[Coral-List] Caribbean Governments, Global Corps and Partners commit $64 million

Georgina Bustamante gbustamante09 at gmail.com
Tue May 28 11:14:05 EDT 2013



From: Jessica Robbins [mailto:JRobbins at mediaimpact.org] 
Sent: Monday, May 27, 2013 10:50 AM
To: Georgina Bustamante
Subject: Defending Paradise: Caribbean Governments, Global Corps and
Partners commit $64 million


Defending Paradise: 

Caribbean Governments, Global Corporations, and Partners Commit $64 million
and Immediate Action to Protect the Environment 

and Accelerate Renewable Energy


15 Caribbean countries and 17 companies join forces at inaugural Caribbean
Summit of Political and Business Leaders focused on the marine and coastal
environment and renewable energy


Necker Island, British Virgin Islands - In a joint effort to safeguard and
bolster the Caribbean region's tourism-dependent economy, fifteen Caribbean
governments and seventeen corporations met on Necker Island, home of Sir
Richard Branson, in the British Virgin Islands this weekend and made a
series of bold commitments to preserve and protect the region's marine and
coastal environment, and accelerate efforts to transition to renewable


"Protecting and harnessing the natural world is the greatest opportunity of
our lifetimes," said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group. "Solving
the energy challenge and marine conservation challenge in the Caribbean go
hand-in-hand: we can't have a healthy economy without a healthy environment,
nor a healthy environment without a healthy economy." 


These commitments included approximately $64 million in funding to support
marine and coastal conservation, along with commitments to take new actions
and to put in place more sustainable business practices.


The event, launching the second phase of the
ure.pdf> Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI), was co-hosted by Dr. the
Right Honourable Keith C. Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and Dr. the
Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Premier of the British Virgin Islands, and
Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.  The event's sponsoring
partner was Tiffany & Co. Foundation, and the event was organized by The
Nature Conservancy, with support from Virgin Unite, the non-profit
entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group, and the Carbon War Room.  

"We are honored to be part of such a historic event, and we applaud our
fellow Caribbean nations participating in this Summit," said Prime Minister
Dr. the Right Honourable Keith C. Mitchell of Grenada. "We are charting a
path for future generations, stressing the importance of conservation
throughout the region."


The high-level dialogue resulted in consensus on the utmost importance of
working together - as a region and across sectors - to tackle the pressing
and interlinked issues of marine and coastal conservation, renewable energy
and economic development. The specific areas for further work include:


*       The urgent need to create protection for sharks and rays across the
whole Caribbean region with the aim of creating a region-wide sanctuary
within two years.

*       Establishing a clear regulatory framework that delivers a systemic
and regional approach to conservation of the marine and coastal environment,
including increasing considerably the number of marine protected areas.

*       A dramatic acceleration in the transition from fossil fuels to
alternative energy sources over the next five years. This will be supported
by the sharing of best practices, scaling of new technologies, and
streamlining of regulatory processes applicable to renewable energy.


"The Caribbean is truly a paradise under threat, and today's focus is a
critical step toward a brighter future. Governments and their people,
companies and their consumers, and local communities all must work together
to protect this beautiful region," said
Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer for  <http://www.nature.org>
The Nature Conservancy. "This event has demonstrated that no longer is
protecting nature viewed as a luxury, it is critical to the success of the
region's economy."


Commitments announced at the Summit by individual governments to support
these efforts included:


*        <http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/bahamas/>
The Bahamas:  Establishment of a national trust fund to protect
biodiversity, and recent declaration of six marine protected areas, with a
pledge by the Government to further expand the system of marine reserves.

weprotect/> The British Virgin Islands:  Adoption of a Protected Areas
System Plan which calls for 33 percent of the marine and coastal environment
to be protected.

ect/> Jamaica:  Establishment of a network of 14 fish sanctuaries.

*       Puerto Rico:  A commitment to double the number of protected areas.

-nature-conservancy-in-the-caribbean-grenada.xml> Grenada: Reaffirmation of
a previous commitment to protect 25 percent of Grenada's marine and coastal

Belize:  Protection of 30 percent of Belize's marine and coastal
environment, with over 10 percent designated as no-take fishing zones.

*       For a complete listing of commitments, click
tments.pdf> here.


