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CBF Establishes ACE Committee to Drive Circular Economy Initiatives in the Caribbean

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 The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) has convened a nine-member advisory committee to support its Advancing Circular Economies (ACE) Facility. The ACE Facility is a pivotal element of the CBF’s Nature-based Economies program. Funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the German Development Bank (KfW), the ACE Facility is poised to play a vital role in addressing the issue of marine litter across the insular Caribbean over the next five years.

The Caribbean Sea is considered the most polluted sea in the world with up to 2,000 waste items per kilometer of coastline, 80% of which are plastics. The amount of plastic found on Caribbean beaches far exceeds the global average creating an alarming situation for a region that is world renowned for its sun, sea and sand. In fact, tourism accounts for a substantial share of many Caribbean economies, ranging from 7 percent to a staggering 90 percent of GDP in certain Caribbean countries. Contributing to the solution, the ACE Facility will finance projects that actively apply circular economy principles, seeking to minimize, prevent, or remove waste from entering the marine environment in collaboration with public and private sector partners, as well as other regional stakeholders. 

The ACE committee comprises experts specializing in waste management, recycling, circular economy practices, and marine conservation. Namely Mr. Derek Luk Pat, Dr. Devant Maharaj, Mr. Davis Poleon, Dr. Tilman Flöhr, Dr. Dayne Buddo, Mr. Carl Hunter, Dr. Chaney St. Martin, and Ms. Maira Ferreira Valladares Soares, all recognized leaders in their respective fields, constitute the ACE Committee along with the CBF’s CEO Mrs. Karen McDonald Gayle.  

Underscoring the importance of a diverse and skilled committee, Nature Based Economies Program Manager Rachel Ramsey said, “By leveraging the collective expertise of the committee members and the strategic initiatives of the ACE Facility, we aim to significantly reduce marine litter, establish effective circular economy interventions, raise awareness among public and private stakeholders and bolster regional partnerships. Together, we are forging a path towards a cleaner and healthier Caribbean Sea.” 

The circular economy is a system where materials never become waste and nature is regenerated. In a circular economy, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting. 

This newly appointed Committee will design a rigorous strategic approach for the NBE program and steer the work of the ACE Facility inline with its overarching objectives. This will involve financing innovative and sustainable public and private interventions that contribute to the minimization of marine litter in the region using circular economy principles and methods. The facility will support the implementation of upstream and downstream solutions such as the control and management of plastic products in the region, integrated waste management systems to prevent the leakage of litter into the marine environment and the identification of alternative designs, materials and practices.

It is envisaged that the application of these interventions in the region will address climate change and other global challenges, like biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution, by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. This will contribute to regional and global initiates tackling the triple planetary crisis. 

As the ACE Facility embarks on this crucial mission, stakeholders and interested parties are encouraged to explore further details about the initiative and contribute to the collective efforts aimed at preserving the Caribbean’s rich biodiversity and fostering sustainable practices.

Learn more about how you can benefit, contribute and collaborate with us on the ACE Facility.

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Renée Smith
Communication Assistant
Renée Smith is Communication Assistant. She is a communications specialist who has worked in digital marketing for over a decade and led teams to achieve and often exceed clients’ expectations for brands such as Heineken Jamaica, Ministry of Tourism Jamaica, Wray & Nephew, Magnum Jamaica and the Caribbean among others. Additionally, she has experience in Public Relations, Corporate Communications and Media Management. She has a BSc. in Communication Studies and an ASc. in Computer and Information Science.

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