WMU Contributes to OECS Sustainable Development Movement 2020 Summit
Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), delivered a video message to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Sustainable Development Movement (SDM) 2020 Summit that took place 22 to 24 September. The Summit brought together Senior Government Officials, Industry and Private Sector Leaders, Global Entrepreneurs and Civil Society to exchange thoughts, best practices and strategies concerning sustainable growth and development within the Caribbean.
In her remarks for the SDM Blue Economy Investors’ Roundtable, President Doumbia-Henry noted her personal connection to the Caribbean, growing up in Dominica. She spoke of the special connection Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have with the ocean, which provides both crucial services as well as enormous challenges.
Showcasing some of WMU’s work in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region, she highlighted the new “Closing the Circle” programme focused on Marine Debris, Sargassum and Marine Spatial Planning in the Eastern Caribbean, which is underway at the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute. The programme is funded by The Nippon Foundation and is aimed at human resource development in the Eastern Caribbean region through research, training and capacity-building. Through a competitive process, six PhD candidates have joined the 3-year programme, five from the CARICOM region and one from Sweden.
“Through research on technological innovations, blue growth and ocean literacy, the Closing the Circle project intends to analyse the possibilities for economic development and to enhance greater awareness about the ocean. Moreover, recent studies from the region have shown that properly implemented marine spatial planning can increase production value as well as generate new employment opportunities in the blue economy,” said President Doumbia-Henry.
The programme is developed in close collaboration with some of the key stakeholders in the region including the University of the West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UWI CERMES), the OECS Commission, CARICOM, UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), OECS member States, and representative organizations of civil society.
During the lively deliberations at the Investors’ Roundtable, the Director of the WMU-Global Ocean Institute, Professor Ronan Long, outlined the extensive consultations that inform the design and delivery of the programme. He also emphasized that education and research are two vital catalysts that will contribute to sustainable economic growth of the OECS region through this novel initiative.
The OECS is an International Inter-governmental Organization dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. It is a cooperation of Countries who signed the Treaty of Basseterre to work together for common interests including peace, stability and wealth. The OECS Commission has 5 Strategic Objectives on key aspects of Regional Integrations, Resilience, Social Equity, Foreign Policy, Improving and Strengthening the Commission in delivering its mandate.
Established within the framework of the International Maritime Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMU’s mission is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development.
To view President Doumbia-Henry's full video message, click here.