CMU rallies behind Blue economy initiatives

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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THE Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), through its Global Affairs at the Caribbean Department, will implement several activities in 2019 to support the Government of Jamaica Blue Economy initiatives.

The blue economy is an emerging concept which relates to protecting, conserving and sustainably using marine resources.

Vice-president of the department at CMU, Ambassador Joachim Schmillen, said the unit, which was established in October, will be the centre for blue economy and Innovation.

“The development of a sustainable blue economy requires evidence-based science to inform policy and decision-makers in the formulation of strategies and the implementation of these strategies,” he said.

Ambassador Schmillen disclosed that CMU will be undertaking several projects in relation to the concept of the blue economy, including restoration of Hellshire Beach near Portmore; the development of a floating device called Jambin, which will float on a section of the ocean which is close to the university and will be capable of sucking in all the debris floating in the sea.

This invention originated in New Zealand; however, CMU has adopted the concept to support the local blue economy initiative.

CMU is also seeking funding from the Inter-American Development Bank for the establishment of an oyster project.

Ambassador Schmillen said that oysters, like other shellfish, have the capacity to clean waterways.

“Under a pilot project, over 30,000 oysters will be used to clean and improve the water quality. Not only will it have a positive environmental impact with its proximity to Port Royal, but it will also provide income for the fisherfolk living in and around Port Royal,” he said.

CMU has also applied to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, which is mainly financed by the German Government, to get money to install a mangrove nursery. According to the ambassador, mangroves are important to the ecology of the country, and the nursery will be used as an educational trail for students and the general public to learn the importance of the mangroves.

Additionally, in support of the Government ban on single-use plastic to take effect in 2019, CMU will introduce a waste separation project.

Meanwhile, minister of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and chairman of the National Council on Oceans and Coastal Zone Management Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, told JIS News that he is pleased with efforts of CMU towards practical implementation and not just thinking and discussing the theory, but that is actually utilising the opportunities to get students and citizens in the blue economy thrust.

“As a country, the public and private sectors must present a united front for the preservation of the environment,” he said.

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