Working with Hurricanes


Working in the Caribbean means working with hurricanes. When we launched our first newsletter in June, the Hurricane season had just started. In the short time since then, the CBF and our friends and partners have been pummeled by 2 major storms. Hurricanes Irma and Maria came to visit the northeast Caribbean within 2 weeks of each other. They were not welcomed guests. For the CCI and CBF, it is a stark reminder that achieving our goals has many challenges in this region.

We are committed to working for our region and with partners on supporting as much as possible the recovery efforts throughout the Caribbean. In order to do this, we will take a three-step approach:

  • Promoting Trusted Immediate Response and Relief Efforts. We have been working with partners and individuals from our CCI-CBF family to gather a list of trusted organizations that are providing financial and other kinds of support in the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes. This list will be shared through the CCI-CBF list and other outlets in a few days.
  • Financial Support. Unfortunately, we are not yet at the stage where we will be able to assist in the immediate aftermath of Irma and Maria. In the near future, however, we envision that our partner National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs), their support to Marine Protected/Managed Areas (MPA/MMAs) and our Ecosystem Based Adaptation (EbA) work, will all play a role in reducing the long-term impact of these storm events on the region. Indeed, the impact of the storms and the continued effects as a result of climate change have already been identified by the NCTFs who are now in the process of developing their areas of focus for grantmaking, which will soon be receiving or applying for the CBF Payments. In addition, the CBF will be evaluating how its new EbA Facility, scheduled to become operational in 2018, can also provide financial resources aligned to recovery efforts.
  • Future Actions. As we continue to work in building the CCI and CBF we will also focus on how to increase efforts related to bringing to the region much needed resources to combat climate change, build resilient ecosystems, and reduce disaster risk. The 2nd CCI Summit process is an important opportunity to continue to emphasize the importance of combating and adapting to climate change, and integrating environmental efforts in the disaster risk reduction agenda of the region. Our network kept in close contact before and after both events. At this time, we are still gathering data on the effect of the storms on our partners. We wish them all a speedy recovery and a quiet end to this hurricane season!

The CCI CBF Team

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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