The George Brathwaite – Saving Grace with a Blue Economy

The potential of our coasts and ocean to meet sustainable development needs is immense. And, if they can be maintained in and/or restored to a healthy and productive state, the ocean will play an even more important role in humanitys future. (Mark J. Spalding).

The horizon is laced with opportunities for Barbados to overcome the awful indices that characterised the last decade. The tastelessness of poverty, joblessness, high debt, widespread indiscipline, stagnation, huge piles of garbage, unkempt roadsides, and littered coastlines can all be tackled and rectified. There are encouraging signs that Barbados will eventually emerge from its inglorious economic decline and value-thwarted society.

Decisive leadership has re-emerged in Barbados to help take the nation out of its dangerous plunge. Businesses and households are now being challenged by the prime minister and government to exceed the crippling effects of structural constraints and a highly indebted economy. Private citizens are crying out for job and entrepreneurial opportunities. Generally, the society is demanding a development framework that ensures a fair distribution of wealth and one that allows for social justice to become commonplace.

Clearly, new levers are being pulled for Barbados to enhance its productivity and to become regionally and globally competitive. Since May 25th, the popular discourse is reflecting hope amidst the difficulties. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, under the determined leadership of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, expresses a welcoming confidence and creativity. For instance, PM Mottley, in one of her far-reaching moves, established the very important Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy.

In the 2018 Throne Speech, the Governor General asserted that: My Government has identified the Green and Blue Economies as areas in which new policy directions can redound to the benefit of Barbados long term economic, social and environmental development.” The colossal value of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy ought not to be underestimated. The vital role was emphasized in the Throne Speech indicating that the Ministry was: “charged with responsibility for preserving Barbados coastlines, our marine environment, the health of our reefs and the habitats of our marine plants and animals. It will ensure sustainable use and development of our fisheries, our marine assets, resources, minerals and species for sustainable recreation and decent livelihoods for those who make a living from the sea.”

Essentially, the Ministry will cultivate a policy course for the sustainable use and protection of Barbados’ continental shelf and economic zone encompassing the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the expanse of the island’s marine resources. Moreover, such things as effective coastal management, saving and replenishing local coral reefs can have positive impacts on localized resources by increasing the aesthetic value of coral reefs for tourism and creating reef habitat for fisheries purposes. Even against climate change, Barbadians ought not be pessimistic, nor should they be cynical to the daring nature of adjusting to the concept of the blue economy.

Barbados must continuously seek and find alternative ways of doing things and achieving positive results to boost the economy and enhance citizens’ livelihoods. This is precisely why the BLP is unpacking ‘new planks for economic growth’ that are ‘fit for purpose’. While it is true that de sea en got nuh back door, many villages, communities, and individuals already have histories of thriving from the proceeds of the sea and marine environment. For example, the communities of Bathsheba, Consett Bay, Paynes Bay, Oistins and others are well documented for their impacts on the men and women depending on pelagic yields for their leisure and survival. Additionally, Barbados’ fisherfolk have over the years, been able to gain sufficient to feed their families and build homes and other enterprises.

Despite today’s challenges and the phase of uncertainty that grips the country, Barbadians must be prepared to be problem-solvers. Joyce Meyer contends that change is always tough. Even for those who see themselves as agents of change, the process of starting a new thing can cause times of disorientation, uncertainty and insecurity.” Barbadians must determine and act in the best ways to come to terms with the possibility of alternatives and different approaches to promoting economic growth and national development.

The tendency to resist change hangs on a knotted dilemma. Barbadians ought not be clinging to fear nor be blindly stuck to tradition. Both PM Mottley and Minister Kirk Humphrey are embracing research and intrepid. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, therefore, must perform on the mandate to safeguard key decisions and strategic investments that were made over the years. Surely, there may be no guarantees of success in any sector, but the sea is a place of vast and untapped resources that could serve to nurture and spur extraordinary economic growth for Barbados.

