Dr Erick Ross Salazar, Vera Noon, and Sarah Mahadeo presented a training programme on Blue Planning in Practice (BPiP), held from 8 – 10 March 2022, in a virtual setting. 16 participants (6 males and 10 females) from nine different countries attended, including: Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
The three day virtual training workshop introduced the theory and practical starting points of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and MSP, while strengthening MSP planning and implementation. It is based on a large and diverse range of existing frameworks, tools, guidelines, articles, and online resources aiming to enable national and local planners and practitioners to develop and implement integrated coastal and marine policies and plans.
It was aimed at early career professionals working for government institutions, universities, NGOs, and the private sector that are responsible for planning, conservation and over-seeing different human activities on the marine landscape of Caribbean countries. The BPiP training course and materials were developed by the Blue Solutions Initiative in cooperation with a range of international experts in the field of marine spatial planning.
Many participants highlighted the novel and participatory approach of the BPiP training as highly beneficial. They also highlighted the diverse backgrounds and nationalities of participants as an asset for inter-sectorial learning, particularly regarding stakeholder participation.
Two themes were of particular interest to the workshop participants
1. stakeholder involvement and participation, and
2. the need to integrate different sectoral visions and government priorities into the marine spatial planning.
The case study of Bakul and the use of Seasketch helped the participants visualize the marine space and test out the MSP tools directly, something the participants highly appreciated. The Miro board allowed participants to return to activities/results they had the day before and take a look at what other groups were working on as well.
Overall, the training went well and the training team were happy with the delivery and outcomes over the course of the event. There was a good mix of ages, genders, nationalities and sectors represented which made for interesting discussions and the opportunity for sharing of experiences and learning among participants. The training also provided a great forum for networking among regional ECOPs.
The main strengths of the training were the interactiveness of the program and exercises, the use of the case study methodology as an educational tool and the diverse software and tools used to animate the activities and group work. The training team hope to build on this and offer similar future events to a variety of participants across the Caribbean SIDS.
The information on this page comes from the Training Report delivered by the training team: Dr Erick Ross Salazar, Vera Noon, and Sarah Mahadeo.
Thanks go to IOC-UNESCO and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) for their generous funding to support this capacity development training.