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Stakeholders make plans for marine resources in the Grenadines

Stakeholders make plans for  marine resources in the Grenadines

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Fifty years from now, what do you hope to see in the marine areas surrounding the Grenadines? This was one of many questions posed to marine resource users, government officials, academics, community-based organizations and other stakeholders as part of a visioning exercise during a two-day workshop held from January 27 to 28 to discuss the future of sustainable development and management in the Grenadines.{{more}}

The objective of the workshop was to kick-off stakeholder discussions as part of a project to develop a regionally appropriate framework for a comprehensive multi-use zoning plan for the Grenadine Islands. Attending the workshop were officials from the governments of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada, marine resource users (fishers, water taxi operators, members of the yachting community, dive shop operators, etc.), staff from Sandy Island/Oyster Bed, Moliniere-Beausejour and Tobago Cays Marine Parks, as well as representatives from the University of the West Indies, St. George’s University, the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum (CaMPAM), Sustainable Grenadines Inc. (SusGren), and the Environmental Law Institute.

Workshop participants were asked to identify and prioritize visions for the future of the marine environment in the Grenadines. The resulting visions fell under four major themes: 1) intergovernmental coordination and policy, 2) uses (including recreation & tourism, planning & development, management & conservation, and fishing), 3) education and awareness, and 4) healthy resources. Visions that were deemed by stakeholders as high priority were then used to identify goals for marine resource management and spatial planning in the area. Barriers to achieving these goals and strategies for addressing such obstacles were also discussed.

The visions, goals, barriers and strategies identified through the visioning session have set the stage for the project and have provided a general platform from which to build a multi-use zoning plan for the area. The next step in the project will be a series of community meetings on each of the seven inhabited Grenadine islands in June. These meetings will serve as a means of informing a broad range of marine resource users on the progress of the project, and ensuring their values and knowledge are included in the spatial planning process. All stakeholders will then be brought together for a follow-up workshop in August.

This project is being implemented by SusGren, a Grenadine NGO, with funding from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP). For more information, please contact SusGren ([email protected], telephone 784.485.8779).