Barbados must maintain its commitment to the green economy, despite the low attention by the previous administration on the related matters of energy, ecology, environment, sustainability, and climate change adaptability. The notion of the green economy is equally as pressing but it can be more costs invasive than gravitation to the blue economy.

The previous point is instructive because as the BLP administration insists, ‘the maritime resources must be enjoyed by the nations people in a sustainable manner’. Nevertheless, the exciting, wealth-laden prospects for Barbados rests across the great expanse of these maritime domains that offer differentiated resources of commercial value. There are various foods for human consumption, resulting in benefits for human health and nutrition. Also, there is the oil and gas sector that the current administration considers to be vital given the importance of energy to productive capacity. The water itself favours activities that can assist in tackling scarcity.

Surely, the effective turn to the blue economy can bring lucrative economic returns emerging from multiple resources and activities. The BLP’s deliberate policy framework for the blue economy is very likely to substantially increase entrepreneurship in many areas of endeavour. Indeed, the probability for widescale employment across many linked sectors is a welcome. The blue economy can be expected to encourage attention on the additional dimensions of food security, the beautification of the island, leisure and sports tourism, and the strongest support for sustainable national development.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com).

50 comments

  • This is an opportunity we have to explore. We are blessed with unexplored and untapped oceans as one example. This region has a unique that can help to create a competitive advantage. Agree with the focus on a non traditional ministry, we wait on the execution.

    Like

  • George Brathwaite what are you seeing that i am not seeing
    As i look behind that shrouded veil all i see is smoke and mirrors lies and deception
    Going into all of the details would takeva whole day
    Right now the smoke rising from the Integrity legislation exposes a mirror shrouded in benefits
    Also eyes are focused on a PM who would invite well known scruillous characters to Parliament when these characters are known to be practioners in illegal activity

    Like

  • Dentistry Whisperer (M. Pharm. D) LinkedIN

    Although listeners to VOB brasstacks have plummeted, Tony Marshall has declined not to return. The weakest moderator is Sanka Price because he just reads the Nation News. Vob has seen a severe drop in advertising revenue. Maybe Davis Ellis needs some CE (continuing education) in “talk radio”. Carol Roberts’ ratings are at an all time high. Haynes Darlington. 

    Like

  • “Right now the smoke rising from the Integrity legislation exposes a mirror shrouded in benefits……”

    And who stands to benefit,?

    Obviously, former ministers in the former Freundel Stuart led DLP administration.

    The “smoke and mirrors” mean there may never be, for exammple, an investigation into the allegations that Michael Lashley and Denis Lowe are driving expensive SUVs owned by Trans Tech Inc., under circumstances where Trans Tech Inc. was the main provider of maintence and repair services for……

    ……buses owned by the Transport Board, which was under Lashley’s portfolio……

    ……and Sanitation Service Authority trucks, which fell under Lowe’s “jurisdiction.”

    Hence, we may have a case where, similarly how the DLP were adamant there were corrupt politicians in the Arthur administration, but preferred to talk about it when it was politically expedient to do so, rather than conduct the relevant investigations.

    The “hot air” exhaled by Thompson when promised an investigation and forensic audit of Hardwood Housing…..

    ……was also a case of lies and “smoke and mirrors,” to apease a gullible public.

    I must agree with you that, despite the integrity legislation bill, it appears as though Mottley is continuing along a similar path.

    Like

  • But what does integrity legislation has to do with Mr. Brathwaite’s submission…..

    ……when there is an article dedicated to that subject?

    You continue to hijack BU by attempting to shift the focus from the various topics to push your political propaganda and achieve your narrow political objectives.

    Like

  • Mr. Brathwaite

    The “blue economy” can be reasonably included in the environment.

    In MY opinion maritime affairs and the blue economy could have been included in the portfolio of the Minister of the Environment and National Beautification.

    To appoint a separate minister to what could be easily defined as a “half day job,” is a waste of scare financial resources.

