Drake Ordered By Judge To Stand Deposition In XXXTentacion’s Trial

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

A judge has granted a defense motion that forces Canadian rapper Drake to sit for a deposition in the ongoing trial of three defendants charged with first degree of rapper XXXTentacion in June 2018.

The Canadian rapper will have to comply with the order to sit for the deposition on February 24 after previously ignoring several requests by defense lawyer Mauricio Padilla representing Diedrick Williams.

The defendants Michael Boatwright (28), who is alleged to be the killer who shot X, Williams (26), the alleged driver of the car and alleged mastermind behind the murder, and Trayvon Newsome (24), the other alleged gunman are charged with first-degree murder with a firearm and armed robbery with a firearm in the murder of XXXTentacion whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy.

The defense attorney for Williams, during opening statements, asked that the court grant an order to show cause in order to subpoena Drake to sit for deposition as there were numerous reports and tips by fans asking that Drake be investigated in X’s murder as the two rappers had a tense beef in 2018.

Fans have also dug up an Instagram Story from XXXTentacion in which he says if he dies, Drake is responsible for it. The rapper died a month later, and his attorney focused his opening statement on the fact that the police had allegedly not done a thorough investigation and they had arrested the wrong person- Williams.

Drake is not the only rapper who has been referenced but the Migos, although no application to subpoena them was made.

In the meantime, Prosecutors have not mentioned Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, in any way in the trial.

Padilla previously told the court that a deposition date was set two times before, but despite Drake being properly served, he failed to show up or acknowledge the summons.

Drizzy will need to sit for the deposition on February 24 or face consequences.

“If deponent Aubrey Drake Graham does not appear to deposition he must appear before this court on Monday February 27, 2023 at 10 a.m. EST at so [sic] the court can determine why he should not be held in contempt.”

In his motion to show cause, Padilla not only mentioned the Instagram Story, which said, “If anyone tries to kill me it was @champagnepapi [Drake’s Instagram handle]. I’m snitching rn,” but also concerns that the late rapper’s mother made to police when she gave a statement to police after his death.

In his filing, Padilla claims that Drake has gang affiliations and even had a man call into a public podcast to claim that he was Drake’s shooter.

Drake’s lyrics incessantly diss XXXTentacion even after his death was also referenced in the filing by the attorney. In one song, “BS,” on his latest joint 21 Savage album, Her Loss, the attorney claim that the lyrics, “I never put no prices on the beef until we end this sh*t/I pay half a million for his soul, he my nemesis,” is about XXXTentacion.

The filing also speaks to XXXTentacion claiming that Drake had stolen his cadence and style on a track “KMT” released before he was killed.

As for the prosecution, it has so far led evidence from a co-defendant turned state witness Robert Allen who claims that it was Williams’ idea to go out to rob people and while going to buy a mask, he saw the rapper’s car at Riva Motorsports and even pulled up his Instagram to confirm that the BMW i8 in the parking lot was the one X drove.

The witness further claimed that he even argued against robbing the rapper, given the CCTV footage at Riva motorsports easily identified them, but it was Williams who persuaded the other two to rob the rapper and came up with the elaborate plan to block the rapper from coming out of the only exit at the business place so they could ambush him. The witness identified Boatwright as the one who fired several shots at XXXTentacion, as seen on surveillance footage. The shots instantly killed X.

On Thursday, a deputy testified that the second alleged gunman, Newsome, had spotted Allen being taken to prison transport when he shouted after him that he was working with police and working with the white man in a way to intimidate him as a “snitch.”

Drake nor his attorneys have not publicly acknowledged the order.

Urban Islandz coverage of XXXTentacion’s murder trial continues.


Patterson calls for Caribbean, Africa to increase stake in global trade

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson wants Africa and the Caribbean to increase their efforts to seize a greater percentage share of the global trade market.

The statesman-in-residence at the P. J. Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy at The University of the West Indies (UWI) on Wednesday urged the Caribbean and Africa not to be satisfied with being on the periphery of global trade.

According to Patterson, the two regions must seek to achieve economic growth and sustainable development within a rules-based multilateral trading system that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) exists to enforce.

He noted that while Africa and the Caribbean constitute one-third of the WTO membership, they account for less than four per cent of global trade.

“Africa’s share is below three per cent and the Caribbean countries are about 0.5 per cent. We cannot – and we will not – be content to remain at the periphery of the global trading system, and we must resolve to enter a new frontier in all six regions of Africa,” the former prime minister declared during the Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum at The UWI, Mona, on Wednesday.

