Barbados Minister Denis Lowe Underlines Importance of Oceans Governance for Caribbean Survival


Carol Gaskin reports that Minister of the Environment, Water Resources, and Drainage, Denis Lowe, recently told a Ministerial Roundtable for Ministers of Science in Paris, France that the call for integrated oceans governance must be taken from “just rhetoric to concerted, sustained action at the national, regional and international levels” for the sake of survival. He spoke at the roundtable “Building Stewardship for the Ocean: The Contribution of UNESCO to Responsible Ocean Governance,” which was part of the 35th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Lowe explained that at a time when governments are seeking agreements on actions to halt or decelerate the impacts of global climate change, deliberations on oceans, the main regulator of climate, takes on unprecedented significance. Noting that for Barbados it was important to be effective at the national level first Lowe observed that his country recognized that “the inevitable challenge of small geographic size did not allow us the luxury of a second chance if we failed to make good decisions using sound scientific principles.” According to the minister, Barbados learned several useful lessons en route to the “mature marine governance framework” for which this country was known, including the need for a sustainable national program.

He also stressed that “effective governance of the Caribbean Sea can only be achieved if every country that borders that great sea is involved,” adding that “we need to utilize the vast stores of expertise within universities across the world to work with us to implement these provisions. As oceans slowly acidify, fisheries are decimated, coral reefs become bleached and diseased, and our beaches erode, we need swift governance reforms.”

For full article by Carol Gaskin–26-26–.html

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