The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Photo credit: © Tim Calver for The Nature Conservancy

Established in September 2012, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is a regional Environmental Fund whose objective is to provide a sustainable flow of resources to support activities that contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity in the Caribbean. 

CCI context

The CBF was created in the context of the Carribean Challenge Initiative (CCI), an international commitment launched in 2008 at the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-9) with two goals: 

  1. the 20-by-20 goal, which is to effectively conserve and manage at least 20% of the marine and coastal environment by 2020
  2. the sustainable finance goal, which is to establish fully functioning sustainable financial mechanisms that will provide reliable funding over the long term. The CBF and its national partner funds together conform the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture, created to fulfill CCI's goal 2. 

Financial Instruments

The CBF mobilises resources and channels support to partners and projects. Currently, the CBF manages approximately USD 70 million through 2 financial instruments:

The Endowment Fund
With about USD 43 million, the endowment is a permanent funding source to the National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs), who in turn lead grant-making programs at the national level. One of the CBF’s endowment key principles is that national partner funds must create sustainable finance mechanisms to trigger a minimum of 1:1 match to the CBF endowment resources. The revenue sources can be private and/or public. Donors to date include the Government of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) — through the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) — and The Nature Conservancy. 

The EbA Facility
With about USD 26.5 million, this is a sinking fund to provide resources directly to selected national and regional projects on Ecosystem-based Adaptation to climate change. The EbA Facility funded projects will be selected by a technical committee (the EbA Committee) in a competitive basis, through Calls for Proposals that will start to be launched in 2018. The fund initial donation was fully contributed by Government of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) and has an estimated duration of 5 years. 

The CBF continues to raise non-permanent and permanent funding to bring on additional countries and for regional conservation and sustainable development actions.


The CBF is governed by the CBF Board of Directors, currently composed of five members: two permanent members (KfW and TNC) and three Directors appointed by the NCTFs that already have Partnership Agreements signed with the CBF. The participating and observer countries that have not signed Partnership Agreements with the CBF yet, are represented on the Board by an Observer, who participates in Board meetings and serves as a national focal point on CBF matters. In accordance with the terms of the CBF Articles of Association, a majority of the Board shall not be affiliated with the governments of any of the countries and must be representatives of the civil society. The Board of Directors is supported by committees, such as the Finance Committee and the EbA Committee.


To help improve the enabling conditions of its partners and grantees, the CBF plays several roles. The CBF 1) convenes meetings of diverse stakeholder groups to advance dialogue on common issues; 2) builds the capacity of partner national funds, their grantees and host governments; 3) raises awareness at the regional and international level of the importance of conserving the Caribbean’s natural resources for a sustainable future; and 4) serves as a forum for regional coordination and cooperation.

Benefits of the CBF

As a regional organization, the CBF offers multiple benefits to partners, grantees and donors:

  • A flexible structure
  • Independence
  • Adherence to internationally recognized standards for conservation funds
  • Alignment with international agreements
  • Economies of scale
  • Convenience for donors and partners interested in regional or multi-country impact
  • A core endowment that generates a stable match for CBF partner funds
  • Representation, with each partner fund having a seat on the CBF Board
  • Capacity building
  • Awareness raising at the regional and international level

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