He said that Africa and the Caribbean are confronting a combination of traditional and contemporary crises, contending that the long legacy of colonialism still has a debilitating effect that stifles the enormous development potential of the two regions.

Slavery, according to Patterson, was the most heinous crime against humanity and an evil wave of genocide. He said that colonialism was also abhorrent and iniquitous.

“Between them, countless lives were lost, entire generations perished, and our resources were mercilessly stolen. We must never relinquish our entitlements to full and long overdue reparations even as we persist to attain our inalienable rights to economic freedom, economic self-determination, economic sovereignty, and economic justice,” he said.

The forum, dubbed ‘Key Strategies for Trading and Investing in Africa, Highlighting Opportunities in Sierra Leone’, was intended to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between Jamaica and the west African country to foster trade in goods and services and investments between both countries.

Patterson believes that increased trade between Jamaica and Sierra Leone could lead to a broader agreement for a huge market of Caribbean countries.

Jamaica’s imports from Sierra Leone in 2020 valued US$242,000 compared to nil in 2019 and US$84,000 in 2018, according to the latest data from TradeMap, part of ITC, a United Nations entity. The data for 2021 were not available.

Jamaica’s exports to Sierra Leone were listed as nil over the years.

Patterson holds the view that much can be gained from the blue economy in the Caribbean and the western coastal areas of Africa.

“The prerequisite is for us to be vigorous in defence of the resources of the ocean,” he reasoned.

In his comments, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Aubyn Hill said that the growth of exports was one of the key areas of focus in his ministry.

“I am prepared to put in the work to find mutually beneficial and sustainable avenues to increase our exports and bilateral trade between the two countries,” he said of Jamaica and Sierra Leone.

“We recognise that while we do not yet have a bilateral agreement that speaks specifically to trade between Jamaica and Africa, we believe that there are profitable opportunities for trade and investment in tourism that can be of significant value,” Hill added.

He said that trade between the regions has been limited, although Jamaica has exported aluminum, bauxite, and other minerals while importing petroleum and other food products from Sierra Leone.

Hill noted that in March 2021, the Government appointed an ambassador and special envoy to Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Togo. This, he said, was another step by the Jamaican Government to deepen relations with Africa and specifically identify opportunities for enhancing trade and investment in support of the island’s economic development.

On Tuesday, Sierra Leone opened a new consular office in Red Hills, St Andrew, as the West African country positions itself to prop up trade relations with Jamaica.

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Passport rush blamed on US policy stalls adoptions in Haiti

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Bryan and Julie Hanlon hold photos of their adopted Haitian children, Gina, left, and Peterson, in a play area of their home in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. They became the legal parents of the siblings in 2022 and fear they won’t be able to secure their passports and fly them out of Haiti. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Dozens of children are stuck in orphanages across Haiti, unable to leave the increasingly volatile country and start new lives with adoptive parents because a U.S. policy change has unleashed a rush for passports at Haiti’s main immigration office.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced last month that the U.S. will accept 30,000 people a month from Haiti, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela if they pass a background check and have an eligible sponsor and a passport to travel.

The ensuing demand for Haitian passports has overwhelmed Haiti’s passport office in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where people with appointments cannot squeeze through the aggressive crowd or secure new appointments.

Meanwhile, adoptive parents say the U.S. State Department has declined to grant passport waivers as they worry their children will succumb to hunger, cholera or gang violence.

“It’s infuriating,” said Bryan Hanlon, a postal inspector who lives with his wife in Washington.

They became the legal parents of Peterson, 5, and Gina, 6, last year and fear they won’t be able to secure passports for the children and fly them out of Haiti, which has been in a downward spiral since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Mo?se.

Last year, the number of reported kidnappings in Haiti soared to 1,359, more than double the previous year, and 2,183 killings were reported, up by a third from 2021, according to the United Nations. Gangs also are raping women and children at an alarming rate, including those as young as 10, officials say.

More than 1 million children are not going to school as a result of social unrest and other issues, with 72 schools reporting violent attacks since October, compared with only eight during the same time period the previous year. Armed groups have attacked more than a dozen schools and set one on fire, and they also have killed one student and kidnapped at least two teachers, according to UNICEF statistics released Thursday.

Haiti also is fighting a deadly cholera outbreak and a spike in starvation.

Last year, 5-year-old Peterson became malnourished and had to be taken to a clinic, where he was treated for a couple of months.

