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At the CORE: Inclusive and Gender Responsive Actions for a More Climate Resilient Caribbean

19 September 2023–The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) organized an introductory meeting of key stakeholders who are implementing the Caribbean Organizations for a Resilient Environment (CORE) project on September 19, 2023. The CORE Project aims to increase vulnerable groups’ resilience to climate change in eight beneficiary countries across the Caribbean: Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname over the next 4 years ending in July 2027. The CORE project has a total budget of CAD $13.4 M which includes CAD $8M from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and CBF co financing of CAD $5.4M.

Climate change impacts women and men differently, and closing gender gaps can lead to increased economic growth, as well as increased climate resilience. Gender inequality continues to be of concern in the Caribbean. Caribbean countries are up to seven times more likely to experience a natural disaster than other states, and when one occurs, it can incur as much as six times more damage.

Following the signing of the project agreement in April 2023, this meeting is the next step in the implementation process. The Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF)St Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) hosted the hybrid event with representatives from eight National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs), implementing partner Cuso International, and Global Affairs Canada, the primary donor for this project.

Karen McDonald Gayle, CEO of the CBF said, “we at the CBF are excited to see gender inequality in the Caribbean capturing the attention of Global Affairs Canada and key regional stakeholders. Addressing this issue will bolster the region’s resilience in the face of increased climate change threats and the CBF is proud to be at the forefront leading the implementation of this project.”

In the coming years, the project will provide funding for the NCTFs and the CBF to develop and further enhance their organizational capacity to deliver gender responsive climate finance through existing local grantmaking mechanisms, coordinate the delivery of small grants through the Gender Smart Facility (GSF), and establish a Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (CANOE) to collaborate for the advancement of gender responsive climate action.

Emma Dunkley Elliott, the First Secretary of Development at the High Commission of Canada to Jamaica, representing GAC shared, “gender equality is an important and cross cutting aspect of CORE as well as all of Canada’s international assistance, but CORE first and foremost is a climate action project. Environment and climate action programming is the leading focus of Canada’s international assistance to the Caribbean with a clear goal to strengthen resilience to the impacts of climate change through both adaptation and mitigation efforts, and initiatives to conserve, protect and restore biodiversity in the Caribbean”.

Next steps for the CBF and CORE implementation partners include the establishment of the CORE Project Steering Committee and conducting baseline gender assessments of the NCTFs and target Environmental and Women’s Rights Organizations (EWROs) in CORE territories. These activities will help the project to understand the capacities of NCTFS and EWROs regarding the implementation of nature-based climate solutions including EbA.

SLUNCF facilitated a GAC field visit to three project sites in Saint Lucia on 20th September 2023 to gain a deeper understanding of the work supported by the CBF. Two organizations financed by the SLUNCF – Farmers With Disabilities Beekeeping Association (FWDBA) and the Country Strikers Youth Sports Club (CSYSC) and one project financed by the CBF Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Facility, through the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) demonstrated the range of projects in the CBF portfolio on conservation, ecosystem restoration, climate resilience-building, and livelihood development. Several potential opportunities for replication of EbA approaches with a gender lens were identified.

As CORE hits the ground, the CBF, with the help of the NCTFs, will develop the regional understanding of how climate change impacts women and men differently, and help close gender gaps to contribute to increased economic growth and climate resilience.

ABOUT CORE
The Caribbean Organizations for a Resilient Environment (CORE) Project that is aiming to increase resilience to climate change of vulnerable groups in 8 beneficiary countries across the Caribbean: Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.  More specifically, project beneficiaries include Caribbean organizations: Conservation Trust Funds, Women’s Rights Organizations, Environmental Organizations and Youth Organizations.

Learn more about how the CBF is working to preserve and protect the natural resources of the Caribbean region at caribbeanbiodiversityfund.org.

ABOUT THE CARIBBEAN BIODIVERSITY FUND
The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund 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, Climate Change Program, focused on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) strategies, and Nature-based Economies Program with an Advancing Circular Economy focus.

The Conservation Finance Program currently provides sustainable financing to 11 Conservation Trust Funds in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

ABOUT GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA
Global Affairs Canada (GAC) defines, shapes and advances Canada’s interests and values in a complex global environment. The Ministry manages diplomatic relations, promotes international trade and provides consular assistance to Canadians. GAC also leads international development, humanitarian, and peace and security assistance efforts, and contributes to national security and the development of international law.