Port of Spain, December 17, 2018 – The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) has released a new publication entitled ‘People Managing Oceans’ developed by and for civil society, fisherfolk and community enterprises.  It is a framework to guide their practical actions for a healthy marine environment in the Caribbean Sea and North Brazil Shelf to provide benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of the people of the region.

Coastal and marine ecosystems and biodiversity are the basis for much of the region’s economic development and are also important for food security and resilience against climate change and natural hazards.  Recent global meetings on the blue economy and climate change have been filled with political rhetoric, and this is a refreshing focus on what people can do to achieve real change.  According to Orisha Joseph, Executive Director of Sustainable Grenadines and one of the civil society leaders who helped to develop the programme, “It is good when civil society has a say in what needs to be implemented, because we are the ones working on the ground.”

‘People Managing Oceans’ was published in English and Spanish.  It lays out an ambitious programme to unify and focus civil society action across the region to implement 8 strategies and 90 associated actions for management of key coastal and marine ecosystems: coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, pelagic ecosystems, and continental shelf ecosystems. It also outlines priorities for strengthening civil society’s capacity and enabling mechanisms for participatory governance and management of oceans.

This will support implementation of the ‘Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Shared Living Marine Resources of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems’, which was endorsed by governments of 25 countries and 6 overseas territories.  Civil society, fisherfolk and community enterprises see themselves as important partners in implementing this key regional plan.

‘People Managing Oceans’ was developed through a participatory process led by CANARI, a regional non-profit technical institute dedicated to facilitating and promoting participatory approaches to natural resource management.  CANARI conducted an in-depth stakeholder analysis to assess who were the key actors and what roles they were playing and could play.  Representatives of civil society, fisherfolk and community enterprises from across the region came together at a workshop in January 2018 in Trinidad and Tobago.  They collectively analysed the strategies and actions in the government-endorsed ‘Strategic Action Programme’ and identified areas where civil society could contribute to implementation.

The next step will be endorsement of ‘People Managing Oceans’ by civil society and fisherfolk organisations and community enterprises, as well as mobilising financial and technical support for them to undertake practical actions for conservation and sustainable use of our shared oceans.

The publications are available for download on CANARI’s website:



The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for 30 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development.  Our programmes focus on research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, capacity building and fostering regional partnerships.

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For further information, please contact:

Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director of CANARI at [email protected] or +1-868-638-6062.