The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne, the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and the Chair of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Professor Sir Ed Byrne have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise their collaboration in support of a Centre for Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy at The University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus.
The Centre will aim to advance intellectual progress and strengthen institutional capacity in the areas of marine science and the blue economy while benefitting from the societal, economic and environmental opportunities for the Caribbean within this emerging sector.
Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the Caribbean region, stand to benefit from an emerging industry worth USD$2.5 trillion globally through the sustainable diversification of the economy into areas such as aquaculture, marine renewable energy, biotechnology and sea vegetable farming.
As a ‘large ocean state’, Antigua and Barbuda has been active in key blue economy initiatives, including co-championing the Commonwealth Blue Charter’s Sustainable Blue Economy Action Group, which encourages better stewardship of ‘blue resources’.