By Feliza D. Fenty
ROAD TOWN, BVI -- The current status of expertise and understanding of the sargassum seaweed will be assessed when the British Virgin Islands hosts a regional conference next week.
The government of the BVI and Virgin Unite will co-sponsor the two day conference with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Caribbean Council and the OECS on March 21 and 22.
The conference will see a gathering of political, business, senior technical and scientific leaders to discuss an effective partnership between all sectors to harness related opportunities and benefits.
Leading scientists will also be invited to review the latest knowledge of the observed phenomena, project possible trends over the next two to five years and advance an understanding of the causes associated with sargassum prevalence.
The conference will also explore the level of engagement and strategies needed to address the future management of sargassum. It will engage high level policymakers from other OECS member states and the broader Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and leading authorities within the private and public sectors to identify solutions, advance a suite of policy options and elaborate mechanisms to improve synergies between the stakeholders involved.
A key component of the conference will be a review of the current research and practice in other countries where different varieties of seaweed are harvested for commercial applications. A discussion will also be held on the transferability and or relevance of existing best practices to sargassum in the Caribbean.