UBEC Project Launches In Saint Lucia

Shermaine Clauzel talks about the UBEC-project.
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Castries, St. Lucia – A project called Unleashing the Blue Economy of the Caribbean (UBEC) has been launched with promises of significant economic benefits.

Shermaine Clauzel, the UBEC-project manager.

UBEC Project Manager, Shermaine Clauzel, said the project will incorporate the tourism, agriculture, and waste management sectors with an aim toward preservation and sustainable development.

“Our island, like others in the Caribbean, has traditionally depended on the extractive use of coastal and marine resources for economic growth. The key difference between the blue economy approach and other traditional approaches is the provision of greater support to those entities responsible for development by focusing on preservation in tandem with progress—in a nutshell sustainable development,” she said. “For this reason the blue economy approach integrates key elements that support sustainability and utilize innovation where possible.”

UBEC is a 15-year project. The first phase will take place over the next five years. The initiative is being funded through a loan and grant fund totaling USD $29 million.
To date, UBEC has distributed 34,000 bags of fertilizers to crop farmers to strengthen food security. In addition, livestock farmers have also benefited from the provision of 5000 water tanks. Another sector that is expected to benefit greatly from the UBEC Project is the Fisheries sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development, Hon. Alfred Prospere, said the work of the Department of Fisheries under the UBEC Project is focused on the livelihoods of fishers.

“One improvement will be in fisheries infrastructure and facilities. Most of our fisheries facilities are constructed in low-lying coastal areas, and sea level rise and changing coastal conditions brought about by these vagaries, negatively impact the sector. Investments will be made to redesign and improve the current structures, to make them more resilient to the effects of climate change. Secondly, we aim to improve the safety of life at sea.”

The UBEC Project is being supported by the World Bank. Similar projects are underway in Grenada and Saint Vincent.

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