The Challenge formed part of the Commission’s public education and awareness campaign under the project, Building Resilience in the Eastern Caribbean Through a Reduction in Marine Litter (ReMLit), and had a two-fold objective. In the first instance, it aimed to orient OECS Journalists to the state of the OECS marine space, contibuting factors, consequences, and the various initiatives underway to address the problem of marine litter within the context of the OECS Member States development priorities. In that regard, twenty-eight reporters from across the OECS participated in a Clean Oceans Deep Dive knowledge forum in July.
The Challenge was also designed as an inclusive approach to involve journalists and reporters in the process of raising awareness among OECS citizens. To this end, the main requirement was that participants generate stories to help OECS Nationals make the connection between the problem of poor waste disposal practices, ocean pollution, the Circular Economy, and the Blue Economy. This was consistent with the OECS Commission’s recognition that all sectors and especially those engaged in information and public enagement are key pillars in creating greater stewardship for our environmental resources.
The overall winning entry was submitted by independent film producer Dale Elliot, a 40 minute documentary entitled Clear Waters, which examines how marine pollution affects various facets of the Circular and Blue economy.
The second place submission was a five-part video series by video blogger Sorana Mitchell, which explored factors contributing to ocean pollution, and the policies and programmes that are being implemented at a national level in Grenada in support of the Blue and Circular Economy agenda.
Antiguan writer Joanne Hillhouse submitted a two-part multimedia series spotlighting marine culture. The submission spotlighted the common view that the ocean is a never-ending resource, which is consequently overeploited and under-managed.
In a short virtual ceremony on Thursday, December 2, officials of the OECS Commission and heads of ReMLit National Focal Agencies in Saint Lucia, Grenada and Antigua celebrated the winners with tropies, certificates and prizes in the amounts of EC$5,500, $4,500 and $3,500 respectively.
Upon receiving their prizes, the winners shared the most significant takeways from their participation in the Challenge.
The ReMLit Project is being implemented by the OECS Ocean Governance and Fisheries Programme with the support of the Government of Norway.