CARICOM Member States becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize

Although the USA and the UK are said to be Belize’s top trading partners, the biggest declines in export sales so far this year were recorded for those destinations. Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize, particularly as they are now buying more of Belize’s main exports. All of the crude Belize sells now goes to Barbados, although exports were down for the first quarter.

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has published details on its website. The data indicates that of the nearly $23 million in export earnings Belize garnered from CARICOM for the first three months of the year, $8.7 million was from Barbados, $7 million from Jamaica and $5.9 million from Trinidad and Tobago. However, there was a fall in earnings from all three countries, with the most substantial decline in monetary value being for exports to Barbados.

Trinidad and Jamaica both buy sugar, and orange and grapefruit concentrate from Belize. In addition to the citrus concentrate juices, Barbados buys crude oil from Belize. Citrus concentrate juices are also the main domestic export which Guatemala takes from Belize.

Read more at: The Reporter

CARICOM Regional Statistics Strategy advances to Heads of Government

Ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs have recommended that the Strategic Framework of the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) be placed before CARICOM Heads of Government in July for endorsement.

The recommendation came after the Ministers deliberated on the Strategic Framework of the CARICOM RSDS during the Forty-Second Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers (Council) in Georgetown, Guyana, on 18 May, 2018.

Also to be placed before the Heads of Government for endorsement are the next steps such as the development of a comprehensive implementation plan for the RSDS. The plan will include costing, a Resource Mobilisation Strategy, a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and an Advocacy and Communication Strategy.

The RSDS should play a strategic role in strengthening statistics in the Region and improving its availability for evidence-based decision-making. It constitutes a shared foundation upon which statistical capacity will be developed. (more…)

CRFM, FAO launch Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, WEDNESDAY, 23 May 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa are collaborating to host the Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange – a 12-day study tour in three Caribbean countries.

Stakeholders from four Pacific territories – Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa – arrived in Barbados this weekend for the first leg of the tour, organised to facilitate the sharing of experiences among stakeholders from the Pacific and Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The tour will also facilitate the development of best practices to support sustainable development of small-scale fisheries which rely on the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs).

“We are very pleased to be able to host our visitors from the Pacific Islands and not only share our successes and knowledge regarding the use and management of FADs by our small-scale fishers to improve production of pelagic fishes, but also to learn from their experiences in the Pacific. This study tour is mutually beneficial to fisherfolk in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands”, Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM said. (more…)

Caribbean Fisheries Ministers endorse protocol for securing small-scale fisheries

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, WEDNESDAY, 23 May 2018 (CRFM)—Fisheries Ministers have endorsed a newly drafted protocol on Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the region. The endorsement came at the recently concluded 12th Regular Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), held in Montserrat on Friday, 18 May, 2018,

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, noted that small-scale fisheries are the mainstay of the fisheries industry, both in the Region and around the globe. He said that small-scale fisheries account for more than 95% of fisheries in CARICOM and are vital for food security and employment, particularly in coastal communities. Globally, it accounts for 90% of all the fisheries produced, Haughton said.

He explained that the Protocol had been developed within the framework of the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP), accepted by CRFM Member States in 2014. The protocol, which addresses principles and standards for securing and strengthening small-scale fisheries, is the first protocol under the CCCFP, he added.

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Rich variety of life on earth essential – UN SG marking biological diversity day

The welfare and prosperity of people now and in the future, depends on a “rich variety of life on earth” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his message for the International Day for Biological Diversity, marked on Tuesday.

Since December 1993, when the Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force, its parties have acted to conserve the earth’s flora and fauna, in a sustainable and fair way, said the UN chief.

“Achieving these objectives is integral to meet our goals for sustainable development,” Mr. Guterres stressed, underscoring the importance of protecting, restoring and ensuring access to ecosystems to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger: Goals 1 and 2 of what are known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To mitigate climate change, he notes that deforestation and land degradation must be reduced while at the same time, enhancing carbon stocks in forests, drylands, rangelands and croplands.

He said it was also critical to protect the biodiversity of forests and watersheds to support clean and plentiful water supplies.

Read more at: United Nations News