Most progress was made in the area of seeking international investment. Meetings were held with impact investors in London and presentations made on investment in a portfolio of MMA operators in the Eastern Caribbean. All agreed that the investment was an attractive one, with a clear model that seemed poised to produce concrete results. Discussions are on-going re environmental impact indicators, investment structure and financial projections.
The designation process for the Barbados Marine Management Area (BMMA) is progressing. There has been a number of unforeseen, government administration setbacks, but all parties remain in agreement for the need of the management area and are committed to its designation.
In preparation for the designation of the BMMA, national stakeholder consultations were planned for information purposes and to gain the input of the users of the area for the zonation. This is seen as the first step in a participatory management plan, and from these groups, ‘champions’ will be chosen to represent the various groups during the process.
Blue Finance (BF) is funding the data collection which is aimed at filling in the gaps of information on the users and interviewing individual stakeholders. A grant is being sought by BF for the full consultations, where users will be brought together to create the zonation plan.
BF has started a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BarbadosMMA) to provide information on Marine Management Areas and marine ecosystems. The aim is to inform and build up public support for the BMMA. In addition to messages and photos, BF has hired a local group to produce short videos for the site.