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The OECS and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Strengthen Collaboration for Environmental Sustainability

The OECS and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Strengthen Collaboration for Environmental Sustainability

OECS Media Release

April 30, 2024 — The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) welcomed a delegation from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on Monday, April 29, 2024, led by Charles Trottmann, Head of the Three Oceans department of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD). This meeting marked a pivotal moment in enhancing cooperation between the OECS and France in addressing common environmental challenges.

A significant highlight of the visit was the signing of a project agreement for mangrove restoration in the OECS. At the signing, Domenico Ditaranto, Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy in Saint Lucia, joined the OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, and Charles Trottmann in formalising the agreement.

During the signing of the agreement, Mr. Trottmann expressed his support for the critical need for ecosystem balance and coastal preservation. He reminded the Director General of a conversation during a conference on regional cooperation, in which they shared their desire to strengthen collaboration between the AFD and the OECS. He said,

“Today marks, I think a new step towards the implementation of this strengthening of this collaboration. My visit also comes after a series of important French official visits in this territory. The Secretary of State, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou was here in February 2023, Minister Gerald Darmanin was here a month ago. It is also a sign of France’s commitment to its regional presence in the region. It is also important to note that this is the first visit to the OECS from a department director from AFD as well as a regional director.”

Dr. Jules echoed this sentiment, highlighting the grassroots efforts in member states to restore mangroves. He stated:

“The agreement that we are here to sign today is really an important area in which we've seen a lot of action being undertaken at a voluntary community level – the restoration of mangroves. There are several experiences in member states, in Grenada, in some of the British territories, where communities on their own are recognising the importance of restoring mangroves, not just for balance in the ecosystem, but also for its value to fisheries and for the preservation of coastlines.”

Mr. Trottmann reaffirmed AFD's commitment to collaboration with the OECS, noting the significance of the visit in strengthening regional ties, while the Head of the OECS Environmental Sustainability Division, Mr. Chamberlain Emmanuel, affirmed the project's potential to demonstrate effective regional integration and partnership between French and English territories.

The OECS team presented the latest advancements in the mangroves project slated to commence in the second semester of 2024. This initiative, set to receive funding from AFD and the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), will be implemented by the OECS and is currently in the drafting phase. This regional project promises to strengthen communities' resilience against climate change while fostering regional integration among OECS sovereign states and associated member states, particularly French territories.

A team from the OECS Environmental Sustainability Division (ESD) led by Chamberlain Emmanuel further engaged in constructive discussions with Mr. Trottmann on tackling several regional environmental issues. During the discussions, Mr. Emmanuel emphasised the importance of designing tailored solutions for shared environmental issues, highlighting the need for collaborative approaches to address biodiversity loss, climate change, and ocean conservation and management in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He also outlined the OECS's mission – to foster equitable and sustainable improvement in the quality of life for people of the OECS – emphasising its commitment to the Green-Blue Economy, which prioritises climate resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, and responsible management.

The visit also provided an opportunity for the OECS to give an update on the Recycle OECS project, an initiative being executed through a partnership between the OECS and the AFD. Recycle OECS is a pioneering initiative that is setting the stage for a paradigm shift in waste management across the OECS, and the goal is to develop a replicable model that can be easily adapted to suit the circumstances of other OECS Member States and document a case study for Small Island Developing states.

After the meetings, the delegation engaged in a field trip to Renew Saint Lucia, a recycling company, to explore further recycling possibilities in the region, discussing both challenges and opportunities.

The OECS looks forward to continued collaboration with AFD and other partners to advance environmental sustainability and foster resilience in the Eastern Caribbean.

Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States






About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia