OECS Member States to validate coastal and marine spatial plans

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CASTRIES, St Lucia — High-level policymakers and technical experts from five OECS Member States will later this month review and validate Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans for their respective countries.

The development of Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans is a major component of the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP), which is currently being implemented by the OECS Commission on behalf of five Member States – Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. A regional Marine Spatial Planning Framework is also being developed for the wider OECS region.

Following a third round of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) consultations with key stakeholders in these five member states from October to November of 2020, the consultant, Dillon Consulting Limited has prepared draft Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans for validation by Member States. The CMSP process has therefore reached a critical stage.

The Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans for the five CROP participating Member States is based on extensive consultation with key stakeholders at the national and community level, over the last two years. The CMSPs set the stage for blue growth investments and offer a 15-year timeframe to support the transition towards a Blue Economy through sustainable and equitable use of coastal and marine space, protecting coastal and marine ecosystems, and managing land-water interactions.

Guided by an evidence-based Island Systems Management approach and developed using a participatory process of stakeholder engagement, the plans serve as national blue economy roadmaps with interventions and investments aimed at achieving mutually reinforcing outcomes of good governance, economic growth, equitable development, environmental protection and climate resilience in the coastal and marine space.

The Validation Forum to review and validate Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans for the five CROP participating Member States is slated for Friday, February 26, 2021, at 2 p.m.

The Forum, which will be held virtually, will be preceded by the OECS CEO Breakfast on the vFairs platform as a build-up to SDM 2021. The CROP will have a dedicated vFairs booth displaying up-to-date project information, project documents, audio-visual presentations and links to the draft coastal and marine spatial plans.

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