UN agencies and regional partners convene on sustainable fisheries and a healthier marine environment

Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 — Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The UN, OECS and other key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project (“the UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project”) assembled from the 6th to 9th September in Miami to discuss and plan coordinated action towards the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region. 

Pollution, habitat degradation and unsustainable fisheries and fishing practices have increasingly impacted ecosystem health in the CLME+ region. To address these issues, the region adopted a 10-year Strategic Action Programme (“the CLME+ SAP”, 2015-2025), working towards the long-term vision of “a healthy marine environment that provides benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of its people”.

The action programme, which to date has been politically endorsed by 24 countries, is being catalysed through a 5-year project, “the CLME+ Project”, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The Project which is supported by the Global Environment Facility  through a grant of USD 12,5 million, initiated activities in 2015.

It will facilitate Ecosystem-Based Management and the implementation of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries in the region. It gives special attention to key fisheries, such as spiny lobster, flyingfish, shrimp and ground fish, as well as key marine and coastal habitats such as mangroves and coral reefs.

To support CLME+ Project and SAP implementation, a growing alliance of partner organisations is now under the making, including CLME+ countries, several UN bodies, Inter-Governmental Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations native to the CLME+ region.

Meetings

Tuesday and Wednesday saw the CLME+ Project Executive Group convene for its second session since the project´s start in 2015, with representatives from CANARI, CERMES-UWI, CRFM, GCFI, FAO, IOC of UNESCO/IOCARIBE, OSPESCA, UNEP-CEP, UNDP GEF, UNOPS and the CLME+ Project Coordination Unit (PCU). They examined current project progress, shared experiences through presentations and discussions, and reviewed the work plan for the coming year.

The session followed up on the recommendations of the first meeting of the CLME+ Steering Committee, which was held earlier this year in Cartagena, Colombia, and which counted with the participation of representatives from 22 countries.

Thursday and Friday, representatives from the following Inter-Governmental Organisations with a formal mandate for fisheries and environmental protection in the region convened to evaluate and further plan overall progress under the 10-year CLME+ Strategic Action Programme: UNEP CEP, IOC of UNESCO, FAO/FAO-WECAFC, OECS Commission, CARICOM Secretariat, CRFM and OSPESCA.

Forthcoming work expected under the CLME+ Project and SAP includes, amongst others the initiation of the development of region-wide action plans to deal with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, the protection and restoration of key marine habitats, the reduction of pollution from land-based sources, and the development of a collaborative effort to map and report on the state of the marine ecosystems in the region.

About

CLME+ Project

The UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project is a 5-year project (2015-2020) implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and co-financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The CLME+ Project is executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in close collaboration with a large number of global, regional and national-level partners. The regional Project Coordination Unit is located within the IOCARIBE Offices of the IOC of UNESCO, in Cartagena, Colombia. 

CANARI

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute aims to promote and facilitate equitable participation and effective collaboration in the management of natural resources critical to development in the Caribbean islands, so that people will have a better quality of life and natural resources will be conserved, through action learning, research, capacity building, communication and fostering partnerships.

CERMES/UWI

The mission of the Centre for Resource Management & Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies is to make a significant contribution to sustainable development in the Caribbean region. It responds to the concerns of member countries regarding incorporation of environmental issues into sustainable development by creating a multidisciplinary programme.

CARICOM

The Caribbean Community is a grouping of twenty countries, stretching from The Bahamas in the North to Suriname and Guyana in South America. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens. CARICOM rests on four main pillars: economic integration, foreign policy coordination, human and social development and security.

CRFM

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism is an intergovernmental organisation and specialized institution of the CARICOM mandated to promote and facilitate the responsible utilisation of fisheries and other aquatic resources in the region.

FAO­-WECAFC

The general objective of the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations is to promote the effective conservation, management and development of the living marine resources of the area of competence of the Commission, in accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and address common problems of fisheries management and development faced by members of the Commission.

GCFI

The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the exchange of information on the use and management of marine resources in the Gulf and Caribbean region. GCFI endeavours to involve scientific, governmental, and commercial sectors to provide a broad perspective on relevant issues, and to encourage dialogue among groups.

GEF

The Global Environment Facility is a financial mechanism that promotes international cooperation and fosters actions to protect the global environment. The GEF helps developing countries and those with economies in transition to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures designed to achieve global environmental benefits.

IOC of UNESCO/IOCARIBE

IOCARIBE is a regional subsidiary body of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). It is the IOC Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and adjacent regions and is responsible for the promotion, development and coordination of IOC marine scientific research programmes, the ocean services, and related activities, including Capacity Development for the benefit of its Member States.

OECS

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is the inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members.

The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has ten members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.

OSPESCA

The role of the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation is to encourage the development and the coordinated management of regional fisheries and aquaculture activities in the context of the Central American integration process.

UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme helps countries developing policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and building resilience in order to sustain development results. As a GEF Agency, UNDP implements a global portfolio of GEF co-funded Large Marine Ecosystem projects, among which the CLME+ Project.

UNEP-CEP

The Caribbean Environment Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme provides the programmatic framework for the Cartagena Convention adopted in 1983. This Convention is a regionally binding treaty that seeks to protect and develop the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.

UNOPS

The United Nations Office for Project Services mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

September 9th 2016 – Representatives from Intergovernmental Organisations and the CLME+ Project Coordination Unit (PCU) : From left to right: 1st row: Ms. Singh (CARICOM Secretariat), Ms. Walker (CLME+ PCU), Ms. Bahri (FAO), Mr. Toro (IOC of UNESCO), Mr. Debels (CLME+ PCU); 2nd raw: Mr. Emmanuel (OECS Commission), Mr. Martínez Casco (OSPESCA/SICA), <br/>Mr. Haughton (CRFM), Ms. Salinas (CLME+ PCU), Mr. Corbin (UNEP CEP). Photo: CLME+ PCU