October 6, 2016
Caribbean marine project partners meet on sustainable fisheries
Key partners of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems Project (UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project) recently met in Miami in Florida, USA, to discuss and plan coordinated action toward the sustainable management and use of living marine resources in the region.
Pollution, habitat degradation and unsustainable fisheries and fishing practices have increasingly impacted ecosystem health in the CLME+ region. To address these issues, the region adopted a 10-year Strategic Action Programme (CLME+ SAP, 2015-2025), working toward the long-term vision of "a healthy marine environment that provides benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of its people".
The action programme, which to date has been politically endorsed by 24 countries, is being catalysed through a five-year project (CLME+ Project), implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The project, which is supported by the Global Environment Facility through a grant of US$12.5 million, initiated activities in 2015.
It will facilitate ecosystem-based management and the implementation of an ecosystem approach to fisheries in the region. It gives special attention to key fisheries, such as spiny lobster, flying fish, shrimp and ground fish, as well as key marine and coastal habitats such as mangroves and coral reefs.
To support CLME+ Project and SAP implementation, a growing alliance of partner organisations is now under the making, including CLME+ countries, several UN bodies, inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations native to the CLME+ region.
On September 6-7, the CLME+ Project executive group convened for its second session since the project´s start in 2015, with representatives from various Caribbean fisheries and economic agencies, the UNDP and the UN Office for Project Services. They examined current project progress, shared experiences through presentations and discussions, and reviewed the work plan for the coming year.
The session followed up on the recommendations of the first meeting of the CLME+ steering committee, which was held earlier this year in Cartagena, Colombia.
On September 8-9, representatives from inter-governmental organisations with a formal mandate for fisheries and environmental protection in the region convened to evaluate and further plan overall progress under the 10-year CLME+ Strategic Action Programme.
Forthcoming work expected under the CLME+ Project and SAP includes the initiation of the development of region-wide action plans to deal with illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, the protection and restoration of key marine habitats, the reduction of pollution from land-based sources, and the development of a collaborative effort to map and report on the state of the marine ecosystems in the region.