High-level policy makers and technical experts from five OECS Member States will later this week review and validate Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans (CMSPs) for their respective countries.
The development of Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans is a major component of the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) which is currently being implemented by the OECS Commission on behalf of five Member States – Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans (CMSPs) for the five CROP participating Member States is based on extensive consultation with key stakeholders at the national and community level, over the last two years.
Michel Frojmovic is the Social Safeguards Specialist with Dillon Consulting Limited – the Consulting Firm developing the Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans on behalf of the OECS Commission. He underscored the importance of stakeholder engagement in the Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning process. He said:
“The work that we are doing as part of CROP, involves the preparation of a series of plans that look at changes that are to take place over a 15-year period. These changes will affect the lives of individuals, of businesses, of persons across the five countries. The individuals whose lives are affected need to have a say in how the project is designed, and how the project is implemented. So, stakeholder consultation is an essential tool for us as professionals, to be able to hear, listen and understand the perspectives, the needs, the concerns of individuals, that ultimately can be reflected in how we design our plans, and identify priorities to be recommended to go forward.”
During the lifespan of the CROP, no negative impacts are expected to arise, given that the project is not undertaking any work on the ground. However, post CROP and during implementation of recommendations emanating from the project, impacts that need mitigating may arise. It is thus expected that Member States will establish suitable Grievance Redress Mechanisms to allow persons to raise any concerns and have these concerns addressed.
The Forum to review and validate the draft Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans is slated for Friday 26 February 2021 at 2pm. The Validation Forum, which will be held virtually, will be preceded by the OECS CEO Breakfast, as a build-up to the OECS Sustainable Development Movement (SDM) 2021. The conference will include a dedicated virtual exhibition booth displaying up-to-date project information, project documents, audio-visual presentations, and links to the draft coastal and marine spatial plans.