The regional team assigned to the hydrographic scoping exercise
CASTRIES, St Lucia -- Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states have commenced a hydrographic scoping study aimed at assessing maritime/marine spatial data that exists in the countries.
One of the major outcomes will be a report on the status of hydrography and navigational charting in each member state.
The OECS Commission’s oceans governance unit is spearheading the study on behalf of the member states in collaboration with the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Commonwealth Secretariat.
A specific working group comprising nominated individuals from each OECS member states will facilitate this hydrographic scoping study.
The next phase is the gathering of country information through consultation over the next four to five months by a core team in tandem with the working group.
The inception meeting for the hydrographic scoping study was held in Saint Lucia on 16 May 2014, with representatives from the working group, the UKHO, and the OECS Commission. This meeting served as a training exercise for the working group as well as a forum to agree and finalize a number of key parameters which are vital to the success of this study.
This hydrographic scoping study is expected to contribute significantly towards sustainable ocean governance in the Eastern Caribbean, which is rooted in the OECS growth and development strategy and tied specifically to the Eastern Caribbean regional ocean policy. This study will contribute significantly to data gathering efforts on various parameters within the marine environment.
Head of the OECS Commission’s Oceans Governance Unit Dr Asha Singh noted that, once the required groundwork is done, such efforts will contribute significantly to the economic, socio-cultural and environmental wellbeing of the region’s people.
She further said, given the large marine space of the region and the current and potential value of the resources that lie within, managing the space responsibly is of critical importance.
Singh noted that in order to do so, resource inventory and geo-oceanographic features must be understood in some form but more so, it must be used to inform policies and decision making regarding oceans management.