CBS consultation opens tomorrow in Guyana

DPI, Guyana Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Fifty delegates from across the Caribbean will converge at the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Georgetown on Thursday, June 14, for a workshop to continue the development of a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS).

The two-day event will serve as the framework for support to CARICOM Member States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to implement the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan 2011-2020.

Regional civil society workshop to develop the CBS held in Jamaica, January 2018.

The regional framework will complement national, regional, and international initiatives to protect and sustainably use the Caribbean’s natural resources.

The CBS is an output under the Caribbean Hub sub-component of Phase II of the Programme for Capacity-Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The programme is supported by the European Union (EU) and UN Environment. The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is facilitating the development of the CBS for the CARICOM Secretariat.

The Guyana workshop hosts representatives from CARICOM Member States, regional and national Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academia, international organisations and the private sector. Delegates are expected to review and add to previously articulated stakeholder priorities from national and regional consultations and online surveys. A key focus of the consultation process thus far, is the emphasis on CSO perspectives, to ensure that their voices are heard, and their needs are met in the final strategy.

Programme Manager of the CARICOM Secretariat, Amrikha Singh said conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is essential for economic development, livelihoods and well-being for the people of the Caribbean.

“Mangroves, reefs and seagrass beds protect vulnerable coastlines from climate change and hurricanes. Forested watersheds are important for water supply. Agriculture relies on pollination of crops. Nature-based tourism drives economies,” Singh said.

Some priorities for the CBS articulated by CSOs and others include climate resilience, invasive species management, ecosystem restoration, among others.

Assistant Secretary-General of the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Douglas Slater, expects that at the end of the Guyana workshop, participants will have refined regional priorities and drilled into the key issues to inform the content of the strategy.

By: Alexis Rodney.