A hummingbird hovers over flowers on the island of Dominica, in the Caribbean. © CI/photo by Sterling Zumbrunn
CEPF is profiling for its second investment in this region.
The biologically and culturally diverse Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot is a complex region composed of 12 independent nations and several British, Dutch, French and U.S. overseas territories. As a result of its geography and climate, it is one of the world's greatest centers of unique biodiversity.
This archipelago sustains an exceptional array of ecosystems ranging from montane cloud forests to cactus scrublands, and hosts dozens of highly threatened species, including two species of solenodon (giant shrews) and the Cuban crocodile.
The combination of a high population growth rate and high population densities, massive seasonal influxes, increasing urbanization of the population, monetary inequity and poverty, and the increasing cost of major import goods has led to unsustainable demand for land and natural resources to the detriment of the hotspot’s biodiversity and ecosystems.
Our support will focus on six biodiversity conservation corridors and the highest priority sites for conservation; many of which are coastal and dependent on the health and resilience of the adjacent marine environment.
With the majority of Caribbean people living close to the shoreline, coastal ecosystems, including mangroves, beaches, lagoons and cays, are essential not only for biodiversity, but for buffering coastal communities from the effects of storms, providing a basis for recreational and tourism industries, as well as nursery habitat for commercial species.