Executive Director, CANARI
Interview with Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director of Caribbean Natural Resources Institute, CANARI, Trinidad and Tobago
Recently ApaNa interviewed Nicole Leotaud to share some insights into CANARI’s role in promoting the Green–Blue Economy of the Caribbean, how the organisation works with regional partners and businesses to promote sustainable development in the region.
Tell us about CANARI and the work that it does to promote environmentally sustainable economic development in the Caribbean.
CANARI is a non-profit technical institute working across the Caribbean for the past 30 years to promote and facilitate stakeholder participation in the stewardship of natural resources. We feel that top-down approaches to development don’t work and people need to be involved in the decisions about how natural resources are used for development to deliver economic benefits (including supporting livelihoods of poor local communities) and social well-being, while protecting natural ecosystems. We do research and support governments to develop policies and plans that support environmentally sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic development. We also build capacity of local community micro-enterprises using natural resources, for example in community ecotourism and small-scale fisheries, to strengthen local livelihoods and economic development.
The Eastern Caribbean Green Economy Barometer report, released in November 2018, found that the OECS’ transition to a green economy is below average. How is CANARI supporting the OECS in making this transition?
CANARI is currently supporting the OECS Commission to develop an OECS Regional Green-Blue Economy Strategy and Action Plan. The OECS Council of Ministers of Environmental Sustainability has recognised the importance of ensuring that economic development in the OECS is environmentally sustainable, inclusive and resilient. They want a strategy that can help them to build on “green shoots” of positive initiatives already happening. We are working with OECS stakeholders to define key principles, objectives, policy needs, pathways, capacity needs and partnerships for economic transformation. This will include enabling regulatory, fiscal and financing policies and programmes which support micro, small and medium enterprises and greening of priority economic sectors.
How would you describe the blue-green economy in the Caribbean?
What we need to focus on that we are aiming to transform Caribbean economies so that….