The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods
Recognition of World Oceans Day coming on the heels of World Biodiversity and Environment days is an exclamation point for small island and low-lying coastal developing States. Our dependence on the natural environment for life and livelihoods is actualized in our coastal communities, industries and productive sectors.
CARICOM is committed to promoting the protection and sustainable use of ocean life. This is enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas where Member States acknowledged the Caribbean Sea and its resources as a key factor in supporting the long-term vision of the CSME.
Resilience of human life too is a central development strategy of the Community, by necessity not luxury. The threat of sea level rise and coastal hazards from extreme events causes the Community to give priority to improving its relationship with the sea and its critical coastal habitats.
Through the plethora of challenges the Caribbean faces from COVID-19 and ever-intensifying annual extreme events, the tremendous potential of ocean-based economic growth as a recovery-engine is more and more apparent. It is recognized that achieving green recovery for SIDS without blue growth will be hard-pressed. We therefore continue efforts to promote good governance of our oceans through spatial planning, ocean science, inclusivity and integration of key sectors.
For us in CARICOM and indeed SIDS across the globe, harmony with ocean life and livelihoods is the only way to achieve climate safety, healthy and wholesome societies and sustainable economies for generations.