FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Local community enterprises are a pathway to a blue economy

Port of Spain, November 26, 2018 – Local community enterprises are a powerful pathway to a blue economy that is inclusive and fair, environmentally sustainable and resilient.

This was the message from a side event at the international Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held this week in Nairobi, Kenya by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI).  The event entitled “Local blue enterprises: SIDS inclusive economic development through community-led conservation and social enterprises” attracted participants from the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, the Pacific, the United States and Europe.

The international conference is being attended by over 4,000 participants from all over the world, including a strong Caribbean contingent from government, regional agencies and civil society.  The conference is exploring how ocean resources can be sustainably used to support inclusive economic development.  CANARI’s participation was supported by the Commonwealth Foundation.

CANARI’s Executive Director, Nicole Leotaud, explained that blue economy is based on the same principles as green economy but focuses on ocean resources.  She emphasised that “it’s not important what colour we call it, but that we focus on the four key principles of economic development, environmental sustainability, inclusiveness, and resilience to climate change and natural hazards.”

She presented a tool developed by the Institute to support local community small and micro-enterprises to enhance their delivery of economic, environmental and social co-benefits.  The self-assessment tool is called the Local Green-Blue Enterprises Radar and uses specific indicators of economic, environmental and social benefits to help community entrepreneurs identify where their business is strong and where they can improve.

Dennis Sammy of Future Fishers shared the case of “blue enterprises” based on ecotourism to view nesting leatherback sea turtles developed by communities in north-east Trinidad.  He explained how a cluster of associated complementary community enterprises have been catalysed, for example making jewelry from recycled glass and making chocolate products from local cocoa.  He gave concrete examples of jobs created, social benefits to the local communities, and biodiversity conservation achieved.

CANARI has been piloting the Local Green-Blue Enterprises Radar with community SMEs in Trinidad and Tobago and is starting to roll it out in other Caribbean islands.  Participants in the international conference asked how they could use the Radar to help community enterprises in their countries.

CANARI invited participants to join it and other members of the Green Economy Coalition to sign the Santa Cruz Declaration on Local Green Enterprises as part of a global campaign, which will be presented at the upcoming 2019 Ministerial Conference of the United Nations Partnership for Action on Green Economy.

CANARI developed the Local Green-Blue Enterprises Radar and is working on the Santa Cruz Declaration on Local Green Enterprises under the #GE4U: Transformation towards an inclusive green economy in the Caribbean project being supported by the European Union (DCI-ENV/2016/372-847).

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About CANARI

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for nearly 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.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for nearly 30 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships. See here for more information on CANARI: http://www.canari.org/.

For more information on the #GE4U: Transformation towards an inclusive green economy in the Caribbean project see http://www.canari.org/ge4u.

For further information, please contact: Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director of CANARI at [email protected] or +1-868-626-6062.