Antigua and Barbuda: Transitioning to the Blue Economy

A COP26 high-level side event exploring Antigua and Barbuda’s strategy for transitioning to the Blue Economy.

05 Nov 2021
15:00-16:30 (UTC)

The ACU is hosting a COP26 high-level side event in the Commonwealth Secretariat Pavilion in the Blue Zone, exploring Antigua and Barbuda’s strategy for transitioning to the Blue Economy and the role higher education can play in realising this transition. 

You can view the recording of the event here:

About the Blue Economy

Caribbean small island states are buffeted by some of the worst impacts of climate change. As large ocean states, they also stand to benefit from emerging industries worth USD 2.5 trillion including aquaculture and marine renewable energy through the sustainable diversification of the economy.

The Blue Economy plays an essential role in climate change mitigation and adaptation for Small Island Developing States. Sustainable economic development through the Blue Economy enhances industry through disaster risk reduction, sustainable food security, eco-tourism and gives opportunities to generate greater economic diversity, new sources of employment and sustainable growth in trade and industry.

Universities, through international collaboration and working also in partnership with governments and the private sector, can be a major driver in unlocking the growing potential of the Blue Economy and achieving economic sustainability.

As the co-champion for the Commonwealth Blue Charter’s Sustainable Blue Economy Action Group, Antigua and Barbuda has committed to transitioning to a Blue Economy - reducing overreliance on tourism and supporting sustainable and resilient economic development.

The Centre of Excellence in Oceanography and the Blue Economy will be a flagship partnership, drawing on commerce and academic expertise and demonstrating the strengths of collaboration across the Commonwealth.

The project is led by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and The University of the West Indies, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), and the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). 


Dr Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General, ACU

Dr Joanna Newman MBE FRSA is Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU. Joanna serves on a number of boards, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Leadership Council, the High-level Advisory Group for Mission 4.7, and as a lay member of the Council of Cardiff University. She is a Senior Research Fellow in History at King’s College London.

Hon Dean Jonas, Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy, The Government of Antigua and Barbuda

The Honorable Dean Jonas is currently the Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development and the Blue Economy in Antigua and Barbuda. He is also the parliamentary representative for the St. Georges constituency, which is the largest electoral constituency in Antigua and Barbuda. 

Dr Nicholas Hardman-Mountford, Head of Oceans and Natural Resources, Commonwealth Secretariat

Dr Nicholas Hardman-Mountford FMBA is a diplomat and marine scientist working in ocean, climate and natural resource governance for multilateral development, with a strong focus on sustainable blue economies. He is Head of Oceans and Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat. Dr Hardman-Mountford has published over 100 research papers, book chapters, articles and technical reports. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Marine Biological Association of the UK.

Dr Donovan Campbell, Research Collaboration Lead, Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development, University of the West Indies

Dr Campbell is the lead for research collaborations in the nascent Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development (GICSRD) at the University of the West Indies (UWI). He also serves as the Technical Advisor to the International Steering Committee for establishment of the UWI Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy (COBE). He is currently a Lead Author for the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), working on the Small Islands chapter. 

Professor Elisa Morgera, Principal Investigator, One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde

Elisa Morgera is Professor of Global Environmental Law at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance and the Director of the UKRI GCRF One Ocean Hub. Prof Morgera specializes in international, European and comparative environmental law, with a particular focus on the interaction between biodiversity law and human rights (particularly those of indigenous peoples, small-scale fisheries, and children), equity and sustainability in natural resource development, oceans governance, and corporate accountability. 

Samantha Cohen CVO, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council

Samantha Cohen was appointed as Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) on 01 February 2020. Sam currently also serves as Co-Chair of the climate change charity Cool Earth and is a Trustee of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

View all ACU events
Explore the theme
Theme: Global challenges