The 19th RedLAC Assembly – Caribbean style!


The 19th Assembly of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds – RedLAC – took place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from October 30th to November 2nd. The CBF was one of the hosts of the meeting, together with Fondo MARENA and Fundación Sur Futuro, both from the host country. The main theme of the meeting was “The Blue Economy”, aimed at showcasing projects and encouraging discussion on things coastal and marine.

Approximately 50 RedLAC Assembly participants came early and participated in an Investment Management Workshop, co-organized by the CBF, RedLAC and the World Conservation Society (WCS) on behalf of the Conservation Finance Alliance (CFA). The workshop included topics on how to build an investment policy for a Fund, how to work with investment professionals, how to compose a social and environmental responsible portfolio of investments, among other aspects of the asset management function.

For the Assembly agenda, six thematic panels were organized, and promoted discussions about the role of Environmental Funds (EFs) in the Blue Economy, with the tourism sector, and in climate change adaptation projects. The future of EFs, international standards for accountability and transparency, and EFs’ investment performance were also discussed. All panels were composed by invited experts and also by RedLAC members, who shared their experiences with the audience, which was composed of more than 150 people from 30 different countries.

The CBF and its partners, including the National Conservation Trust Funds, took the opportunity for a closed session on CBF updates. The group had a detailed presentation about CBF progress in 2017, the new Ecosystem-based Adaptation Facility and the main results of the Sustainable Finance Study.

The Assembly participants had the chance to visit Saona Island, part of the Cotubanamá National Park, the most visited Protected Area in the Dominican Republic. They spent a relaxing and fun day in one of the most beautiful and preserved places of the country, with a lot of networking opportunities.

Being a co-organizer for this international event was a new opportunity for the CBF team! From the great attendance and the positivity of the majority of the feedback received, we think we managed to get the job done. We wish to thank all our partners for the role you played in making the Assembly the success it was! We know that the RedLAC Secretariat and the next hosts are working to keep on innovating, and the CBF and the Caribbean CTFs look forward to meeting everyone once again in Bolivia at the 20th RedLAC Assembly in 2018.

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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