5. Recommendations

The recommendations set out in Table 5.1 present immediate steps which can be taken to create the necessary enabling conditions for an SBE transition in Antigua and Barbuda, with some notes on the specific actions to advance each recommendation.

Stakeholders, in addition to those engaged in the RRA process, will need to be identified and included.

5.1 Recommendations

The recommendations set out in Table 5.1 present immediate steps which can be taken to create the necessary enabling conditions for an SBE transition in Antigua and Barbuda, with some notes on the specific actions to advance each recommendation.

Stakeholders, in addition to those engaged in the RRA process, will need to be identified and included.

5.2 Other priorities for consideration

The RRA process also identified several existing priorities relevant to an SBE transition. These are listed below for consideration as part of the development of an SBE SAP or as standalone activities:

  • Sustainable economic diversification: this could include developing integrated sectoral plans aligned to SBE priorities; developing new regulatory frameworks for emerging sectors; public awareness campaigns to shift consumer preferences and practices (for example, fisheries market).
  • Strengthening waste management infrastructure: at present, waste management infrastructure is largely insufficient to manage the existing waste generation, with high leakage rates and waste entering the environment. Immediate infrastructure development is recommended, particularly considering that Antigua aims to become a cruise home port which would significantly increase the volume of visitors to the country.
  • Improved valuation of sectors and ecosystem benefits: for example, development of key indicators and increasing monitoring and data related to socioeconomic factors and ecosystem valuation to improve political buy-in and support redirection of investment to sustainable initiatives and emerging sectors.
  • Improved alignment with climate efforts and the green economy: Antigua and Barbuda’s efforts on climate-change adaptation need to be considered and the SBE approach carefully aligned with green economy matters to be successful, given that the SBE is heavily interlinked with climate and land. For example, the NAP (due in 2023) will highlight the areas in which Antigua and Barbuda intend to intervene, which the SBE approach will need to incorporate into planning and management.
  • Addressing sociocultural reasons for unsustainable behaviour: at present, there is no agency responsible for this. In order to deliver advocacy, awareness and understanding of the SBE, it is necessary to understand the existing patterns of behaviour and where they stem from. For example, a political agenda to ‘clear your land’, clearing land of natural vegetation is seen as a good sign of development, but the wider effects are not conveyed nor accounted for.

Table 5.1: Recommendations and specific actions to enable readiness for an SBE transition in Antigua and Barbuda


Specific actions

Review (and revise as necessary) the draft NOP to expedite adoption and develop a strategic action plan (SAP)

  • GoAB to adopt the draft NOP and clarify its role in informing and steering policy development and decision-making.
  • Develop an SAP and ensure that the actions are relevant to the revised NOP and the monitoring and evaluation actions undertaken to ensure progress, with resources allocated as required. This action plan should include:
    • ‘SMART’ deliverables that are aligned to the SBE vision, take account of prevailing conditions and future scenarios, and are supported by sufficient capacity and resources;
    • a clear implementation timeline, with defined roles and responsibilities to promote accountability;
    • SBE indicators for monitoring and evaluation and
    • a financial plan and strategy for capacity-building, research and innovation.
  • Revisit the MEP to ensure coherence with the revised NOP, and provide a supporting road map for the delivery of the NOP. When developing the SAP, this MEP could provide the foundation on which the SAP is built.

Clarify roles and responsibilities for leadership of SBE activities, with mandates

  • The DoBE requires a clear mandate, TOR and standard operating procedure (linked to an operations manual) that enables it to:
    • steer the SBE agenda and co-ordinate across relevant stakeholders and sectors, possibly through a secretariat role to the NOGC; and
    • channel resources to areas where they are most needed, building capacities and facilitating co-ordinated actions by supporting collaborative action.
  • Amend the structure of the DoBE to reflect that suggested by the CMEP gap analysis27, shown in Appendix 1.
  • Define the remit of NOGC for delivering the SBE and the NOP to support and guide the DoBE with clear MoUs and SoPs in place.
  • Revisit membership of the NOGC to include further essential actors as outlined in section 3.2.
  • Support the NOGC with the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources required for SBE agenda co-ordination and leadership.

Deliver awareness raising across the ocean governance system

  • DoBE, with the support of the NOGC, to focus on improving cross-governmental understanding of:
    • the scope of the SBE;
    • the range of sectors and actors that intersect, and their role in decision-making;
    • the idea that environmental sustainability (or a ‘SBE’) does not mean no economic development; and
    • the longer-term benefits to the national economy, environment and society;

This can be tackled through workshops and relationship-building exercises.

  • The DoBE could place team members on postings within other SBE active departments (especially DoE, ADOMS, ABDFCG, MoT, MoF) to foster relationships, build technical knowledge and gain a better understanding of the existing activity across government, and the critical issues and gaps the DoBE could support.

Agree on a unified SBE definition and vision

  • Undertake a workshop or wider engagement process, led by the DoBE and with the support of the NOGC to agree on a unified definition and vision, in consultation with non-state actors to ensure representation and non-government buy-in.
  • The current vision in the draft NOP (2019) and CMEP (2021) could be used as a starting point for developing a unified vision that could focus the mandate of the DoBE and other stakeholders.

Better utilise existing legislation to support the SBE transition

  • Ensure adoption of the NOP to provide a legal basis for considering SBE principles and sustainability throughout decision-making.
  • Apply and effectively enforce existing legislation (such as the MEPA, 2019; Fisheries Act, 2006; Marine Areas Act, 1972; Beach Protection Act, 1993; Barbuda Regulations, 2014) to traditional sectors would increase their sustainability until formalised integrated marine management options and a cabinet approved NOP can drive the sustainability agenda.
  • Process existing draft legislation, particularly the NOP, would generate increased trust in the legislative process and high-level buy-in to new SBE policy.

Strengthen stakeholder engagement and ‘bridge-building’

  • Conduct a series of stakeholder workshops to further understand each other’s interests and needs, their responsibilities and influence, and how they relate to each other, including between both islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Embarking on a participatory MSP process would facilitate this by providing a framework and focus on specific development scenarios in Antigua and Barbuda.

Review and harmonise existing data to identify gaps

  • GoAB to establish a mandate for the Ministry of Information to provide data collection and storage relevant to the SBE, and to ensure accessibility to all relevant actors for immediate consideration in decision-making.
  • The DoBE to co-ordinate a nationwide assessment of existing data repositories to understand availability of key data for the SBE, considering the assessed needs of the MSP process and the monitoring and evaluation framework associated with the NOP.

Better use existing as well as innovative financing options

  • Hold further workshops to develop technical capacity for grant and proposal writing for opportunities such as the GCF, GEF-8 (pending), AF and the GEF Small Grants Programme.
  • Guided by the NOP and working with the NOGC, the Ministry of Finance could explore innovative opportunities (such as public-private partnerships in nature-based businesses, blue bonds, blue carbon offsetting, payments for ecosystem services) to support the transition to an SBE.

Capitalise on regional collaboration and synergies

  • Engage with OECS and other regional mechanisms to capitalise on the regional opportunities to support the SBE transition in Antigua and Barbuda, including learning exchanges between different island nations, and collaborative development of capacity for funding applications.
  • Endorsing the NOP (which is in line with the objectives of OECS), with budgets set against the policy to allow for financial support to flow from OECS to support the SBE agenda in Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Direct efforts at engaging with OECS on a regular basis, through the Ocean Governance and Fisheries Unit. This will also help Antigua and Barbuda benefit from the OECS role in delivering regional climate-change resiliency support.