    Like

  • @Artax

    In theory you are correct, however, we have discussed what we suspect is the rationale, rewarding her people like Caddle et al that gave up top dollar to work on her team coupled with keeping the backbench quiet read politics. Of course the last part of the comment does not mesh with her comment during the Ellis interview that she can lose a few.

    Artax note a blog cannot be hijacked by one person.

    Like

  • Duffus (Artax) what is the point of your objection
    Doesnt the article speaks to leadership
    So why cant my input draw attention to how govt conducts itself especially now that all and sundry voices speak to the piece of watered down Integrity legislation
    What manner of person would think it is only their voice that should be heard and the manner in which it should be heard based on their own agenda

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  • What is the BLUE ECONOMY. Is the present BLP GOVERNMENT enhancing the ” blue economy” by pumping Grame Hall Sewage shit into the ocean at Worthing Beach, just asking.

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  • Other than uttering the usual abstract platitudes, could someone please suggest some activity in the marine/maritime THAT WAS NOT BEING DONE before?

    Liked by 1 person

  • David BU

    Point taken.

    I don’t want to distract from the topic…..

    ……..but this current BLP administration has appointed a number of Ministers to various ministries……

    …….as opposed to the former DLP administration appointing a number of their losing candidates as Parliamentary Secretaries or Minister of State.

    Is there any significant differences between a Minister of State and a Minister in the Ministry of ******?

    If so, then obviously, there has to be a difference in pay for the three categories.

    It should be a matter of concern how these Ministers are being paid……

    ……if at rates similar to that of the substantive Ministers……..

    …….or at the rate for Parliamentary Secretaries.

    But if you want to justify the appointment of so many ministers, when the “optics” appear to be questionable, the Parliamentary Secretary option may be more appropriate.

    Like

  • It is my belief that all this talk about a “blue economy” is just a “new” topic for the conference crowd. STEM, gender issues, sustainable development and climate change have probably ran their course and are regarded as being a bit stale. The “green economy” can still generate a headline or two but stay tuned for “block chain technology” coming to conference near you.

    Liked by 1 person

  • lol..yeah, new buzzwords..”blue economy” and nonexistent “sovereign-ty”….

    buzzwords to fill the people’s head with shit and no action.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Mariposa

    Because of objections raised by members of your fan club when other contributors describe you by your correct names and remind you of the limitless boundaries of your ignorance…..

    …….I will let your “dufus” remark go over my head and restrain myself from responding to you appropriately.

    Rather than choosing to “latch on to an IRRELEVANT” comment…..

    ……it would serve a more useful purpose if you responded to the issue I raised in response to your comments relative to who stands to benefit from the integrity legislation.

    Like

  • @Ping Pong

    We cant cuss the former government for wanting to build an off the scale gasification plant in our food belt and then be a cynic if another that wants to focus on the blue economy. Watch she mug to see if she delivers. If not the blogaratti will go to work.

    Like

  • According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.” …

    How does this definition apply to our concept of maritime affairs and the blue economy?

    Will the Minister deal with issues such as offshore oil exploitation and drilling rights; fishing industry and brokering a fishing agreement with Trinidad etc….?

    Will he be responsible for providing policy guidelines to encourage port development and growth in shipping industry and for maintaining safety standards?

    Like

  • @Wily

    A serious question for you. Where would you have them dump the shit from the live sewage main during the period the waste water division find and fix the live main/breach.Do you prefer for it to be in the streets? The measure is temporary until the breach is fixed. The Prime Minister is on record during her tour of the area days after winning office. She promised to work at regenerating the GHNS. They had to make a hard decision to stabilize and fix the South Coast problem.

    Like

  • David
    This Blue Economy blather is like the beauty queen contestant who promises world peace and happy homes for all the children if she is chosen as Ms Universe.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’ll leave you blue economists to your self titillation. By the way how are the plans for that off shore island coming along?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @David

    Chezzzz, Wilys memory not too good, however he recalls a plan to dig six deep wells by the South Coast Sewage plant to pump the effluient into. The six wells full ?, or did this expensive plan not work ?, or where the wells found to be leaking into the ground water system ?

