Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme
Enabling safe and sustainable marine economies across Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
In November 2015 the British Prime Minister announced a £5.6million package of measures to help small island countries reduce poverty by preserving their marine environments and making best use of their maritime resources. The Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) Programme aims to support the sustainable growth of Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. The Programme will run for 1 year initially, with potential for further years.
The Programme is being delivered on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by a partnership of world-leading UK government marine expertise:
- the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
- the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
- the National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
SIDS face a common set of threats and challenges due to their small size and populations, remoteness, narrow economic bases and high degree of vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks.
In addition to these challenges are the impacts of:
- climate change
- ocean acidification
- loss of habitats
These threaten subsistence livelihoods, commercial fishing and food supplies. The populations of SIDS account for a tiny fraction of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but are likely to be among the first to suffer the consequences of global warming. SIDS are home to communities experiencing high-levels of poverty.
Enabling sustainable blue growth and prosperity
Despite their size many Commonwealth SIDS are surrounded by considerable natural economic and environmental resources. However, due to their low level of economic development and lack of resources these countries have been unable to afford to invest in surveying and researching these areas, leaving them at risk of missing out on major opportunities for economic development and job creation.
By providing the information and capacity building that Commonwealth SIDS need to manage and develop their marine economies, the Programme will deliver the UK’s commitment at the 2015 Commonwealth Summit to use UK capabilities to support Commonwealth SIDS in the sustainable use of their marine environment.
The CME Programme aims to ensure marine resources in Commonwealth SIDS are better understood and managed, with the aim of enabling sustainable, growing marine economies in Commonwealth SIDS that create jobs, drive national economic growth, reduce poverty, ensure food security and build resilience against external shocks.
By providing training and support to Commonwealth SIDS’ institutions, as well as addressing economic and environmental needs, the Programme seeks to ensure a lasting legacy of growing self-sufficiency in Commonwealth Small States for their research needs.
The CME Programme’s 3 key aims are to:
- support sustainable economic growth and prosperity
- increase maritime security and supply of resources
- support marine resilience and capability for change
Priority projects for the CME Programme in year 1 are underpinned by a range of marine capability in support of enabling safe and sustainable marine economies.
For more information about Programme projects visit the relevant regional pages. These pages will be updated with project reports and outputs when these are completed.
|All||Development of Hydrographic Action Plans|
|Development of Marine Environmental Action Plans|
|Caribbean||Improved hydrographic charting and data collection for Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Seabed habitat mapping in Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Enabling Marine Stewardship Certification of seabob fishery in Guyana|
|Development of sustainable aquaculture and fisheries in Saint Lucia|
|Regional evaluation of the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean|
|Installation of a radar technology tide gauge in Saint Lucia to monitor impacts of climate change|
|Indian Ocean||Assessment and training in the impacts of harmful algal blooms in the Seychelles|
|Installation of autonomous marine sensors in the Seychelles to monitor impacts of climate change and pollution|
|Development of a socio-economic framework for the Seychelles government’s Blue Bond proposal|
|Pacific||Water quality and pollution assessment in Vanuatu|
SIDS in scope
As at 1 October 2016, states (including coastal states) are in scope from the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions. These countries fulfil the project criteria since they are Commonwealth SIDS and are eligible to receive Official Development Assistance. The programme will provide marine data and capacity building to the following Commonwealth SIDS:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Solomon Islands
Find out more about CME Programme partners: