LONDON, England, Monday November 30, 2015 – British Prime Minister David Cameron has set aside £5.6 million (US$8.4 million) of its overseas aid budget to go towards improving fishing in the Caribbean and other small island states.
Among the 25 Commonwealth small island nations set to benefit are: Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago.
Cameron said the money will be provided from next year to target developing maritime economy plans, with additional funding on offer for future years to help these countries implement their plans.
The funding will provide for: technical experts from the UK Hydrographic Office to locate valuable marine resources and mitigate the hazards to shipping that would otherwise make the exploitation of those resources uneconomical; the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science to work with the countries to strengthen their capacity to manage their local fisheries, tackle pollution and develop coastal infrastructure; and assistance from the National Oceanographic Centre to map maritime zones, producing vital data to identify new investment and growth opportunities and helping to preserve biodiversity
Cameron said the package would support small island countries to preserve their marine environments – often a primary source of income for these countries – and tap into maritime resources to catalyze economic development in a sustainable way across Commonwealth countries.
The funds are part of a wider £26 million (US$39 million) package – that will address climate change issues – which the UK leader announced at the just ended Commonwealth Summit in Malta, ahead of the climate change summit in Paris which begins today and runs until December 11.
It includes £15 million (US$22.5 million) to fund disaster insurance for Pacific islands to help countries get quick access to funding aid if they suffer a natural catastrophe; £5 million (US$7.5 million) will assist poor states with natural disaster prevention plans; and £1 million (US$1.5 million) to help raise money for infrastructure projects.