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Hon. Andre Perez, Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, participated in a webinar held by the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA) on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, to present the Regional Strategy for Blue Growth (ERCA) for the Central American Integration System (SICA) countries.

The ERCA is a valuable tool that will guide the development of a blue SICA region, which is a sustainable approach to the development of the region's blue resources focusing on the social, economic and environmental considerations.

The realization of the ERCA is as a result of a process coordinated by OSPESCA with the support of the European Union. Its formulation also involved the participation of SICA and representatives of the fisheries, aquaculture and tourism sectors, as well as academia, amongst others.

Minister Perez presented the current initiatives undertaken by Belize under the newly established Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, as it relates to the development of Belize's National Blue Economy. During the presentation, Minister Perez shared with participants the concept of Belize's National Blue Economy Model and the key priorities for the Ministry. The Ministry is presently developing its five-year National Blue Economy Strategy and Plan.

Belize has fully embraced the regional strategy and will ensure that key objectives and actions are reflected in national policies and strategies developed and implemented.

The webinar was attended by representatives of the SICA Secretariat, European Union, and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, fisheries and aquaculture institutions, and other key organizations and stakeholders.