Grenada selected To Host Sargassum Conference Following Dialouge With The EU, OECS Secretariat

PR – In a significant step towards addressing the  pervasive challenge of sargassum in Grenada and the region, incoming CARICOM  Chairman, Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell, head of Grenada’s delegation at the  SIDS4 Conference in Antigua & Barbuda, alongside representatives from the European  Union (EU) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), convened a highly  productive meeting on 27th May. The discussions focused on collaborative strategies to  manage and mitigate the impact of sargassum seaweed on coastal ecosystems, the  tourism industry, and local communities. 

The meeting concluded with Grenada being nominated to host a dedicated Sargassum  Conference in September, aimed at bringing together key stakeholders to explore  innovative solutions and business opportunities related to sargassum management. This  prestigious nomination underscores Grenada’s commitment to environmental  sustainability and regional leadership in addressing marine challenges. 

Key Outcomes of the Meeting: 

  1. Enhanced Collaboration: The meeting highlighted the importance of a united  regional approach to tackle the sargassum issue. The EU and OECS reaffirmed their  commitment to supporting Caribbean nations through technical assistance, funding, and  expertise sharing. 
  2. Hosting of Sargassum Conference: Grenada has been selected to host a  groundbreaking Sargassum Conference in September later this year. This conference will  bring together experts, policymakers, business leaders, and environmentalists to discuss  and develop sustainable solutions for sargassum management. It will also explore various  business opportunities that sargassum presents, including its potential use in agriculture,  biofuel, and other innovative industries. 
  3. Technical Support and Funding: The EU has pledged increased technical  support and funding to aid in the development of sargassum management technologies  and practices. This support will be instrumental in enhancing the region’s capacity to  effectively respond to recurrent sargassum influxes. 
  4. Environmental and Economic Benefits: The discussions emphasized the dual  benefit of sargassum management strategies that not only protect our marine and coastal  environment, but also unlock economic opportunities. By converting sargassum into  valuable products, we can turn a challenge into a source of economic growth and  sustainability.

Prime Minister Hon. Dickon Mitchell expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are honored  to be chosen as the host for the upcoming Sargassum Conference. This is a critical issue  that affects not just Grenada, but the entire Caribbean region. By working together with  our international partners, we can find innovative solutions that protect our environment  and create new economic opportunities for our people.” 

EU Director of International Partnerships Felix Fernandez-Shaw added, “The EU is  committed to supporting the Caribbean in its efforts to combat the sargassum challenge.  We believe that through collaboration and innovation, we can turn this environmental  issue into an opportunity for sustainable development.” 

OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, highlighted, “This meeting marks a significant  step forward in our regional efforts to address the sargassum problem. Grenada’s  leadership in hosting the conference will be pivotal in driving forward our collective goals.” 

Minister for Climate Resilience, the Environment and Renewable Energy Hon. Kerryne  James will lead the preparation efforts for the Sargassum Conference.