    Pumping the effluient into the sea maybe a last resort, however this action requires an EIA to fully evaluate the consequences and remediation activities.

    Wily would like to see some scientically founded and supported answers.

    Like

  • Thanks Artax for the World Banks definition for The Blue Economy. Wily kinda remembers when Barbados has several trawlers operating, which are now non existent, what happened to this Blue Economy ?

    Like

  • @Wily

    Will let John or one of the engineers on the blog respond. Based on media reports the injection wells will handle most of the sewage but there will be spillover based on factors that will cause the runoff to the swamp.

    Like

  • @Ping Pong

    Good one, we wait.

    #watchwe

    Like

  • The Minister of Education is currently in Parliament delivering a ministerial statement relating to the re-introduction of tuition free tertiary education at UWI, and the introduction of such a policy for undergraduate degrees at Erdiston College and BCC. Yet Mariposa is on BU talking about deception, lies and smoke and mirrors. 🤣🤣
    What the BLP needs to focus on now is the establishment of the UCB and the introduction of tech-based undergraduate programmes, STEAM, architecture, innovation design etc and watch the preference switch from UWI to UCB and the attendant savings. #strategicpolicy

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Artax July 24, 2018 10:24 AM
    “Will the Minister deal with issues such as offshore oil exploitation and drilling rights; fishing industry and brokering a fishing agreement with Trinidad etc….?”

    The Blue economy is a national developmental goal which arises from a plan to tackle the ecological and environmental challenges expected to be posed by Climate Change; especially to the more vulnerable small island developing states like low-lying Barbados right at the forefront of rising sea levels.

    How can there be a Blue economy where offshore oil exploration is a major economic activity? How can your run the big risk of destroying the only asset which makes Barbados an attractive tourism destination; that is, the sandy clean beaches and blue clear sea?

    Any crude oil spill off Barbados would have such far reaching deleterious effects on its coastline- and by extension on its main forex earner- as to make the South coast sewage disaster and the sargassum seaweed invasion look like putting powder on a baby’s bottom.

    Barbados could as well shelve the idea of seeing any programme of investment in any offshore oil drilling being executed in the future.

    To whom would this heavy costly to refine crude be sold?
    To Guyana who is about to experience a Venezuela-type ‘imaginary’ bonanza in a world still awash with oil which has a rather unsure economic future in light of global warming and a general move to alternative energy sources to generate electrical power and the slow death of the internal combustion engine?

    Like

  • Miller
    Marine Spatial Planning, innovation and technology.

    Like

  • @ Ping Pong

    It is my belief that all this talk about a “blue economy” is just a “new” topic for the conference crowd. STEM, gender issues, sustainable development and climate change have probably ran their course and are regarded as being a bit stale. The “green economy” can still generate a headline or two but stay tuned for “block chain technology” coming to conference near you.

    You forgot IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

    Like

  • The only Blue Economy I see is the one around Bush Hill and Nelson Street.

    Like

  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Enuff July 24, 2018 1:01 PM
    “What the BLP needs to focus on now is the establishment of the UCB and the introduction of tech-based undergraduate programmes, STEAM, architecture, innovation design etc and watch the preference switch from UWI to UCB and the attendant savings. #strategicpolicy..”

    Wouldn’t such a policy implementation be sounding the death knell of the Cave Hill Campus especially in light of the other bigger campuses planning to establish their own faculties of law?
    But the large and massively attractive real estate of the Cave Hill campus could always be to more profitable use.

    Like

  • @Enuff

    Santia for PM? I agree that the UCB needs to be established.

    #miabettawatchshe

    Like

  • “The only Blue Economy I see is the one around Bush Hill and Nelson Street.”

    Hahaaaaaaaaaaaa. Already flourishing you mean.