Then in October, the siblings had to flee the orphanage with a caretaker as gangs raided the neighborhood, killing dozens of civilians and setting homes on fire. The violence that erupts as gangs fight over territory has left tens of thousands of Haitians homeless.

“That was the worst day of our lives,” Hanlon said. “We didn’t know if they were alive or dead.”

With their orphanage abandoned because of the violence, the children had been taken by one of their caretakers to her home in southern Haiti, where they have remained, he said.

Hanlon said he and his wife send money to the caretaker, but that “some days, there is just no food to buy or no fuel to cook it.” Other times, she cannot leave the house to pick up the money because it’s too dangerous, he said.

Brooke Baeth, an elementary school speech therapist in Minnesota, understands the fear and frustration. She and her husband became the legal parents of a 5-year-old girl in Haiti nearly a year ago, but they don’t know when they will be able to meet her.

In late January, her daughter and caretakers flew from their orphanage in northern Haiti to Port-au-Prince only to encounter a huge crowd at the immigration office. Despite having an appointment, they could not get inside, nor could some of the office’s own employees, Baeth said.

“It’s just devastating,” she said, adding that like the Hanlons, they haven’t been able to obtain a passport waiver from the State Department. “It feels like our voices are not being heard.”

A spokesperson for the State Department said intercountry adoption is one of the agency’s highest priorities and that it uses all appropriate tools to identify and overcome barriers.

“We understand that it is currently difficult for prospective adoptive parents to obtain a Haitian passport,” the spokesperson said. “We remain committed to helping prospective adoptive parents navigate the often-complicated journey of intercountry adoption. We will continue to engage with the Haitian government on this issue.”

Hanlon noted they are the legal parents of Gina and Peterson, not prospective adoptive parents.

He shared email messages with The Associated Press in which the U.S. government denied his request for a waiver by noting that both Haiti’s immigration office and the Ministry of the Interior were open for business, and that passport waivers are for use only on a case-by-case basis and as a last resort.

Ryan Hanlon, president and CEO of the U.S. National Council for Adoption who is not related to Bryan Hanlon, said in a phone interview that the State Department’s manual calls on officials to prioritize adoption cases.

“Can we even say we prioritize adoption when we have legal options that we choose not to utilize?” he said. “It’s the safety of the children that’s the concern here.”

Given the ongoing crush at Haiti’s main immigration office, government officials recently opened two makeshift offices in a gymnasium and a soccer field elsewhere in Port-au-Prince. They also implemented a schedule setting aside specific days for groups including women and the elderly. Saturdays have been reserved for children.

Officials say they don’t know how many Haitian children are in this situation, but two of 11 U.S. agencies that are main providers of adoption services in Haiti say a dozen or more of their children are affected and the number has been rising. From 2016 to 2020, people adopted 827 children from Haiti, according to the most recent statistics from the State Department. Only 96 children were adopted in 2020, down from a high of 227 in 2017.

At one adoption agency, Colorado-based A Love Beyond Borders, at least 13 children in Haiti have been adopted but have been unable to obtain passports amid a processing backlog that is growing every day, said Stephanie Thoet, the agency’s Haiti program coordinator.

She noted that even Haiti’s Ministry of the Interior has been unable to access the passport office to manually deliver the files of adopted children and worries about officials being killed or kidnapped by gangs as they travel back and forth with paperwork that has taken years to complete.

“I am terrified every time they go,” she said.

At another agency, Utah-based Wasatch International Adoption, at least a dozen children who already have been adopted can’t obtain a passport, and the number is growing, said Chareyl Moyes, the agency’s Haiti program manager.

“The situation is dire,” she said, adding that she worries about a child or caretaker being killed. “Do we want to wait until it’s at that point?”

Baeth said it’s hard for her daughter to understand why it’s taking so long to be together. They tell her how much she means to them and send her images of the snow, prompting her to excitedly ask if she could eat it. The girl, who wants to be a unicorn rider when she grows up, has sent them videos of her doing cartwheels and somersaults.

Hanlon said his daughter knows what is going on: “She understands enough to be frustrated.”

He recalled how Gina was upset one day and told her caretaker: “I don’t want to talk to them in videos anymore. I want to talk to them in person.”

His son, however, is younger.

Hanlon said when the boy is told he can’t travel to certain parts of Haiti, he tells the other children not to worry, assuring them: “My dad’s like Superman. He’ll fly down and kill the bad guys.”

