Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
Permanent Secretary Dr. Marcia Potter and Marine Biologist Mr. Mervin Hastings from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration will be attending the eleventh meeting of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States Ocean Governance team in St. Lucia from October 8 to 10.
Dr. Potter said the Government of the Virgin Islands understands the importance of the Ocean Governance team meeting and is committed to strengthening the relationships and partnerships within the OECS in an effort to become more integrated in the region.
Dr. Potter said, “I am looking forward to the meeting and working with our regional counterparts to ensure we have the policies and strategies in place to govern our ocean spaces as this is an integral part of our livelihood and sustainable development in the region.”
The Permanent Secretary added, “As a Territory we can achieve much growth centered on an ocean-based economy and so the dialogue on the role of our coastal waters is important. But while we build that aspect of our economy, we must ensure its protection at the same time. That balance is important.”
Meanwhile, Marine Biologist in the Environmental and Climate Change Unit, Mr. Hastings said that it is extremely important that oceans and the overall quality of the marine environment are properly managed as everyone depend on it whether it be economically or socially.
“As a small island developing state, our marine environment starts as high as Sage Mountain as everything we do on land has an effect on and in our oceans,” Mr. Hastings added.
The theme of the three day meeting is “OECS Ocean Governance Frameworks: Transitioning to a Blue Economy”, and focus will be placed on issues including the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), Effective Ocean Governance Coordination, and the Proposed Enhanced Eastern Caribbean Region Ocean Policy (ECROP).
The Government of the Virgin Islands is working diligently to improve the quality of life of the people of the Territory and is enacting legislation and policies that will protect and preserve the environment of the Virgin Islands by adhering to Caribbean and global standards in Climate Change.