Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says Jamaica’s exploitation of the Blue Economy will contribute significantly to the country’s economic development and the eradication of poverty. He was speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, Tuesday (December 18), where he gave an update on his recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya, where he attended the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, held under the theme ‘The Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’.
Senator Charles Jr., who also chairs the National Council on Oceans and Coastal Zone Management (NCOCZM), said that the Sustainable Blue Economy is a new phraseology, and emerging discussions have become of great interest to countries all over the world.
It relates to the management and sustainable use of the ocean and coastal resources to improve livelihood and create jobs. In Jamaica, it is connected to several sectors – energy, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, mining and tourism.
The State Minister explained that for Jamaica, discussion on the Blue Economy is very important because its territorial waters are 24 times the size of the country’s land mass.
“So, as a small developing state with a large ocean space, we must conserve, protect and manage the ocean space as well as the rivers and other marine resources that run inland,” he said.
“As it relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), number 14, the fundamental pillars coalesce as part of how we intend to utilize this Blue Economy to create decent work, push economic growth, ensure food security and provide affordable and clean energy,” the Senator said.
The NCOCZM will submit to Cabinet recommendations on how to best utilize Jamaica’s marine resources. This multi-stakeholder council, working on behalf of the Government, will collaborate with other governments, academia, the private sector and civil society to develop a sustainable road map for the Blue Economy.
The Fisheries and Tourism sectors will be two of the main areas of focus for the development of the Blue Economy.
Findings from STATIN have shown that fishing remains a major source of livelihood for many Jamaican households, and the industry contributed some $8.4 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Meanwhile, the Tourism industry employs 8.3 per cent of the labour force and contributes $53 billion to the GDP.
Source: JIS News