Hanlon paused as his voice broke.

“Some days, I feel like I’m letting him down.”

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Caribbean Travel News And Deals

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 10, 2023: Here are the top Caribbean travel news and deals this week in 60 seconds.

The best hotels in the Caribbean per US News & World Report is out and the winners are as follows:
Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla
Jumby Bay Island – Oetker Collection
Jade Mountain Resort
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Tortuga Bay Puntacana Resort & Club

Canada is still warning nationals to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to The Bahamas due to high rates of crime, especially in Freeport and Nassau.

Get ready to celebrate the first ever Global Tourism Resilience Day on February 17th. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution on Feb. 7th, with the support of over ninety countries.

Princess Amalia of The Netherlands, Queen Maxima of The Netherlands and King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands continue a Dutch Royal Family tour of the Dutch Caribbean Islands.

St. Kitts Music Festival is already counting down to its 25th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival from June 22-24 at the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium. See more at visitstkitts.com.

Anguilla will present its Second Annual Anguilla Culinary Experience (ACE), from Wednesday, May 3rd through Saturday, May 6th, 2023. All tickets will be sold a la carte, allowing attendees to customize their festival experience via anguillaculinaryexperience.com.

Deals abound in Grenada for Spring Break 2023. Little Palace Bed and Breakfast, located close to Grand Anse Beach, is offering a special Group Package for a 7-night stay starting at $1,986 per person. The package includes complimentary airport transfers, breakfast every morning, 4 sightseeing tours, 4 dinners and even a visit to the island of Carriacou.

Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel, an award-winning, Relais & Châteaux luxury boutique hotel, is offering a Spring (March-April) package that includes a complimentary suite upgrade and $250 resort credit with a minimum booking of a 4-night stay.

And Caerula Mar Club located on South Andros, in The Bahamas, has launched three new add-on packages that offer special events and experiences tailored to romance, wellness and adventure travelers. Packages start at $830 per couple. For a complete list of deals and discounted packages in The Bahamas, visit bahamas.com/deals-packages.


J Prince Exposed Offset and Cardi B In Lengthy Post, Offset & Cardi Respond

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Cardi B attempted to clear the air on Wednesday afternoon hours after J Prince shaded Offset as “fake” and someone his family “hold their head down” when they speak of him.

J Prince has been on an extensive rant and press tour in the past few weeks as he speaks about Migos rapper, Takeoff’s death. The Rap-A-Lot CEO seems to have a bone to pick with Offset, whom he accused of saying things about him to others since his cousin died. It’s unclear what J Prince’s issue is, but his sons – J Prince Jr. and Jas Prince, have both received backlash as they hosted the dice game where Takeoff was killed.

Offset and Quavo have both been quiet since the rapper was killed, but J Prince, who has no relation to the Migos members, appears to be upset at Takeoff.

Days after Offset accused J Prince of playing “internet games” and capitalizing on Takeoff’s death in the media, J Prince went off on Offset again on Wednesday night as he claimed that Offset threatened him and his family.

“This clown Offset suffering from being a fake muthaf**** Disease. He wana play the victim now but he was a volunteer when he spoke threats about me and my family name in his mouth about what he gon do. Why you didn’t call me to talk is the twist he wants to use,” J Prince is heard speaking in a post on Instagram.

He continued, “tell lies to your woman n***ga, I don’t have time to listen to weak shit. Now you want to fake in front of a camera and trying to hide behind Takeoff mother when I have shown nothing but respect for her and family. See boy you acting like you a part of a family that don’t really fuck with you cause you a snake. Now you acting like you don’t know me from a can of paint, let me see if I can refresh your memory. Remember we talked when you got your ass whooped in Atlanta?”

In a caption, J Prince also wrote, “I’m glad I’m not one of those individuals that my family has to hold their head down when my name is mentioned,” as he urged that no matter what the media says or what people heard, “it’s cap.”

Offset has not responded, but Cardi B responded to chatter online. The “WAP” rapper liked a tweet where a fan wrote, “And why is J Prince discussing Takeoff family like he closer to them than Offset ever was?”

Cardi B also replied to a tweet from a follower who said she needed J Prince’s help to feel safe in LA.

“NEVER… tell him to show receipts… Only people that was there was Wack and Big U…why would he be calling for anything involving crips? Whole bunch of fairy tales,” Cardi B said.

“BIG LIES,” Cardi wrote in another tweet.

Days ago, J Prince had threatened Offset on the Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast.

