Barbadian economist, Senator Crystal Drakes, is urging caution in the development of the island’s blue economy resources due to the enormous damage that could result if it is not undertaken with care.

Senator Crystal Drakes, Economist

Senator Drakes who is reading for her PhD in that area, presented her concerns during a recent lecture hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at which she was the featured speaker.

The Opposition Senator, who was examining the donut economics concept, described it as “a rejection of perpetual economic growth” and proposed that economic activity takes place within a just and safe space with greater respect for the environment.

During a presentation attended by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason and senior UWI academics, Drakes explained: “The blue economy is being seen across the Caribbean as the next frontier for economic opportunities as ocean-based economic activity is expected to double in contribution to the global economy from US $1.5 trillion in 2010 to US $3 trillion by 2030.”

She added: “The blue economy is a part of the new wave of economic thought that emphasises the sustainable use of resources in seas and coastal areas. Small islands are viewed as large ocean states due to the size of their exclusive economic zones and therefore have a unique advantage in the blue economy space.”

At the same time, she urged caution, noting: “In an attempt to attract millions and possibly billions of dollars in investment in the blue economy, we must be cognizant of the challenges in our oceans such as acidification and warming temperatures.”

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“We have an opportunity to re-fashion our way of life. Sustainable development for the Caribbean must first start with defining how we perceive prosperity and re-orienting what we consider success and progress. This will not be an easy task as there is an engrained logic to consumerism and the value that people place on material goods.”

[Barbados Today]

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