Ocean resources in the Caribbean have the potential to make a much greater contribution to poverty reduction and shared prosperity for the region’s growing population of 40 million, and to increase their resilience to climate change. However, the natural systems underpinning the health of the Caribbean Sea are changing at an alarming rate and scale, largely due to human action occurring in the context of weak institutions. The Caribbean region has been at the forefront of a movement towards a blue economy. The region is home to a growing number of developing states that share the Caribbean Sea and have embraced the concept as the centerpiece of future growth strategies. Within the region, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission has established an Ocean Governance Unit whose mandate is to support articulation of clear policy frameworks for governance of the many economic activities dependent on the Caribbean Sea and to promote greater consideration of the ecosystem functions and services which the ocean provides for member states. Further, the OECS Heads of Government endorsed the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) in 2013.
Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) is designed in alignment with ECROP and has an overall objective to develop and implement integrated ocean governance policies to leverage sustainable public and private investment in the waters of OECS member states and other participating Caribbean countries. The first component of the CROP project is to strengthen ocean governance by: a) development of coastal and marine spatial plans and associated training; and b) development of national ocean strategies/policies for participating countries and enhanced alignment of the OECS ECROP with the 2030 Development Agenda and recent Multilateral Environmental Agreements. This will require the adoption of multiple-use ocean planning and integrated management techniques for better decision-making across transboundary marine systems to achieve regional blue economy aspirations. Subcomponents of this effort will include:
- Developing six static and dynamic Marine Spatial Plans (MSP) for better decision making in the participating countries: national MSPs for each of Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis, and one regional OECS MSP;
- Developing national coastal blue growth master plans;
- Conducting capacity building and training for staff and decision makers for marine spatial planning, implementation and integrated ocean governance; and
- Developing and implementing more effective regional and sectoral policies and strategies.
- Process facilitation.
TNC led the feasibility assessment for this effort. Future roles are TBD.
Lead Institution: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Other Partners: World Bank, UNDP/GEF CLME, Commonwealth Secretariat, CRFM
Project Type and Status
This MSP effort is in the pre-planning phase. The project is expected to get underway in 2018.
Fact Sheets and Project Links
Sherry Constantine, Ph.D.
Senior Program Manager
Photo credit: © Marjo Aho for The Nature Conservancy