    Like

  • Since we are “discussing” the environment……interstingly, the BLP’s representative for St. John, Charles Griffith, assured the squatters occupying lands in Welch Land that arrangements would be made for them to purchase their “house spots” with government’s assistance.

    I also read in last Sunday’s Sunday Sun a woman complaining that a few hours after she secured and cleaned a house spot in Rock Hall, St. Philip, people erected a structure on the spot. Her protests resulted her being allegedly beaten by three individuals.

    It is a known fact that several illegal non nationals are squatting on lands at Rock Hall and securing spots for their relatives and friends, while intimidating Barbadian squatters.

    I hope this Mottley led BLP administration does not set a precedent

    Like

  • I hope this Mottley led BLP administration does not set a precedent, by allowing these illegal non nationals to be able to purchase land at the expense of Barbadian taxpayers.

    I would like to know what is this administration’s policy as it relates to squatting on lands by Barbadians and illegal non nationals.

    Like

  • Scientifcally founded whst
    Simply spill a bucket of water on the ground see where i goes
    The wells are to supposed to handle the overflow from the plant . it is so much depth in the well that can provide relief for the excess flowing fromñ the plant. The problem would always reside around volume and capacity
    The plant is outdated and has outlived its usefulness
    Next Mia would be on the prowl with her PR job asking the taxpayers for additional funding by way of more taxes to build a new plant

    Like

  • Why shouldnt Mottley give away land to squatters
    After all they will become handy rewarding her in the next election and you blp yardfowls would have to suck it up

    Like

  • Interesting comment from TT chat group.

    “What happened in Portugal shows that too much austerity deepens a recession, and creates a vicious circle,” Prime Minister António Costa said in an interview. “We devised an alternative to austerity, focusing on higher growth, and more and better jobs…..The government raised public sector salaries, the minimum wage and pensions and even restored the amount of vacation days to prebailout levels over objections from creditors like Germany and the International Monetary Fund. Incentives to stimulate business included development subsidies, tax credits and funding for small and midsize companies….”

    Here, they surrendered while crime soared, caused massive suffering, economic distress, cut health and other essential services, borrowed billions, raised taxes, loans from the people via Ponzi scheme, gave away the forex to the 1%, gave away the country to the 1%, spent billions on useless & corrupt vanity projects for their 1% friends/themselves/associates/sycophants….. killed the economy with dumbarse austerity on the poor & middle-class but not the 1%, said they will lower aggregate demand but they sent the economy dead in the water, sucked liquidity dry, raised interest rates, and then they and their propagandists/sycophants blamed it all on everyone else but themselves ! With a nation in tatters, an economy deep in recession (except for the 1%), and crumbling infrastructure & services to the people being cut more and more (latest is CDAP where these cruel fools are saving a massive 5 MILLION per year – less than the cost of foreign health care and checkup for themselves), they are now planning more hare-brained schemes, wait until you hear the Budget!

    Here is how modern, bold, intelligent, caring, and really hard-working people do it:

    Portugal Dared to Cast Aside Austerity. It’s Having a Major Revival.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/22/business/portugal-economy-austerity.html

    Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting observation. There is the rare occasion you post some reasonable contributions.

    There were several articles in the print media about illegal non nationals and Barbadians illegally squatting on lands in Rock Hall, St. Philip.

    I also recalled when the former Attorney General and representative for the Rock Hall area, Adriel Brathwaite, was asked what government planned to about the squatters, he did not give a definitive answer, but said he was aware of the squatters and quipped he “had friends living there.”

    Any reasonable individual would conclude that, Brathwaite’s refusal to address this situation during the 10 years he represented that constituency, suggested “they will become handy rewarding h in the 2018 election and you DLP yardfowls would have to suck it up.”

    He miscalculated and was severely beaten as a result.

    Similar may occur for the BLP.

    Like

  • @Artax

    What can Mia do with Trevor Prescod the Don Blackman protegee about?

    Like

  • I read. I understood. I agree.
    By George, you are now reaching the common man.

