by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- CDB delegates explored Pure Grenada tourism sites
- Saw some of the island’s marine life and attractions as part of the thrust towards harnessing the potential of the Blue Economy
The 48th Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Development Bank’s Board of Governors concluded in Grenada last Friday, was deemed a success. CDB delegates explored what Pure Grenada had to offer, including the Underwater Sculpture Park in the Molinere-Beauséjour marine protected area and some of Grenada’s other iconic tourism sites.
At the meeting which took place from Sunday, 27 May to 1 June, areas of building resilience among member states were placed high on the agenda, including building resilient cities across the Caribbean and leveraging the Blue Economy for maintaining sustainable growth.
The delegates saw some of the island’s marine life and attractions and how they are maximised as part of the thrust towards harnessing the potential of the Blue Economy.
Last week the Blue Economy was also discussed during the CDB meeting where a recent study entitled “The Blue Economy: A Caribbean Development Opportunity” was presented. This study went into detailing the potential of the ocean-based economy for the region and also presented possible financing options available at the regional level.
According to the released issued by the CDB, the paper, produced in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), identifies 4 key industries which could be targeted for further growth under a blue economy strategy, namely, fisheries and aquaculture; coastal and marine tourism; marine renewable energy; and marine transport. It also suggests that a blue economy strategy cannot be applied uniformly across all countries in the region but can provide an opportunity to collaborate with regional peers to achieve greater efficiency and output.
The study explores the enablers required for an effective blue economy growth strategy:
- regional policy for economic sharing;
- regional agency for ocean governance and management;
- efficient regulatory framework for doing business and supportive infrastructure;
- advocacy and participatory development;
- a regional knowledge hub for efficient information sharing; and
- potential innovative financing mechanisms for the development of the blue economy.
Minister of Finance of Guyana and CDB Governor for Guyana, Hon. Winston Jordan, was particularly pleased to have started the discussion on the economic benefits that can be derived from investing in the Blue Economy. “It is good that the discussion has started and that we can tap into resources that are available regionally and externally to capitalise on the blue economy.”
Jordan said that 5/8 of Guyana is covered in forest and there is a programme with Norway to save the forest. Jordan said, “Grenada should try to save the ocean.”
CDB Director for Trinidad and Tobago Joanne Deoraj was particularly pleased with the tour of the Underwater Sculpture Park. “The delegation was split up into two groups; some did land tours while others did the ocean tour. We got to see some fantastic concept of the Underwater Sculpture Park and a bit of snorkelling, which is part of the tourism product and blue economy, and excellent opportunity to market Grenada’s tourism product offering.”
Some of the delegates gave other aspects of Grenada’s tourism product kudos. VP Corporate Services, CDB, Yvette Lemonias Seale, said she was blown away by the hospitality and cuisine on the island. “The cuisine was the highlight of our week here in Grenada; most people spoke of the foods. We had a cultural night, and we got to sample all of the foods on display. We got to sample your oil down which brought back memories of Jamaica since we also use much of the ingredients. We also saw your spice mas carnival costumes which I enjoyed.”
Darran Newman, Division Chief (Acting), Technical Cooperation, CDB Jamaica described her experience in Grenada as unique. “It been a really productive meeting in the beautiful spice island Grenada and while it was a lot of business, there was also a lot of comraderies with our partners within the region, and we shared a lot of challenges as we move toward solutions.”
CDB Adviser from Trinidad and Tobago, Stacy Mohamed said this was her first visit to Grenada but wouldn’t be her last. “The trip for me was good this was my second time attending this meeting but my first time in Grenada. I thoroughly look forward to these meetings, I felt that the topics this year was quite relevant for the region given the effects of last year’s hurricane season.”
The idea of tapping into the blue economy was first presented during the hosting of the Regional Blue Week and Investment Conference, the first Strategy Meeting for Action on Blue Growth held in 2016.