Parliamentary Secretary Quincia Gumbs-Marie.
ANGUILLA--Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources Quincia Gumbs-Marie presented the National Youth Week address on behalf of Premier Ellis Lorenzo Webster. The theme was “Economic Diversification and Food Security: Optimising Anguilla’s Green and Blue Economy”.
She said this theme is not just an arrangement of words, but a blueprint for all to realise the vision of sustainable development in Anguilla – a vision that we cannot bring to fruition unless we prioritise the role of our youth.
“The economic thriving potential in Anguilla has been historically tied to the use of our natural resources – consider tourism, boating, fishing, agriculture, salt picking and manufacturing. Yet for many, there remains the belief that we can continue to seek economic diversification as a goal separate from the sustainable use of our natural resources and it is time that we understand that this is impossible.”
She noted that the concepts of green and blue economy recognise that the population must act upon the inseparable relationship between natural capital and economic growth, especially for communities like Anguilla, which rely on natural resources for their livelihoods and sustenance. “These concepts of green and blue economy are predicated upon striking a balance between survival and conservation, diversification and protection, health and productivity. This balance is essential to achieving food security in Anguilla and the stakes are extremely high as we strategically try to increase crop production as our terrestrial resources become more strained,” she said.
Marie-Gumbs said that more than ever before, this generation and those that succeed them are at risk of inheriting a world where resources are depleted and the population cannot be sustained. “This is the reality that sets the context for National Youth Week, where the solutions that we devise must all reflect sustainability. The government of Anguilla endeavours to empower our youth with the passion, creativity and vision to correct past failures where possible, adapt to what cannot be undone, and equip them with the resilience to survive and recover from what is yet to come because life, especially life in Anguilla, is worth living.
“As we prepare to celebrate the start of National Youth Week on September 27th, I encourage us all to take the time to unpack the charged theme: Economic Diversification and Food Security: Optimising Anguilla’s Green and Blue Economy,” she said.