Private sector called on to help save the Caribbean Sea

As the World Ocean Council (WOC) gets ready to host the Save our Seas conference (SOS) 2013, the Washington-based Institute for Caribbean Studies (ICS) has issued a call for private sector leadership in securing the future of the Caribbean Sea.

“SOS 2013 is an unparalleled, world-class gathering of the diverse ocean business community. It sets the agenda for ensuring responsible industry operations,” said Dr. Claire Nelson, ICS’ Jamaican-born president.

“We envision bringing together tourism, yachting, fishing, cruise-shipping, ocean data management, oil/gas, mining - everyone to engage private sector leaders in securing a sustainable future for our Caribbean Sea,” she added.

She said SOS 2013, which takes place here, from April 22-24, is “a unique, global, multi-industry ocean leadership event.”

The Global Ocean Commission brings together international leaders in an independent body to analyze the main challenges and threats to the high seas, recommend solutions for addressing them, and in 2014, provide recommendations to the United Nations and other institutions and processes that can implement change.

“Given the dire straits facing the Caribbean Sea, the window of opportunity to ensure a living sea is closing,” the Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative includes as a key priority, the goal of ensuring a multi-industry coalition to advance responsible use of the Caribbean Sea,” she said.

The Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative is a partnership with The Futures Forum and the Development Foresight Institute based in Jamaica.

Last year, the ICS launched the Sustainable Caribbean Sea Futures Initiative “to develop an inter-sectoral, international leadership alliance to secure a living future for the Caribbean Sea,” Nelson said.

This year, she said the issue takes on “new momentum” as ICS engages with the WOC to mobilize Caribbean participation, especially by the private sector, “which stands to gain immense benefits from the successful outcomes of the venture.”