“This Offset dude, I ain’t gon leave him out, you know I’m just real like this because you know, N***gas be throwing rocks and hiding their hands… For you to be taking these positions that you taking, you know what I mean? I got people everywhere, so I hear all kinds of things.”

He also threatened Offset to not put him in a position where he have to defend himself.

Offset has since responded to J Prince by calling him the police.

“Street Ni— turn never needed you for no smoke u da police all mouth with no proof just fairy tales let this be the last time we speak on this,” Offset tweeted.


Guyana’s Economic Boom and the Labor Market

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

By Dr. Meredith Arnold McIntyre

Guyana’s rapidly expanding oil sector has the potential to profoundly transform the economy. Oil production is currently above 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is projected to reach 720,000 bpd by 2026. The International Monetary Fund estimates Guyana’s commercially recoverable petroleum reserves at about 11 billion barrels, the third largest in Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the highest levels per capita in the world. The “oil boom” is driving strong economic growth with overall real GDP growth estimated to average over 25 percent in the period 2023-26.

The fast-changing economy will not only potentially deliver significant development benefits but also pose challenges. A key challenge will be the impact on Guyana’s labor market and the skills gap. In the oil sector, the demand for the skilled labor needed to support the fast-growing sector will be in short supply. The International Organization ILO estimates that in the next five years in the oil and gas value chain the skilled labor in strong demand is likely to be engineering professionals, risk (environmental and occupational health and hygiene), management professionals, ships’ deck crews and related workers), physical and engineering science technicians (as opposed to professionals), finance professionals and mining and construction workers. Notably, 81 percent of the occupations where demand is strongest require a higher technical or a higher degree of education and training. However, information technology skills including transferable to the oil sector are in greater supply, but skills gaps remain, albeit smaller.

The number of graduates from Guyana’s tertiary and vocational training institutions is significantly below the numbers needed for the skills in greatest demand. The International Labor Organization (ILO) identified expertise in health and safety and risk management to be the least acquirable qualification given the current capacity of the tertiary and vocational institutions. In addition, the supply of graduates from welding, metal work and mechanical engineering are in limited supply. The Table indicates that the number of graduates in disciplines to support the oil industry in 2020/21 was 317 whereas the ILO survey estimated that the number of engineering professionals needed in a year is about 209 and the number of physical and engineering service technicians would be 113. The data indicates significant investment to upgrade Guyana’s tertiary and educational institutions (including increasing the number of teachers/training professionals) will be key to closing skills gaps, increasing local content as the oil industry expands and spreading the development benefits. The government’s stated development plans (financed by oil revenues) prioritize strengthening the education sector and substantially increasing the supply of skilled workers including university graduates.

The “growth dividend” of the oil industry is fueling broad based economic expansion and there is rapidly growing demand for skilled labor across the economy but limited supply. Therefore, closing significant skills gaps is not only an oil sector challenge but economy wide. Guyana’s low supply of skilled labor reflects the country’s weak education indicators, particularly low secondary school enrolment ratios. Overall, Guyana’s skills gaps are directly related to limited development gains as the country’s human development index is lower than the median for the Latin American and Caribbean region and for middle income countries. A World Bank Report indicates that prior to 2020 by age 18, children in Guyana can expect to complete 12.1 years of pre-primary, primary and secondary school but when years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, it is only equivalent to 6.7 years: a learning gap of 5.4 years. In addition, the labor market in Guyana has typically been polarized. Research indicates that labor mobility between industries is limited reflecting the industry-specific skills and occupation-related skills.

Given the acute nature of the skills shortage public policy will need to be focused on two broad areas: First, to fill the specialized labor gaps in the short-term Guyana will need to implement open labor market policies to reattract the Guyanese diaspora that migrated and attract foreign professionals. Encouraging the return of skilled expertise in the diaspora experience from other countries indicates a multi-pronged approach could be helpful. Establishing a Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to coordinate and implement programs for developing and supporting networks among professionals in the diaspora and locally and encouraging joint ventures with local businesses. Another immediate policy step would be adjusting the labor market regulations, thereby opening the labor market to countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to facilitate the free movement of labor. The government has expressed its commitment to regional economic integration and Guyana adopting a policy of free movement of labor with CARICOM countries. A related but important requirement is ensuring an efficient, timely immigration process for the granting of work permits. However, a flexible labor market policy will need to be extended beyond CARICOM and to the rest of the world given the size of the skills gaps as the economic expansion takes hold. The Gulf countries faced similar challenges with a “booming economy” driven by the energy sector and policymakers can find good examples of migrant worker programs implemented to tackle skills shortages, for example, Kuwait.

