A New Blue Economy For Islands

Many prefer the term “Big Ocean State” to the more common “Small Island State”. And rightfully so: on average island states have jurisdiction over 80x more ocean than land mass. As islands face their challenges – be it economic, social, environmental – a huge opportunity lies in tapping into the benefits that the Sustainable Blue Economy brings. It is the key to building resilient futures for islands.

But our ocean is in trouble… fish stocks are over-exploited; warming seas are destroying coral reefs; 100 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins; acidification and deoxygenation continue to rise; and there seems no end to marine plastic pollution. So to ensure island states benefit from the Sustainable Blue Economy – be it through tourism, fishery, energy or other related sectors – firstly all countries need to embrace the principle of sustainability and include a healthy ocean in their national plans. Meanwhile, Big Ocean States will continue to lead the way as they more directly bear the brunt of an unhealthy ocean, but also more directly reap the potential benefits.

In the face of these challenges, this panel explores the opportunities that a sustainable Blue Economy can bring to islands – based on practical examples – and will consider key steps needed to get there.

Speakers

Daniel Hung

Director at Penghu County Government

Daniel Hung (洪棟霖) is the Director of General Affairs Department for the Government of Taiwan, Penghu County, where he serves as Director of Tourism, Director of Planning Office, Director of Economic Affairs, and Director of General Affairs. He is also part of the research team at the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, California, on a Non-Academic Professional Program Fulbright Scholarship. He has a Master of Science in Urban Planning from the National Cheng-Kung University of Taiwan. His goal is to research trends in marine spatial planning, maritime security, offshore energy, and sustainable tourism in both the U.S. and Taiwan, and to incubate 'Blue Economy Clusters', or partnerships between the U.S. and Taiwan.
Daniel Hung 洪棟霖

Director at Penghu County Government, Taiwan

Tara Carroll

Owner, Cove Cool-out Restaurant & Bar

Born to a Family of foodies where the entire family would go to Grandma’s house on Sundays for some good “Ole” Cooking. Tara had a yearning desire to replicate this same feeling and experience and offer to the Public, whilst having a positive environmental impact.

Tara went on to Complete her Degree at University of the West Indies, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies and also helped in forming the Germaine Mason Foundation.

She then Formed Cove Cool-out Restaurant & Bar while in University and started a Fish Fry based on a Popular Location called Hellshire Beach using authentic techniques of cooking and also hiring locals from that area.
Hellshire is at risk from sea level rise and Tara uses staff from the area for her weekly events. She is also looking into fish farming and already grows some of the inputs for her business. Nothing out of season is served at the Cove including lobster and conch; sustainable seafood is the priority.

Tara Carroll

Owner, Cove Cool-out Restaurant & Bar

Asia Williams

Blue Economy Entrepreneur Consultant, at Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.

Asia is passionate about climate change and the impact it is having on the environment. She previously worked in the UK as an Infrastructure Consultant on sustainable housing projects and public transport programmes to reduce areas with high car dependency. She also worked with the Environment Agency on their Flood Risk Programme to upgrade and introduce new schemes in areas where modelling showed climate change would have a negative impact. She worked with the Commonwealth Climate Change Network as an advisor, training young persons on climate change, and supporting engagement activities at COP24 negotiations. She started coming to Jamaica in 2017 on a partnership project with UN-Habitat to assess the flood risk in Montego Bay's North Gully and recently moved to Jamaica from the U.K where she supported the Climate Change Division’s communication activities and now gets to spend some weekends ocean diving and volunteering with the marine parks.
Asia Williams

Blue Economy Entrepreneur Consultant, at Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship./p>

Tourki Mohamed Ali

Youth Activist & Social Entrepreneur, Comoros Islands

Tourki Mohamed Ali is a youth activist and social entrepreneur from the Comoros. He completed studies in public management at Howard University as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and studied Business Development and Entrepreneurship at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Tourki Mohamed Ali

Youth Activist & Social Entrepreneur, Comoros Islands

Arno Boersma

Former Director of UNDP's Center of Excellence for Small Island Developing States

Arno Boersma is the founding partner of Island Impact, a social enterprise that aims to bring positive impact to small islands through initiatives in sustainable development. He is an experienced knowledge strategist with a passion for turning knowledge into action, preferably knowledge related to island opportunities in energy, water, climate, tourism, waste, ocean, and biodiversity. Arno has been an entrepreneur as well as worked for multinational firms, the World Bank Group, and the UN. Most recently, from 2016-2019, he led the launch and growth of the UNDP's Center of Excellence for Small Island Developing States which aims to foster island-to-island collaboration and knowledge exchange. He recently moved from Aruba to Washington, DC where he subsequently launched the Network of Island Professionals.
Arno Boersma

Former Director of UNDP’s Center of Excellence for Small Island Developing States

Partner

Branson Centre Caribbean

Opened in Montego Bay, Jamaica by Richard Branson in September 2011, the Centre is a hub for budding entrepreneurs who gain access to knowledge, markets, networks and resources through the a dynamic and practical business training and support programme. Through the Centre’s personalized and family-like approach, Branson entrepreneurs form personal relationships and business linkages through a peer and partnership network that assists them to grow their operations. They also receive ongoing support in the form of mentorship, coaching, expert guidance and information exchange. Branson Centre entrepreneurs are selected through a rigorous recruitment process used to identify the most passionate and socially minded visionaries who use “business as a force for good” and act as change-makers in their community. By supporting the development of small and growing businesses, the Centre helps to create jobs and contribute to the economy in the Caribbean region.