The Virgin Islands officially joined the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO) at a ceremony at the US Department of the Interior in Washington, DC held on the margins of the Global Island Partnership Information Day.
At the ceremony held on February 20, the Virgin islands was represented by Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering and accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ronald Smith-Berkeley and Deputy Director of the BVI London Office Mr. Benito Wheatley. Representing GPO were Interim Secretariat Head and Environmental Scientist at the World Bank Dr. Valerie Hickey, accompanied by Senior Communications Officer (Environment Department) Ms. Elisabeth Mealey.
In remarks made at the ceremony, Dr. Hickey said “We are pleased that the British Virgin Islands has decided to join the Global Partnership for Oceans. We believe the BVI will be an invaluable partner as we take steps toward ocean sustainability.”
The Deputy Premier noted, “The BVI is happy to join the global effort to sustainably management of the world’s oceans, which are a vital resource to the BVI and on which our livelihood and the livelihood of so many others around the world depend. At home we are already taking steps in a number of areas to ensure we are doing our part.”
The BVI’s membership in the GPO comes as Government seeks to gain greater insight on best international practices in managing the marine environment.
The Global Partnership for Oceans was launched in February 2012 spearheaded by the World Bank. The partnership brings together over 140 governments, international organisations, civil society groups, and private sector interests to address threats to the health, productivity and resilience of the ocean. Its main objectives are to advance sustainable fisheries, conserve the coastal and marine environment and reduce pollution of the ocean.
For more information online about the Global Partnership for Oceans, readers can go to http://www.globalpartnershipforoceans.org/about
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour strives to effectively manage and administer the Territory’s Natural Resources in a manner that ensures long-term sustainability.