CLME+ Initiatives Highlighted at the UN Ocean Conference

The 10-year Strategic Action Programme (SAP) for the CLME+ region, the 5 year UNDP/GEF CLME+ Project and the forthcoming establishment of a global “CLME+ Alliance & Partnership” for the sustainable management, use and protection of marine resources” were among the different CLME+ initiatives highlighted by the Project Coordination Unit (PCU) and Project Partners at the recently concluded UN Ocean Conference in New York (5-9 June 2017).

On Monday 5 June, during the “Islands of Inspiration, From Talk to Action on SDG14” Side Event, organized by the Government of the Netherlands and Partners, the CLME+ Regional Project Coordinator (RPC), Mr. Patrick Debels, intervened to invite the CLME+ Overseas Territories to join the CLME+ Initiatives. This invitation was highly welcomed by the participants, and follow-up actions are being planned.

On Tuesday 6 June, Ms. Paula Sierra of the Colombian “Institute of Marine Research” (INVERMAR), a CLME+ partner organization, was part of a panel for a side event on “Large Marine Ecosystems: An Essential Management and Partnership Tool for Achieving SDG 14”, organized by UNDP and the IOC of UNESCO. During her intervention Ms. Sierra highlighted how the “CLME+ approach” advocates for the incorporation of climate change considerations in all actions under the CLME+ SAP, and stressed the importance of not only regional, but also national-level and local action for successful implementation of the LME approach.

On Wednesday 7 June, Mr. Debels, and Dr. Robin Mahon, UWI-CERMES, participated on the panel of a side event on “Ocean Governance and SIDS – Sustainable Development”, organized by the Governments of Belize and Barbados, CARICOM Secretariat and University of the West Indies (UWI). Dr. Mahon, globally acknowledged UWI expert on ocean governance, stressed how support and planning for operational activities should include support for building the governance arrangements needed to sustain those activities. Mr. Debels introduced the Global CLME+ Alliance and Partnership. These initiatives will offer a framework to engage governments, IGOs, civil society and the private sector to better achieve the long term vision of the CLME+ SAP: “a healthy marine environment that provides benefits and livelihoods for the people of the region.”

Patrick Debels (on the left side) and Dr. Robin Mahon (on the right side) at the panel of the “Ocean Governance and SIDS – Sustainable Development” side event

Mr. Milton Haughton of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), during a side event which took place on Thursday 8 June on “Achieving SDG 14: Scaling-up Successful Approaches to Sustainable Fisheries Development and Management in the Caribbean SIDS Region through cooperation and partnership”, spoke about the successes of the Interim Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Fisheries established between three Regional Fisheries Bodies in the CLME+ region, established in 2016 with support from the CLME+ Project.

On Friday 9 June, the CLME+ Senior Project Officer, Ms. Laverne Walker, participated in a side event on “Polycentric Ocean and Coastal Governance to Accelerate the Implementation of the SDG’s” organized by the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), Equator Initiative and UN Environment. Ms. Walker shared the experiences of the CLME+ region whilst developing the 10-year CLME+ SAP. She indicated that, given that civil society had not been adequately engaged during SAP development, the new CLME+ Project, in an effort to fully embrace the concept of interactive governance, is now supporting the development of a Civil Society version of the CLME+ SAP (the “CLME+ C-SAP”). The C-SAP, whose development will be facilitated by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), will seek to align the priorities of civil society with the overarching CLME+ SAP.

A number of other CLME+ Partners and stakeholders were also present during the UN Ocean Conference, sharing the successes of the CLME+ Regional Governance Framework model.