    Like

  • Word out and about that the promised 5% to public workerd which was to start on the 1st of July has not materialized
    Mia has been consistent by her failure to implement promises made at the appointed time

    Who said a promise is a comfort to a fool
    Some how Mottley has proven those words to be true

    Like

  • Trust you to be a purveyor of untruths.

    The memo states that salaries for monthly workers this month will be delayed due to logistical reasons, it says nothing about any increase not being paid.

    Dont you think it makes sense to wait for the explanation?

    Like

  • David

    Plus that 5% is to start in August and the back pay in September.

    Like

  • Hell more smoke and mirrors and isnt the increase included in the monthly payments
    What de hell does logistical mean didnt the govt made a promise to the workers for payment to start on the 1st of July

    Another set of BS Mia finds millions to psay communication advisers and consultants and now the public servants after being told of an appropiate time for payments must wait
    I bet Commisiong and chop suey Jong got their checks on time

    Like

  • Information relative to the payment of the 5% increase in public can be found in today’s Nation Newspaper.

    Like

  • Phew Nation
    Now i am really holding my nose and heading for the bathroom. Never again mention the name of that filthy rag again to me

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ Ping Pong

    It is a certain time here and de ole man ent got a ting to do.

    I red this garbage by this clown Brafwit and could not believe that it got 21 people SORRY x people to comment 21 times!

    Let me show wunna de badword badword he wrote.

    “…Both PM Mottley and Minister Kirk Humphrey are embracing research and intrepid…”

    What de ass is “intrepid”?

    Then the Dufus continues

    “…The notion of the green economy is equally as pressing but it can be more costs invasive than gravitation to the blue economy…”

    “Costs invasive than gravitation to…” what de really badword does thus clown mean to say…?

    He then continues “…The water itself favours activities that can assist in tackling scarcity…”

    Steupseee

    A whole set of obsequious dog shyte as he sings for his supper.

    And this is why we are where we are 250,000 people and 30,000 guyanese living in fear of 5 drug lords and 18 kingpins who are killing out population while successive Commissioners of Police suck their doggies while exasperating over dirt bicycles on the highway

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with a recent submission to George Braithwaite

    Like

  • ndividuals.

    “It is a known fact that several illegal non nationals are squatting on lands at Rock Hall and securing spots for their relatives and friends, while intimidating Barbadian squatters.”

    Please someone enlighten me. If there is so much “free” land in Barbados, should I stand in line?

    How can this be? Doesn’t every piece of land has a deed as to ownership? If it is government owned then the government is the land owner and would have the authority to sell, lease or give away same.
    If is is individually owned the landower has the same rights to sell, lease or give away, no?

    I just don’t understand how come there is all this land that people can just build on other people’s land without proper ownership deeds. Amazing.

    Like

  • ndividuals.

    “It is a known fact that several illegal non nationals are squatting on lands at Rock Hall and securing spots for their relatives and friends, while intimidating Barbadian squatters.”

    Please someone enlighten me. If there is so much “free” land in Barbados, should I stand in line?

    How can this be? Doesn’t every piece of land has a deed as to ownership? If it is government owned then the government is the land owner and would have the authority to sell, lease or give away same.
    If is is individually owned the landower has the same rights to sell, lease or give away, no?

    I just don’t understand how come there is all this land that people can just build on other people’s land without proper ownership deeds. Amazing.

    Like

  • ndividuals.

    “It is a known fact that several illegal non nationals are squatting on lands at Rock Hall and securing spots for their relatives and friends, while intimidating Barbadian squatters.”

    Please someone enlighten me. If there is so much “free” land in Barbados, should I stand in line?

    How can this be? Doesn’t every piece of land has a deed as to ownership? If it is government owned then the government is the land owner and would have the authority to sell, lease or give away same.
    If is is individually owned the landower has the same rights to sell, lease or give away, no?

    I just don’t understand how come there is all this land that people can just build on other people’s land without proper ownership deeds. Amazing.

    Like

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