On September 29th, 2017, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) Board approved the first payment to a partner National Conservation Trust Fund (NCTF). Fondo MARENA, in the Dominican Republic, has now received the first tranche (50%) of the USD 320, 450 total payment as a result of its Partnership Agreement with the CBF.
Fondo MARENA was the first partner trust fund to sign a Partnership Agreement with CBF. The payment will be used by MARENA in conservation projects that support conservation and the Protected Areas System of the Dominican Republic, specifically the marine areas. As a key component of the Partnership Agreement, MARENA is working to identify sustainable finance mechanism that will provide equivalent matching funds to the CBF payments as of the start Year 3 of the agreement (in 2019).
This payment represents a milestone in the operationalization of the “Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture”, a system of financial mechanisms that includes traditional partners such as the CBF and other donors and non-traditional partners. According to Yabanex Batista, CEO of the CBF, “today represents a new frontier for the CBF’s work and we are one step closer to getting resources to the ground and working with our partner trust funds on programming these resources”. For Josefina Gómez, Planning Director of Fondo MARENA, “the first payment is something we have been waiting for to enhance our work with the National Parks”.
The CBF is currently working with several countries to establish and support similar National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs). In order to sign the Partnership Agreements, the NCTFs should follow several governance and operational standards. Two other NCTFs have also signed the Partnership Agreement: the MEPA Trust, from Antigua and Barbuda; and the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund.