By Harald Linkels
Belize City- The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have presented a report with the findings of a study on the financing of so-called ‘Blue Economies’.
The study was executed within the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and CDB’s Strategic Plan, “Financing the Blue Economy: A Caribbean Development Opportunity”. The study examines the potential of the blue economy to drive sustained and inclusive economic growth.
The Paper, a joint initiative between CDB and the United Nations Development Programme, also explores factors that can constrain our Region’s ability to take full advantage of the ocean’s potential. New and high-value blue economy growth industries such as aquaculture, marine biotechnology, deep seabed mining, and ocean renewable energy remain under-developed in our Region.
Just last week, the Dutch Caribbean Island of Bonaire, just like Belize a big player in the regional Dive Industry and eco-tourism, named itself ‘the first blue destination’ in the world. The island, based on the idea of the Blue Economy, wants to market itself as a highly sustainable destination, making use of the sea surrounding the island.
The study executed by CDB and UNDP indicate that many economies in the Caribbean Region have not yet realized a sustainable economic growth and also concludes that economic development is not as ‘inclusive’ as it could be. This means that the economic development does not benefit parts of the population of the Caribbean countries, in spite of a thriving tourism industry.
The report provides important guidelines for countries such as Belize. Belize with its barrier reef and many islands would surely also qualify as a potential candidate for the transformation towards a Blue economy, but not much has been heard about this idea as of yet.
The complete report can be downloaded through the following link: http://issuu.com/caribank/docs/financing_the_blue_economy-_a_carib?e=21431045/61831833