Press Release


Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and Canada celebrate one year of partnership for Regional Gender Responsive Climate Action

9 May 2024—Yesterday, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) and Canada commemorated one year of partnership through the implementation of the Caribbean Organisations for a Resilient Environment (CORE) Project at a Feature Event held in Kingston, Jamaica. CORE is a regional project financed by Canada (CAD 8M) and implemented by the CBF, aimed at driving inclusive and gender-responsive climate action in eight target countries; Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname. The project is a demonstration of Canada’s support to the Caribbean in addressing the climate crisis by protecting more biodiversity, and improving climate resilience and disaster preparedness across the region.

The Caribbean faces escalating climate challenges, including droughts, extreme weather, sea level rise, and flooding, amplifying risks to ecosystems, infrastructure, and livelihoods. The region’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change renders adaptation and resilience measures essential for Caribbean countries to achieve sustainable development. Gender disparities further compound this vulnerability with women and men, rural and urban dwellers, experiencing climate impacts differently.

Representatives of the Government of Jamaica, and other specially invited guests gathered at the Feature Event to recognize this partnership between the CBF and Canada. High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica Emina Tudakovic, in her remarks at the event, congratulated the CBF for advancing climate action and gender equality in the Caribbean through the CORE Project. From 2023 to 2027, the CORE Project is expected to provide grants for action projects, technical assistance and capacity building to 40 organizations focused on gender-responsive climate actions across the region.

Highlighting the principles of the Feminist International Assistance Policy which puts gender equality and empowering women and girls at the heart of Canada’s international assistance efforts, Her Excellency said “CORE’s activities will prioritize gender-responsive solutions. This means considering how climate interventions impact women and men differently and using this information to design and implement tailored strategies that benefit both men and women equitably.”

Under the CBF CORE project, the main beneficiaries and conduits for local interventions are National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs) which lead the charge to protect their countries’ biodiversity and natural resources. To ensure alignment with best practices in the delivery of their mandates, the CORE project has developed action plans for the target NCTFs based on the Conservation Trust Fund Practice Standards. The practice standards serve as a tool for improving the design, management, and monitoring and evaluation of conservation trust funds.

In recent years, Jamaica has launched a gender and climate change strategy and action plan that was designed to lay the groundwork for mainstreaming gender and climate considerations into projects and policies as a means of effective disaster risk reduction and strategic development planning. CORE activities in Jamaica will be facilitated by CBF’s partner fund, the National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ). Manager of the NCTFJ Daniella Aitcheson shared that the organization has disbursed over USD 750,000 to local grantees under the umbrella of biodiversity conservation and is now excited to take on gender-responsive climate actions as well.

Within the next three months, eight Caribbean countries will host Canadian volunteers where they will provide technical assistance to regional conservation trust funds and local civil society organizations under a partnership agreement with Cuso International. Later this year, the CBF CORE project will put into operation a Gender Smart Facility that will deliver grant funding to regional Environmental and Women’s Rights Organisations (EWROs).

The Feature Event paved the way for the CBF hosting a Jamaica National Dialogue on Thursday, May 9, 2024 which created networking opportunities among CBF beneficiaries in Jamaica to discuss the importance of conservation trust funds in the region and the funding mechanisms currently in place to support local projects. During a field visit to Port Royal, participants got a firsthand look at the impact of grant funding through projects implemented by Yardie Environmental Consultants and Mona GeoInformatics Institute.

Energized by two days of activities highlighting the CBF’s partnership with Canada, CBF CEO Karen McDonald-Gayle reflected, “Through the CBF CORE Project we have committed to ensuring inclusive and gender-responsive biodiversity conservation and climate action. With the support of Canada, and other donors and partners, we look forward to continuing our grantmaking activities in Jamaica and across the Caribbean in a manner that considers our most vulnerable and builds resilience of our region to the impacts of climate change.”


With around 1,600 globally threatened species, the Caribbean is a hotspot for some of the most critically endangered plants and animals. The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) was established in 2012 to create reliable, long term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean region. The CBF was designed as part of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, today the 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.

Working towards the vision of a Caribbean region where both its natural environment and people thrive, the organization measures total assets under management, annual return on investments, competency improvements and global initiatives as the key performance indicators that directly contribute to its mission. Currently, the CBF has 3 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.

To date, the CBF has provided financing for more than 100 projects across the Caribbean, valued at over US$30 million, demonstrating a significant commitment to the preservation of the region’s biodiversity.


Canada’s development programming in the Caribbean region is focused on mutual priorities, such as climate and economic resilience, sustainable and inclusive governance, and advancing gender equality.

Following the 2017 hurricane season that devastated the Caribbean, Canada announced a 5-year $100 million Pledge for Caribbean Reconstruction and Economic and Climate Resilience. The pledge was fulfilled in 2022, and included strengthening natural disaster planning and response through organizations such as the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

At the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in The Bahamas, Canada announced $44.8 million in new initiatives to help support CARICOM in addressing the climate crisis by protecting more biodiversity and improving climate resilience and disaster preparedness. Canada continues to advocate for small island and low-lying states in the Caribbean, who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change like rising sea levels and extreme weather events.

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