue Institute, Blue Growth Network, BluNet and Blue Grenada
  3. Blue Innovation Institute
    1. Administration: Articles, Registration, Secretariat; also Priorities and Budget allocations for Year One activities of the Blue Innovation Institute
    2. Coral Park: Agreement on the development of the new coral sculpture park (including new shipwreck). Update on partnerships: UNEP, TNC, Punta Cana, Grenada Dive Association; Cousteau Divers.
    3. Public Education: Selection of sites and implementation of ocean murals with PangeaSeed
    4. Training: Agreement with FAO on timing for first regional training programme on Aquaculture
    5. Plastics: Agreements and partnerships to implement the Grenada-Parley Ocean Plastic Programme
  4. Blue Finance
    1. Debt for Nature Swap 1. Final cabinet submission for the debt for nature swap and finalisation of principles for engagement with TNC and Germany
    2. Debt for Nature Swap 2: Agreeing to a set of principles with the World Bank for a second, follow-up, debt for nature swap.
    3. Blue Insurance. Identification of possible linkages between the Debt for Nature Swap and COAST (a new fisheries insurance being led locally[25] with support from the World bank and US State Department)
    4. Blue Grants: Establishment of the Blue Grenada Project Fund for small businesses; a collaboration between the Blue Innovation Institute and GIDC
    5. Blue Bond: Roadmap and Roadshow for financing blue economy developments in Grenada including key marina and port development projects
    6. Blue Carbon: Roadmap for valuing Grenada’s mangrove and policies to spur mangrove replanting.
    7. Green Climate Fund: Establishing the principle of at least 2 Grenadian specialised entities to access the Green Climate Fund
  5. Blue Grenada
    1. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Coastal resilience Program with OECD
    2. Marine Spatial Planning: Grenada Master Plan follow-up and update on the OECS/World Bank Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project.
    3. Personnel: A roster and CV database of Grenada’s Blue Economy experts and consultants.
    4. Policies: Review of Grenada’s ‘Blue Policy Package’; identification of next steps
    5. PR and Marketing: Roadmap to Blue Month; January/February 2018
    6. Blue Book: Structure and timetable for publishing Grenada’s Blue Book
  1. Coastal and Marine Areas Grab/Exclusion and the Lack of Transparency:

There are many questions to be asked. For a start: How much was Master Planner, Raymond Mauldenhauer, paid for the development of the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan? Who supervised or reviewed his work? Who makes up Grenada’s Core Sustainability and Blue Teams? Who are the members of the Prime Minister’s small states ‘multi-stakeholder advisory team of experts from across Grenada’s political spectrum?’ What is the ‘Blue Policy Package?’ How will Blue Bonds work? What is the status of the International Spice Institute re MOU agreed with Kingdom of the Netherlands? Is the Netherlands-registered company Chimera’s alleged interest in doing business with the GCNA connected in any way to this MOU? Is the Government of Grenada talking with/given any undertakings to interested parties in respect of Kick-em-Jenny? Are Isle de Ronde and Isle de Caille targeted to be the Blue Masdar village?

If Blue Economy is based on the Green Economy concept, it should embody sustainability and equity. We the people have been excluded from the process (??) of ‘blue growth planning’ and there is a worrying ABSENCE OF TRANSPARENCY in respect of actions and decisions of the Government of Grenada. It appears to be a well-planned agenda, driven by the World Bank and other external ‘partners.’ Decisions and actions of the Government will have significant impact on OUR RESOURCES and on our lives and livelihoods and those of our children and grandchildren. The proposals that are rolled out in the Blue Growth Coastal Master Plan can only be described as a COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS GRAB! Most of them are also technically flawed in the context of action to protect against climate change. Are we the people, the shareholders of Grenada plc. going to sit by and be OBJECTS to be acted upon? We may be blissfully unaware, but the Blue Growth Plan is unfolding around us! WHOSE PLAN and WHOSE AGENDA?

Grenada, a place to harvest projects and deals!! As the ‘silly season’ rolls around, it is incumbent that we the people MIND OUR BUSINESS.


[1] Mt Hartman Development is associated with Charles Liu

[2] Levera is home to the Levera Lake and wetlands, protected as an international Ramsar site; the Levera Beach is also the nesting site of the critically endangered and protected leatherback turtle; this development is now being spearheaded by the controversial Robert Martin Oveson, a Citizenship by Investment agent.

[3] Downloaded at http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/358651480931239134/pdf/AUS20778-WP-P156854-ABSTRACT-EMAILED-grenada-PUBLIC.pdf

[4] Downloaded at https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25061/Demystifying0t0the0Caribbean0Region.pdf?sequence=4

[5] World Bank Press Release, Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth opens in The Hague at http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/04/22/global-oceans-action-summit-food-security-blue-growth-hague

[6] Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean, Box 3.1. pg. 43

[7] http://www.globaloceansactionsummit.com/

[8] https://www.government.nl/latest/news/2014/04/24/highlevelroundtableatglobaloceansactionsummit

[9]http://www.gov.gd/egov/news/2014/apr14/24_04_14/item_2/grenada_netherlands_10_million_sustainable_growth_cooperation.html

[10] http://thenewtoday.gd/local-news/2014/05/21/bhola-establishment-ocean-government-institute/#gsc.tab=0

[11]Information has been extracted from the Co-Chairs’ Summary Report

[12] https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Events/DakAgri2015/Fisheries_and_Aquaculture_in_the_Context_of_Blue_Economy.pdf , pg. 10

[13]Outcome Statement:  Caribbean Region Dialogue with the G20 Development Working Group, Washington DC, 13 April 2015

[14] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/20883grenada.pdf

[15] SDG7:  Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

[16] SDG 13:  Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

[17]an EC$1.5 per gallon petrol tax increase was implemented in 2 steps in September and October 2015 as a fiscal adjustment measure to make up for the shortfall on revenue from the Petrocaribe facility due to the decline in global oil prices.

[18]http://www.gov.gd/egov/news/2016/may16/18_05_16/item_3/pmremarksbluegrowthconference.Html accessed 2016

[19] https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/?id=14552

[20]https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/25061/Demystifying0t0the0Caribbean0Region.pdf?sequence=4&isAllowed=y

[21] https://www.pangeaseed.foundation/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SW.Grenada.Partnership.Proposal.pdf

[22] Note the art work done around Independence on the wall in the vicinity of the netball court of the Tanteen Recreation Ground

[23] Sustainable Islands Week 2017, Brief and Agenda, pg. 5 , Grenada’s Growing Blue Growth Clusters

[24] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City

[25] Led locally by the Permanent Secretary  of Agriculture and the Director of Technical Co-operation, Ministry of Economic Development

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