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Bahamas attends Caribbean regional meeting on the Blue Economy

Blue Economy Regional meeting

The Bahamas Maritime Authority formed a part of The Bahamas delegation led by Honorable Renward R. Wells (Minister of Transport and Local Government) at International Maritime Organization (IMO) High Level Symposium (HLS) for Caribbean Ministers of Transport and Caribbean Senior Maritime Administrators (SMA) Workshop whichwas held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 26th February – 01 March 2019. The Ministerial Symposium and Workshop which was attended by representatives from eighteen (18) Caribbean Member States and six (6) Observer States. The Bahamas’ delegation comprised of Captain Dwain Hutchinson, BMA Acting Managing Director & CEO; Mrs. Katie Clarke, BMA Nassau branch manager and Commander Raymond King, Acting Port Controller.

The meeting’s theme was ‘Maritime Transportation: Harnessing the Blue Economy for the Sustainability Development of the Caribbean. The objective of the HLS was to update policymakers on the important challenges the States in the region face in ensuring the preservation of the marine environment on which they are heavily dependent for their socio-economic wellbeing. The Symposium sought to identify strategies to assist States in meeting their obligations under the IMO, particularly the marine environment protection and liability and compensation instruments.  The SMA Workshop aimed to enable exchange and identify regional needs to facilitate the effective implementation within the Caribbean of the IMO Conventions.

The IMO Secretary General Mr. Kitack Lim in addressing the meeting highlighted IMO’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and specifically SDG #14 “Life below the waters – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” Delegates were also reminded that the Blue Economy extended beyond Maritime Transport as its economic benefit and environmental impact also encompassed, among other sectors Tourism, Fisheries and Agriculture.

The attending Ministers and Caribbean Senior Maritime Administrators engaged in constructive and active dialogue with input provide by World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, Caribbean MOU on Port State Control, NAMEPA, Caribbean Maritime University, UNEP/RAC-REMPEITC and Women in Maritime Association Caribbean to address environmental challenges within the regions and possible solutions to address the same.

The outcome of the HLS meeting was the adoption of a Resolution reaffirming the Caribbean Minister’s commitment to regional support and cooperation aimed at factoring in the Blue Economy when considering the long term sustainability of the Caribbean Sea including adoption and implementation of the IMO Instruments.