US$4 Million Contributed to Enhance Sustainable Financing Options in the Caribbean

Divers in exploring coral reefs in the Caribbean.

USAID, CBF, and EFJ collaborate to safeguard ecosystems and increase climate resilience by improving grantmaking mechanisms and technical capacities of Conservation Trust Funds

16 February 2024 – The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and in partnership with the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), is embarking on a project to increase environmental project grants in the Caribbean. Funded by the USAID, the 5-year project will benefit 11 Caribbean countries: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Despite their low contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, climate change poses a serious threat to all Caribbean nations. Caribbean small island developing states are particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change due to their reliance on sectors vulnerable to climate patterns such as tourism, agriculture and fishing. Caribbean nations are also affected by rising sea levels, changes in rain patterns and temperatures, and increasing intensity of natural disasters identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Addressing the severe challenges affecting the Caribbean’s biodiversity natural resources requires a coordinated effort.

Signed in August 2023, the USAID Sustainable Financing for Caribbean Regional Conservation Project valued at US 3,999,050 million dollars, is dedicated to increasing the region’s climate and disaster resilience. The project, implemented by the CBF and EFJ, will strengthen grant processes for CBF partner national conservation trust funds (NCTFs) and increase technical capabilities for them in implementing critical conservation efforts across the region. CBF’s funding is awarded through NCTFs to implement activities that help communities conserve biodiversity, build resilience to climate change and pursue sustainable development in the Caribbean.


Map of the Caribbean with project beneficiary countries highlighted.

“The USAID Sustainable Financing for Caribbean Regional Conservation Project is an opportunity for CBF partners which are awarding grants that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 13, 14 and 15. Contributing to these goals: Climate Action(SDG 13), Life Below Water (SDG 14) and On Land (SDG 15) will make a significant difference in the region,” said Karen McDonald Gayle, CEO of the CBF. 

She further stated, “The CBF is particularly pleased that SDG 17 which refers to building partnerships for the sustainable goals is a core component of this project. To that end, the CBF is partnering with the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica in implementing the project to learn from their wealth of experience in grantmaking for conservation.”

This USAID Sustainable Financing for Caribbean Regional Conservation Project is expected to provide positive change in the conservation and protection of the region’s natural resources allowing the Caribbean’s people and nature to continue thriving for years to come.

ABOUT THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID) – USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Learn more about how the USAID.

ABOUT THE CARIBBEAN BIODIVERSITY FUND (CBF) – The CBF was established in 2012 to create reliable, long-term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean region. The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is a regional umbrella environmental fund that uses a flexible structure to implement innovative solutions and consolidate resource mobilization in the Caribbean through a range of financial instruments. Currently, the CBF has three programs: the Conservation Finance Program, based on an endowment fund; the Climate Change Program, focused on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) strategies; and the Nature-based Economies Program with an Advancing Circular Economy focus. Learn more about how the CBF.

ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION OF JAMAICA (EFJ) – EFJ was established to facilitate the promotion and implementation of activities which will conserve and manage the natural resources and environment of Jamaica and improve and positively impact child development. EFJ has been working to this end through the provision of funding to Non-Governmental and Community based Organisations and academic Institutions and in partnership with key stakeholders throughout the length and breadth of the island. The funding provided by EFJ has impacted the natural and built environmental landscape, children, communities, livelihoods, and plant and animal species to name a few. Since its inception, EFJ has approved over 1,334 projects in the amount of J$3,031.22 million. Learn more about how the EFJ. 



For more information, please contact the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.

Renée Smith
[email protected]

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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