BVI blue economy
Government has started implementing a roadmap designed to help develop “blue economy” activities such as fishing, marine tourism, aquaculture and others. (File photo: DANA KAMPA)

More than four years ago, the United Nations Development Programme worked with government to draft a “Blue Economy Roadmap” that officials said would help the territory make the most of its marine resources in a sustainable manner.

The Cabinet approved the plan in December 2022, and now it is moving forward, according to a press release from the UNDP.

With UNDP support, the government launched the implementation phase with a series of stakeholder meetings headed by United Kingdom-based blue economy consultant Jonathan McCue on Nov. 20-24.

Meeting attendees — who included representatives from the public sector, businesses, and non- governmental organisations — discussed topics including sustainable ocean governance, financing strategies, and capacity building, according to the UNDP.


The roadmap is designed to harmonise marine planning and governance, and it includes a framework for managing marine resources and activities.

It also makes various recommendations, such as exploring diverse financing sources and partnerships with private and public entities; educating the public about the blue economy; designing long-term outreach and awareness programmes; and reforming policies to support private-sector implementation of emerging technology.

“This roadmap and implementation plan represents a significant step towards the protection of the ocean and the sustainable use of its resources for improving livelihoods, providing employment opportunities, and promoting economic growth,” said Patlian Johnson, the national coordinator for the UNDP Project Office in the VI.

“UNDP is pleased to partner with the BVI government on operationalising the roadmap and looks forward to providing additional support as implementation gathers momentum.”


Ronald Smith-Berkeley, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, thanked the UNDP for its support.

“The ministry will lead on implementation, but will employ a multi-stakeholder approach to realising the outcomes of the roadmap,” he said.

“I fundamentally believe that this focused implementation plan — which identifies some key actions — will be the building blocks for further work that will allow us to pave the way for a harmonious coexistence of a healthy ocean and economic prosperity.”

What’s next?

The implementation plan includes detailed activities, timelines, resource allocations, and roles and responsibilities, along with a set of performance indicators to track progress, according to the UNDP.

Next steps include formalising funding arrangements and carrying out value-chain analyses; developing a national ocean policy and marine spatial plans; establishing “national ocean governance committees;” launching public awareness campaigns; and reforming policy, the UNDP stated.

“This integrated approach to ocean-based sustainable development brings together economy, environment and society, and is consistent with the Sustainable Development Agenda (2030), Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the [2015] Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” the press release stated.