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CARIBBEAN CHALLENGE INITIATIVE: Quarterly Update #1
Sorry I missed this while traveling — it’s important. . . .
From: BROWN Kate <Kate.BROWN@iucn.org>Date: September 9, 2011 5:47:09 AM GMT-07:00Subject: [GLISPA Discuss] CARIBBEAN CHALLENGE INITIATIVE: Quarterly Update #1Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP-CEP) are pleased to introduce a new joint quarterly update covering the
Caribbean Challenge initiative—a government-led effort currently involving eight Insular Caribbean governments (CC8) who have committed to establish, by 2020, comprehensive and effective national systems of marine and coastal protected areas that cover at least 20% of their near-shore marine / coastal environment. To achieve this commitment, governments and partners are focusing on developing financial mechanisms (trust funds) and training marine protected areas (MPA) staff at regional and national levels. To date, participating governments in the Caribbean Challenge include: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These eight Caribbean countries have demonstrated both leadership in conservation as well as a commitment to advancing a green economy. It is hoped that other countries and territories of the Caribbean will be inspired to join the Caribbean Challenge to achieve a truly regional initiative.
This update is being widely circulated to Caribbean governments, donor and UN agencies, marine managers, NGOs and others in the Caribbean and globally, in order to increase awareness, share progress and inspire others. The update is pasted below and attached as a PDF document. We would welcome your feedback on this update, including any specific suggestions on ways it could be improved. (Please only reply to the sender; do not reply to all.)
Mr. Sheldon Cohen
Interim Coordinator, Caribbean Challenge initiative, and
Director of External Affairs, Caribbean Program
The Nature Conservancy – Worldwide Office
4245 North Fairfax Drive / Arlington, Virginia 22203 USA
Mobile phone: + 1.301.717.7976 (best)
Office phone: + 1.703.841.3930
Office fax: + 1.703.276.3241
Email: email@example.com / Skype: sheldon_cohen1
This update is being widely circulated to Caribbean governments, donor and UN agencies, marine managers, NGOs and others in the Caribbean and globally, in order to increase awareness, share progress and inspire others. Below is a summary of key developments during Phase I of the Caribbean Challenge, and a look ahead at Phase II.
The Caribbean Challenge was officially launched in 2008 during a high-level event in Bonn, Germany sponsored by the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and the government of The Bahamas. Prior to the launch, environment ministers of member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) endorsed the Caribbean Challenge. Later, the Caribbean Challenge was formally endorsed by Caribbean heads of state in a CARICOM Leaders Meeting in 2009, in the Iliendaal Declaration on Climate Change and Development.
Phase I of the Caribbean Challenge initiative has entailed a wide range of start-up activities, such as:
· Developing master plans for protected area systems
· Declaring 50 new protected areas and early efforts to improve protected area management
· Awarding over US $20 million in grants for on-the-ground activities
· Developing sustainable finance mechanisms
· Capacity building and technical assistance to strengthen marine / coastal protected areas (e.g. training activities in MPA management)Initial support for these activities is being provided by: Global Environment Facility (GEF) (four full-sized projects aligned with theCaribbean Challenge were approved); German KfW; TNC; UN Development Program (UNDP); UNEP-CEP (through the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Managers Network and Forum – CaMPAM); and the Directorate General for Development Cooperation of theItalian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
1. Protected Area System Master Plans
Master plans detailing the key actions to achieve effective national systems of protected areas are under development in each country involved in the Caribbean Challenge initiative, with the exception of The Bahamas which has already completed their master plan. Master plans identify new areas that require protection, and define additional funding, training, capacity building, policy actions, and other steps needed to effectively manage / expand the protected area system.
The Bahamas completed a Master Plan for its National Protected Areas System in 2008.
2. New Protected Area Decrees
Since the Caribbean Challenge initiative was launched, participating governments, with partner support, have declared almost 50 new protected areas (including three in The Bahamas, four in Grenada, eight in Jamaica, and over 30 in the Dominican Republic).
3. Grant awards
US $20M in GEF grants. A total of US $20 million in grants has been awarded by the GEF to implement four projects in The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and in five Eastern Caribbean countries. These projects have all been designed specifically to support the implementation of the Caribbean Challenge.
UNEP medium-sized project grants. In March 2011, UNEP-CEP (through CaMPAM and in collaboration with the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute – GCFI), launched a special edition of their grant fund for medium-sized projects (up to US $45,000) in support of the Caribbean Challenge and to promote sustainable marine resource management. The grants are funded by the Directorate General of International Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and were made available to the eight countries participating in the Caribbean Challenge initiative. The CaMPAM Team provided technical assistance to each country in the design of their projects and the de
velopment of proposals. The projects funded through these grants are:
· “Building infrastructure and development of a framework for the management of marine protected areas in St. Kitts and Nevis” (Department of Physical Planning and Environment of the Ministry of Sustainable Development)
· “Strengthening the management of the MPA network in Antigua and Barbuda” (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and Environment)
· “Standardization and optimization of existing marine protected areas in the Dominican Republic, focused on increasing effectiveness of management” (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Reef Check Dominican Republic)
· “Supporting the development of an effective national MPA structure in Grenada: From training MPA wardens, managers, and board members, to raising community awareness and developing alternative livelihood skills” (Ministry of Agriculture / Grenada Fund for Conservation)
· “Development and effective management of marine protected areas in the Abacos” (Bahamas National Trust)
· “Training teachers to increase student awareness and understanding of the importance of marine protected areas” (St. Lucia National Trust)
· “Training in the installation and maintenance of mooring buoys in the Palisadoes-Port Royal Protected Area to increase management effectiveness” (National Environment and Planning Agency, Jamaica)
· “Marine park planning for the proposed South Coast Marine Park” (Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry and Fisheries, St. Vincent and the Grenadines)
Other funding opportunities. Other funding opportunities to support the Caribbean Challenge initiative (e.g. through US and European agencies) are currently being explored. A Financing Roundtable on the Caribbean Challenge is scheduled for October 21, 2011 in Grenada, hosted by the government of Grenada, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), with support from TNC (see Upcoming Events below).
4. Sustainable Finance Mechanisms
A new financial architecture is being developed, as part of the Caribbean Challenge, to provide reliable, long-term, sustainable funding for protected area systems for both marine and terrestrial protected areas. This financial architecture involves a set of regional and national trust funds which will help ensure the success of existing and newly established protected areas.
Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. The centerpiece of the new financial architecture is the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), which will be a large-scale, independent, regional fund. Solid progress has been made on developing the legal documents needed to establish the CBF. Governments have reviewed and provided substantive inputs on these documents. The CBF is expected to be legally established as a tax-exempt charity in the UK in September 2011, and a Caribbean-based office will be set up later this year.
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