Caribbean countries must adopt aggressive new strategies to achieve sustainable management and protection of their marine product, according to a noted regional biologist.
Otherwise, the region risks losing precious natural resources, says James Azueta, one of the region’s foremost experts in the field. Azueta, who serves as ecosystems management unit coordinator for the Belize Fisheries Department, will present a special workshop on strategies for the management of marine sites and attractions during the 10th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism in the Turks and Caicos Islands from April 28 – May 1, 2008. According to Azueta, the concept of protected areas is not new to the Caribbean region, with various categories such as nature preserves and national monuments having existed for more than 200 years. However, the management of such marine areas depends almost entirely on external financing. A relatively low management success rate can be attributed in part to neglect of the marine environment by international environmental donor agencies. Visit www.onecaribbean.org.