After more than 5 years’ work with the Raizal community and in partnership with national and international institutions, the Providencia Black Crab may be awarded a designation of origin. This important recognition will not only raise the crab’s profile nationally and internationally, but will also guarantee the preservation of the species, highlighting the cultural value the resource has for the community.
On May 4, officials from the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce, headed by Superintendent Pablo Felipe Robredo, visited Providencia to inspect and evaluate the practices that promote the use and responsible consumption of the resource.
This progress has been made possible by the combined efforts and commitment of organizations such as the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, the IFAD, Slow Food, CORALINA, the Fundación ACUA, the Mayor’s Office of Providencia, Cavelier Abogados and, in particular, the input and contributions of the community of Providencia and Santa Catalina.
A number of initiatives have also been implemented in recent years to support the economic and cultural development of the Raizal community around the Providencia Black Crab. One such initiative, the Providence Black Crab Festival, has been held for two years. At the event, the community recreates the cultural, gastronomic and identity-related aspects centered around the species.
A notable example of this is the recognition of the crab as a Presidium of Raizal Culture by Slow Food, a global initiative that promotes the conservation of local products and puts communities in direct contact with clean and fair distribution channels. Through this initiative, crab fisherwomen from Providencia have previously traveled to Italy to share their experience with other Presidia from around the world at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. At least three people from the archipelago will travel to this year’s event.
The experience of the Providencia Black Crab Presidium is currently being consolidated and reconciled with other virtuous experiences of managing and using natural resources in protected areas of the Caribbean through the EU-funded Slow Fish Caribbean project.
Following the visit, although work remains to be done in some areas, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce is expected to issue its opinion in the next few months. This decision would be a historic achievement for the Raizal community, for the protection of the islands’ resources and indeed for the region’s economic development.