The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund becomes a council member of the Global Island Partnership to advance dialogue and networks that help to increase the resilience of the Caribbean Island community and ecosystem.

The mission of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), is to ensure reliable and long-term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean. To advance efforts through dialogue and resource mobilization for its network, the CBF decided to become, in November 2020, a member of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) – a global partnership working to connect island leaders on conservation, sustainable livelihoods and sustainability.

GLISPA was founded by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles and now has over 45 members – hundreds of islands, island entities and organisations across the World who work on conservation, sustainable livelihoods and sustainability.

The new partnership between the CBF and GLISPA aims to share bright spots, lessons and networks that benefit island people worldwide and especially in the Caribbean Islands. Established in 2012, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is the realization of a bold vision to create reliable, long-term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean region. The CBF is an umbrella fund with a flexible structure to implement innovative solutions for resource mobilization at the regional level through a range of financial instruments. Currently, the CBF manages about US$125 million through its Conservation Finance and the Climate Change: Ecosystem-based Adaptation Programs. The CBF’s ambitious, visionary approach is aimed at protecting the Caribbean’s vital natural resources at an unprecedented scale for generations to come.

The CBF and its partner national conservation trust funds together form the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture. This Architecture CBF has been key in supporting the original goals of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI). Firstly, to efficiently conserve and manage at least 20% of the marine and coastal environment by 2020, and secondly, to establish sustainable long-term financing mechanisms. In addition, the Architecture also supports the goals of other regional and international commitments. As the strategies to achieve those goals and future conservation goals in the Caribbean are based on partnership approaches such as the inclusion of diverse stakeholders, resource mobilisation strategies, advanced dialogue on common issues, capacity building and awareness raising, the CBF’s new partnership with GLISPA can be seen as another great step to achieve those goals.

In acknowledging their new membership, the Chief Executive Officer Yabanex Batista highlighted that “The CBF is thrilled to be a member and become a Council Member of the Global Island Partnership, which has proven to be a key voice for all islands worldwide . We look forward to working hand-in-hand with GLISPA, its members and partners in contributing to a thriving environment in the Caribbean islands and all islands.” Kate Brown, Executive Director of the Global Island Partnership: “We are so happy that the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund is now a full member of the Global Island Partnership. Our opportunity to strengthen the voice and impact of our combined work with our island partners is critical as we address the many challenges that continue to accelerate – including climate change, loss of biodversity and achieving the sustainable development goals. Our experience tells us that in working together we can learn and share on things that are working, to support and inspire political leadership and overcome some of the challenges that islands face. We have much to work on together and we look forward to doing this with all of our members.”

Asha-Gaye Cowell
Program Officer, Conservation Finance
Asha-Gaye Cowell is the Conservation Finance Program Officer. She has a diverse academic background, which includes a BSc. Economics and Statistics with first class honors, MSc. International Public and Development Management and a Visiting Fellowship Certification from the University of Oxford where she studied Behavioral Economics along with Strategy and Ethics. Complementing her academic prowess is a cross-section of professional experiences, including work with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), UNECLAC, USAID, the Permanent Missions of Jamaica to the UN, among others. With extensive civic involvement, volunteerism, and strategic partnerships, Asha is very passionate about leadership, international and regional development, economics, youth and climate change.

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