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BVI, small islands told to harness the sea for economic growth

Cane Garden Bay Beach on Tortola

The BVI and other small islands that are part of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are being urged to consider themselves as ‘large-ocean states’ because the waters that line their borders have great economic potential.

This challenge came from the Finance Minister for St Vincent and the Grenadines, Camillo Gonsalves who delivered the keynote address at the recent OECS Sustainable Development Movement (SDM 2020) conference.

He urged OECS members to invest in the blue economy as most of their jurisdictions are made up of the ocean rather than land.

“OECS territories are roughly 90 to 99 percent ocean. We may be ‘small island developing states’, but we are also ‘large-ocean developing states’. We are a lot bigger than we think we are. To ignore our vast seascape and its tremendous potential is developmental malpractice,” Gonsalves said.

The World Bank defines the blue economy as sustainable use of the resources of the world’s oceans and seas for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and improved health of the ocean’s ecosystems.

At the Sustainable Development Movement 2020 conference, the following blue investment opportunities were proposed: aquaculture, mariculture, fisheries, conversion of fish waste to fertiliser and other products, renewable energy exploration, waterfront development, fishing village resorts, coastal replanting, and beach nourishment.

Gonsalves urged the island states to retain a great degree of control of their marine resources and ocean space, even when partnering with responsible private enterprise.

He said governments of these Caribbean islands must not allow the private sector to entice them with capital, equipment, and specialised expertise as this often leads to exploitation of the marine environment of small states.

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  1. Hmmm says:

    So let’s sea. No sport fishing in the BVI….no income. No fishing for food… income. No harnessing ocean power for electricity….no income. No anchoring pleasure boats……no income. So let’s sea. How does the BVI and the ignorant Belonger plan on capturing the vast wealth of the sea that surrounds the Territory. Oh wait….I know!!! Let’s dump our sewage into the sea. That’s easier and cheaper than treating it. What a useless people.

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    • hmmm says:

      You are ignorant and obviously racist.

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    • @Hmmm says:

      Sports Fishing : yes the BVI has this

      Fishing: yes the BVI has this in droves, think lobster

      Hydroelectric: The only place would be behind Anegada and the trech is miles deep so not a viable option. we do have Solar.

      Anchoring: This happens everyday in the BVI

      Your hatred for the BVI is evident, so why are you here?

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    • @Hmmm says:

      Once upon a time, sewage was dumped onto the streets of London and also into the Thames. So how did the ignorant English figure that wasn’t a good idea…plague after plague. And how did they figure out that marrying their cousins and family members weren’t good ideas…when all their children starting looking like horses with ugly teeth.

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  2. Have Mercy! says:

    Lord, lookw what our peaceful, loving, no hate and nature blessed islands have come to.

    Help us oh lord god. We a paceeful land and people to a place filled with viruses of the environment and of the human mind and heart heart.

    The first thing we awake to now in the morning is a white man or woman spreading the hate virus through news media.

    What have we come to lord?

    Like 6
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  3. GTFOH says:

    I keep seeing certain idiots mentioning belonger this and belonger that when trying to insult people from the BVI. The idiots should know that a belonger can be of any color or from any part of the World by law.

    • Right says:

      This needs to be the standard response to those people. Belonger can be anyone of any race. Benefits for belongers is a good concept in the way people aspire to become Americans and receive the benefits of their status.

  4. Wondering says:

    Is OECS pushing the World Bank on the BVI??

    “He said governments of these Caribbean islands must not allow the private sector to entice them with capital, equipment, and specialised expertise as this often leads to exploitation of the marine environment of small states.”

    So go into huge debt with the World Bank? NDP please say no to the WORLD BANK, who only want to own and control the BVI?

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