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OECS developing strategy to support environmental management

OECS developing strategy to support environmental management
Brainstorming session to discuss how the OECS can implement a sustainable development strategy.

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The OECS Commission is developing a strategy to enhance engagement of civil society and private sector across the Eastern Caribbean in environmental management and related sustainable development initiatives.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is providing technical assistance to the OECS Commission to develop this Stakeholder Engagement Strategy as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations. According to a release, this initiative will fulfil a mandate from the OECS Council of Ministers for Environmental Sustainability (COMES). It is being supported by the European Union as part of the OECS Commission’s BioSPACE project.

The Strategy will provide guidelines for engagement of civil society (including national and community-based groups), and private sector stakeholders (including resource users, user associations and nature-based micro-enterprises). It will be used by public sector agencies in the OECS, the OECS Commission, and their partners working on biodiversity and ecosystems management in the OECS region. It will cover all members of the OECS: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The process to develop the strategy will include review of key policies, strategies, plans, and initiatives in the OECS as well as consultations with stakeholders from key target groups through interviews, focus groups and webinars over August and September 2021. It will draw on previous experiences, lessons learned, best practices and recommendations of stakeholders to provide a practical guide on mechanisms and tools to reach different target groups so that they can effectively engage in environmental management in the OECS.

Ultimately, this will protect ecosystems and biodiversity, ensure food and water security, enhance climate resilience, while supporting economic development, livelihoods and well-being of OECS people.