Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity


Caribbean Islands


An important element of the CEPF Strategic Framework is that the initiatives supported by CEPF grants are ecologically, socially, institutionally and financially sustainable over a longer term than the five years of the granting process. This profile has incorporated sustainability into its investment priorities in order to meet that goal, and ultimately to assure the survival of viable populations of the globally threatened species and ecosystems upon which the people of the Caribbean depend on. CEPF will achieve sustainability by providing strong support for civil society groups so that they will maintain a long-term presence in the communities around priority corridors and in the political processes that affect them.

CEPF funding will play a critical role in Caribbean conservation by supporting civil society to complement larger funding initiatives coming from multilateral and bilateral sources to government agencies in the region. In the priority conservation corridors where CEPF efforts will be focused, civil society groups will carry out on-the-ground actions in key biodiversity areas and buffer zones to ensure sustainability in the long term. The Caribbean’s most important KBAs will be under improved management and protection due to CEPF investments. CEPF will ensure that the 17 highest-priority sites have management plans that are prepared in close consultation with local stakeholders and will ensure that site-based investments are strategically aligned to achieve long-term conservation gains. New sites will be brought under formal protection status for the first time, and innovative sustainable financing schemes will be sought to pay for conservation needs. To complement these efforts, community-based sustainable agriculture, fisheries and ecotourism ventures will allow local people to manage their natural resources in a way that generates sustainable sources of income and food. The preparation of participatory local and corridor-scale development plans will serve as another tool by which future development efforts are undertaken in support of sustainable resources management and conservation.

Institutional and financial sustainability will also be sought by mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services into development planning, policy and programming at all levels of decisionmaking. Current attention on climate change provides a critical opening by which grants will seek to raise awareness of the importance of ecosystem services and integrate these services into policies affecting important sectors of Caribbean society and economy, such as tourism, agriculture and climate change. Policies that support the declaration of non-traditional measures to achieve site-based protection (such as private protection) will be sought. CEPF will support civil society organizations to help internalize conservation in national planning and policy development in ways that will benefit both people and biodiversity.

This profile recognizes the unique challenges for these organizations in small island states and includes investment priorities to help overcome these. CEPF funds will strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations and encourage their close collaboration in order to carry out their conservation mission in the Caribbean over the long term.

CEPF staff and the Regional Implementation Team will work closely with civil society partners in the Caribbean to insure that ecological, social, institutional and financial sustainability are incorporated into activities supported and that these elements are considered throughout the planning, implementation and evaluation of these efforts. Underpinning all CEPF efforts will be attention to mitigate the most significant current and looming threats to the Caribbean’s ecosystems, ranging from climate change to invasive species, agricultural encroachment, unsustainable tourism and mining.
Document: The Caribbean Islands Ecosystem Profile, January 2010
English (PDF - 1.63 MB) / Français (PDF - 2.6 MB)