Five Caribbean countries each receive US$2M for Sargassum fight


Five countries in the Eastern Caribbean have received US$2 million each in the battle against the Sargassum seaweed.

Last Friday, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia gained access to a US$12 million three-year grant-aid project entitled: The Project for Improving National Sargassum Management Capacities in the Caribbean.

The project is being funded by the Government of Japan and executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The signing of the official Exchange of Notes between Japan and the UNDP for the partnership took place at the United Nations (UN) House.

Speaking during the event on behalf of the recipient countries, Barbados’ Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, expressed thanks and welcomed any intervention to assist Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours in the fight against the Sargassum seaweed.

“That has been our challenge over the last couple of years with an abnormal influx [of Sargassum seaweed] due to the vagaries of climate change,” he said, noting that the presence of the algae also created problems for marine life and the country’s biodiversity.

Forde said while the seaweed was primarily used for composting, it was believed that there was a greater value chain after it was harvested, and could therefore become a viable industry.

He added that the Government remained committed to looking at ways of getting biofuel from Sargassum, while there was also a new thrust to ensure that it became part of the feedstock in the agricultural and livestock sectors.

“We will see how we can get a profit or value chain and ensure that there is commercial activity from the Sargassum seaweed,” the Minister assured.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Barbados, Teruhiko Shinada, outlined that the equipment would include an aquatic conveyor belt, workboats or barges, machine surface beach rakes, walk behind beach surface rakes, lightweight tractors, dump trucks, and float booms and barriers.

And, while the equipment is set to cost US$2 million per country, the project will also see the countries benefiting from a transfer of expertise and technical building knowledge to collect, remove, transport and dispose of the algae in a sustainable way.

It will also explore scientific monitoring technologies, such as UAS drones and Geographical Information Systems, which are spatial mapping tools to evaluate the quantum of Sargassum influx.

Ambassador Teruhiko said Japan understood the challenges caused by the Sargassum seaweed, and recognised the importance of such a partnership.

Resident Representative with the UNDP for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Valerie Cliff, stated that the project aimed to support national capacity for the removal and disposal of the seaweed in each of the five countries. Cliff explained that it was also designed to build coastal resilience and mitigate the negative impacts on the economically sensitive areas like fisheries, public health and tourism in the recipient countries.

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    • Larn fe read and comprehend …you too dammmm hasty…


  1. Getting biofuel from Sargassum is an interesting idea but using it part of the feedstock in the agricultural and livestock sectors and/or used for composting seems it might be a problem because of the SALT content. Washing it with clean water would be a waste of clean water.

    • The salt evaporates during the decaying process when it’s combined with other organic materials, animal manure and pulverised lime.
      Said lime can be made from shells. Our greater parents made lime by burning a #Lime #kiln

      • Thanks for that information ’bout the salt… I didn’t know that.
        Does the salt actually ‘evaporate’ or does it get washed away by rain?

        • @Angel…the sea salt compound is not just NaCl after the evaporation process.
          The compound has many other elements which are very beneficial to plant and animal life.

      • Gaston ah bawl no wa 😭😭😭😭😂😂😂😂😂….. im sure he writting up sumting or cussing those other PM on how them get so he can get his hands on money.

      • You sound dunce dunce. Isn’t Antigua in the Eastern Caribbean? The question is why didn’t Antigua get any when we also have a problem with Sargassum.

  2. Yes it is really surprising that Antigua is not included when the sargassum problem, as far as I am aware, is a bigger problem in Antigua than St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad. Moreover, the sargassum problem directly affects tourism and that sector is more important to Antigua than St. Vincent and Trinidad in particular. An explanation for sidelining Antigua from benefiting from this US$12 million grant is needed.

    • Who you always so far behind? Boss try and keep up, by extending your listening beyong Crusader and such

      “The Japanese government is providing financing for the purchase of equipment to tackle the seaweed.

      Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Japan’s Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean, Tatsuo Hirayama, have signed an agreement in which US$2 million will become available to purchase the equipment.” see Antigua and Barbuda gets help from Japan to fight seaweed December 3, 2020, ANR

    • @Charles Tabor…this has nothing to do with PM Browne. Some things are about US, the #People and not about you political #Bumbling #Bureaucrats and Nattering Nabobs.

      This is one project which the UPP should grab a hold of, secure GRANTS/funding for research, development etc., and stop sitting back awaiting its turn to be the Ruling Arm of the Government.
      The UPP is a part of the Government, albeit weak, unstable and busting at the seams.

  3. CORNEL ” TENMAN” HUGHES it is good to know that you are not far behind and are always on top of the news when it comes to your Demigod Gaston Browne. It is also nice to see that you are still around. I guess you will be ramping up your presence since the election is a few months away.

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