Ocean Doctor Meetings – Sustainable Future for Cuba’s Coastal Communities – Shedding Light

Garden of the Queen – Ocean Doctor Cuba Conservancy Program. Photo by Kip Evans, 2013

The Baum Foundation program Ocean Doctor, a team of international scientists and legislators are working together building on the success of one of the healthiest ecosystems in the Caribbean, Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina). Since the 1960’s Cuba’s ocean wilderness has been spared from the destructive factors that have ruined ocean ecosystems all over the world. With the rapid rise of tourism in Cuba, US and Cuban economists are working together to evaluate and educate Cuban leadership about the economic value of these ecosystems in order to maintain them.

Ocean Doctor and the University of Havana’s Center for Coastal Ecosystem Research are working together to secure permanent protection and increase awareness with education about one of the least studied ecosystems in the world.  In October 2014, Ocean Doctor and the Cuban Center for Coastal Ecosystem Research led a workshop in Cuba with representatives of the Cuban environmental ministry, along with U.S. partners including University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Colorado, Boulder, the World Resources Institute, and Washington and Lee University, to kick off a major new initiative to develop and implement a national strategy for throughout Cuba maintaining healthy marine and coastal areas.

The results of this project will provide Cuban economists with the state-of-the-art economic valuation tools for decision makers with the information they need to make decisions that don’t compromise their sustainable future.

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