Oceanic Global is partnering with UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s Accelerator Lab to roll out their Blue Seal program, one of four pillars of the BlueDigital Initiative launched in October 2020 with the support of local sustainable consultant partner JustaTAAD. The Lab is part of the world’s largest & fastest learning network that UNDP is building to face development challenges, consisting of 60 Accelerator Labs all around the world.
BlueDigital seeks to enhance sustainability and better connect supply and demand within the Blue Economy value chains in Barbados as we bring the Ocean Online! The Blue Seal program specifically promotes sustainable and responsible tourism and improved private sector partnerships within the tourism sector. The goal of Blue Seal is to encourage industry partners within the tourism sector such as hotels, restaurants, events and food trucks to make more responsible and sustainable choices. This includes eliminating single-use plastics, improving waste management and directly engaging with fisherfolk to improve sales of locally sourced, sustainable fish and seafood.
Blue Seal is being implemented by K. Denaye Hinds of JustaTAAD through the framework of Oceanic Global’s Blue Standard or Blue (previously The Oceanic Standard or TOS) and with Oceanic Global as an advising and supporting partner. The Blue Seal program adopts the Blue (previously TOS) framework for a sustainability badge verification program to engage the hospitality and tourism sector in Barbados. Additionally, the Blue Seal pillar works closely with the Blue Fish pillar of BlueDigital to develop a direct, end-to-end sales pipeline for fisherfolk and enhancing tourism sector-based access to local, sustainable fish and seafood products.
This program is building off of Oceanic Global’s existing work in the hospitality and tourism sector in Barbados. Oceanic Global launched the TOS: Barbados Edition with a launch event in March 2019 in partnership with local partner Sustainable Caribbean ahead of the nation-wide ban on single-use plastics. The launch event invited 70 businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector to engage with 16 local solution-oriented vendors offering alternatives to single-use plastics as well as waste management solutions. Since then, the ban has gone into effect and Oceanic Global has remained in conversation with local partners including the University of West Indies, Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust, JustaTAAD, and now UNDP Accelerator Lab to continue the needed effort of engaging businesses in meeting the plastic ban with genuine solutions.
Through a series of stakeholder workshops and consulting efforts, this initial launch of the Blue Seal program engaged 11 businesses over a two-month period in November – December 2020 to conduct assessments and develop action plans for businesses to achieve Blue Seal badges in early 2021.