Important Measures to Protect Caribbean Sea

Countries seeking to protect Caribbean Sea

BARBADOS, along with the Caribbean and Latin America, is seeking to get the Caribbean Sea recognised by the United Nations (UN) as a protected area for sustainable development.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business Donville Inniss stressed the point both yesterday and Monday at the Association of Caribbean States’ (ACS) Seventh Meeting of the Caribbean Sea Commission.

The first day of the meeting was held at Sherbourne Conference Centre, Two-Mile Hill, and continued yesterday at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, St Michael.

Inniss said: “Most of our economy is heavily dependent on the Caribbean Sea, as a source of income, via fisheries, and as an integral product in our tourism plant.

“Alas, it has for centuries past, been the highways for travel of goods and services within this region,” he added.

The 25-member ACS conference was to draft a resolution to have the waterway protected from environmental pollution, any accidents at sea involving ships carrying nuclear waste and the consequences of other man-made disasters.

He said because the Caribbean sea was a major highway for goods and services, “we therefore are duly bound to protect and enhance the Caribbean maritime states.

“Such must be done within clearly identified parameters that are shaped by regional commitment for sustainable development of our maritime space,” he said.

He urged everyone to do their part locally while the regional governments do theirs both at the national and international level so that their efforts could culminate by yearend at the UN General Assembly.

ACS secretary general Luis Fernando Andrade Falla said: “Based on the discussions yesterday [on Monday] and today [yesterday] we are going to present a report with the advice and guidance of the scientists . . . with research evidence of what is happening in the waters of the Caribbean.

“The 25-member countries will eventually benefit . . . and get more resources from international community,” he added.

One of the panelists, Dr Leonard Nurse, added that there were several regional environmental projects in the meanwhile, “and those programmes will prepare the region to better respond to the climate change both in terms of finding mitigating measures and finding ways to adapt to these threats.

“So that the governments in the region are not sitting idly by but there are still lots to be done but the process has begun,” he said.

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