Today is World Oceans Day
(Caribbean Natural Resources Institute) To celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8 on the theme of “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods,” the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) has released a podcast mini-series entitled “Blue-green enterprises: Caribbean journeys” which showcases the inspiring stories of six local community micro-enterprises using ocean resources to develop sustainable livelihoods and provide economic opportunities in their communities.
These local blue-green enterprises and others like them are critical to local economic development in coastal communities around the Caribbean. More than 134 million people who live on or near the coast are supported by the Caribbean Sea’s ocean economy. According to Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, “The sea is currently a subsistence resource for coastal villagers … these are the real people who are the human focus of our blue economy work … We want to help them move from subsistence to prosperity.”
Several Caribbean governments and international and regional agencies have seized on the promise of the “blue economy” for economic development, including as part of the COVID-19 recovery. Focus has been largely on expanding existing economic sectors, like fisheries, tourism and shipping, as well as developing new sectors such as seabed mining and offshore renewable energy. But there has not been enough emphasis on how blue economy can provide economic opportunities and benefits to the poor and vulnerable in coastal communities.