Second, as stated earlier, oil revenues can support higher levels of public investment in the social sectors, particularly in expanding the number of educational institutions at all levels including vocational while simultaneously improving their quality.

Public policy can also support developing skilled labor via supporting the private sector to formalize ongoing (or introduce) traineeship schemes, particularly with foreign companies operating in the main economic sectors, particularly, the oil sector. One policy option is the Government can agree with private sector stakeholders the skill areas and number of trainees per year that will be supported in the annual budget.

In conclusion, Guyana’s fast growing oil sector is driving unprecedented economic growth that is resulting in a significant increase in the demand for labor, particularly skilled labor. Closing skills gaps over the medium to long term is a priority of development policy and vital to supporting stronger long term growth. Policy options include flexible labor market policies including adjusting labor market regulations to allow greater use of foreign skilled workers from CARICOM and other countries together with incentives to reattract the diaspora. In addition, sustained investment in increasing the number and quality of educational and training institutions over the medium to long term will be key to closing skills gaps, increasing local content and ensuing inclusive growth.

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Anguilla Joins Blue Belt Initiative to Promote Inclusive Sustainable Ocean Economy

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Quincia Gumbs-Marie.

Anguilla’s official announcement will seek to respond to marine challenges, manage their coastal and marine resources to spur economic growth and reduce poverty, while adapting to the effects of climate change.

The Government of Anguilla officially announced becoming the latest member to join the UK’s Ocean Conservation Programme Blue Belt initiative. Minister Quincia Gumbs Marie, Minister of Sustainability, Innovation & the Environment made the announcement at the Blue Belt ceremony during the official visit of the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, Lord Goldsmith.

The UK’s Ocean Conservation Programme Blue Belt initiative seeks to steer progress by addressing the greatest challenges facing the world’s ocean today, coastal management, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution.

The announcement was accompanied by a conservation tour of the island, attended by several dignitaries, and prominent figures, including Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

By joining the Blue belt initiative, Anguilla demonstrates its commitment to biodiversity, the Blue economy and sustainable management of its marine resources and aims to become the most sustainable island in the region.

Speaking at the ceremony, Quincia Gumbs-Marie, Minister of Sustainability, Innovation & the Environment at the Government of Anguilla said:

“By joining the Blue Belt Anguilla is demonstrating our commitment to improve the governance of marine and coastal ecosystems, achieve equal economic opportunities and restore and conserve biodiversity. This also signals a major step forward in the decade old aspiration to invest in Anguilla’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is crucial to the economy of island states and showcase how Anguilla can maximise the benefits of sustainably managed oceans. Our management efforts will include monitoring including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Anguillan waters, training for our stakeholders, and support for the establishment of sustainable fisheries. The work of this programme will be in consultation with all stakeholders of our seas to ensure the vision of sustainable development by way of the blue economy is realised. This announcement and this programme are a great opportunity to harvest economic benefits and propel Anguilla’s leading role in the sustainable usage of ocean resources for economic growth, improvement of livelihoods, and preserve the health of the ocean ecosystem.”

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) added “We have done terrible harm to the world’s ocean, from plastic pollution and overfishing to extraction and climate change. And we are just beginning to understand the ocean’s critical importance to life on earth – to the air we breathe, global food security and as a giant carbon sink. So, it is crucial that we do everything in our powers to protect the ocean, and Anguilla’s decision to join our Blue Belt Programme is a hugely welcome part of that. With the commitment agreed at the CBD COP15 in Montreal to protect 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030, programmes such as these will be essential.”

Anguilla’s aim is to be perceived as a model for the Blue economy due to its approach to conservation, sustainable fisheries and outstanding marine protected areas system. The initiative is part of a series of new innovations launched by the Government of Anguilla which aim to deliver inclusive and sustainable Blue Economic growth across the island-state.

Quincia Gumbs-Marie, Minister of Sustainability, Innovation & the Environment at the Government of Anguilla further noted: “This is an opportunity to emphasise the enormous potential of Anguilla’s marine economy which, if utilised optimally, will increase employment, productivity, and added value to the economy, creating new job opportunities, improving livelihoods and impacting the next generation”

This announcement is also expected to promote global collaboration and contribute to the global transition towards a more sustainable ocean.

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