A number of corporations also pledged support to protect the Caribbean's
marine and coastal environment, including:


*       Adam Stewart of Sandals Foundation pledged US $1.5 million to
support marine conservation and coastal livelihoods in the Caribbean.  

*       A US $500,000 commitment from Mr. Kristopher Lofgren from Bamboo
Sushi, who hopes to open as many as five new restaurants in the Caribbean
and dedicate some of the profits to support the Caribbean Challenge

*       Charles Taylor from Hublot committed to fund the establishment of
several coral reef nurseries, as well as serve as the "official timekeeper"
for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative. Hublot is also releasing a Hublot
Limited Edition watch, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to
generate funding for new conservation. 

*       David Crane of NRG Energy committed to expanding solar energy in the
Caribbean, with projects already planned in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas and
existing projects in Haiti. 

*       The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has granted the Conservancy
US $350,000 for a youth education program about nature. 

*       Virgin Unite pledged continued support for the CCI process along
with US $100k to support the uptake of renewable energy in the region. As a
first step, Virgin Unite, together with the Clinton foundation and the
Carbon War Room will undertake a feasibility study for Haiti. 


Commitments announced at the Summit by government funding agencies and
non-governmental organizations:


*       Germany:  Nearly US $50 million for marine conservation, including
US $26 million for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.

*       The Nature Conservancy:  US $8 million for the Caribbean
Biodiversity Fund.

*       United Kingdom:  US $3 million for the C-FISH initiative in the
Caribbean to improve the management of marine protected areas, provide
sustainable livelihoods for local communities and improve their resilience
to climate change.

*       World Bank:  Efforts are underway to mobilize large-scale funding
within the next year or two, to support the Caribbean's marine and coastal
environment through the Global Partnership on Oceans (GPO) Fund being led by
The World Bank.


In addition to these commitments, in one of the highlights of the Summit,
The Nature Conservancy and GOOD - together with Tiffany & Co., Royal
Caribbean Cruise Lines Ltd, KOR Water and Guy Harvey Sportswear - launched
the Defend Paradise campaign.  This campaign is a consumer-based initiative
designed to generate funding for marine conservation in the Caribbean and
raise consumer awareness of the marine environment.
rotect-caribbean.xml> Defend Paradise will generate support by selling
co-branded products, providing exclusive discounts and raising awareness
through experiential marketing that brings the natural beauty of the
Caribbean to life for those who are unable to visit. 


Video footage from the
> Caribbean Summit can be found on
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbn_fPCt-GQ&feature=youtu.be> The Nature
Conservancy's YouTube Channel and photos can be found on the Conservancy's
<http://www.flickr.com/photos/96168528@N06> Flickr page.




About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around
the world to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. The
Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120
million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at
<http://www.nature.org> www.nature.org.

About Virgin Unite

Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite
people and entrepreneurial ideas to reinvent how we live and work in the
world to help make people's lives better. Our aim is to do our bit to
revolutionize the way businesses, government and the social sector work
together - driving business as a force for good.  We also incubate new,
independent approaches to leadership including the Elders, the Carbon War
Room, the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, and (coming soon) the B-Team.
Virgin Unite's overheads are covered by Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin
Group, meaning that 100% of donations received go direct to the frontline
where they are needed most. Learn more at  <http://www.virginunite.com>
www.virginunite.com, follow us @virginunite and like us at

About the Carbon War Room

The Carbon War Room is a global entrepreneur initiative set up by Sir
Richard Branson that accelerates entrepreneurial solutions to deploy
profitable, scalable clean technologies across industries, and is a
registered US non-profit, incubated by Virgin Unite. Contact:
<mailto:press at carbonwarroom.com> press at carbonwarroom.com


The Caribbean Challenge Initiative is also promoted through the Global
Island Partnership. A Partnership for all islands, regardless of size or
political status, to take bold steps towards greater conservation of island
biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods -- www.glispa.org



Jessica Robbins

Islands Communications Manager 

Media Impact <http://www.mediaimpact.org/>  and Global Island Partnership
(GLISPA) <http://www.glispa.org/> 

777 United Nations Plaza, 5th Floor 

New York, NY 10017-3521

phone: 212-687-3206 / cell: 1-202-341-2876

fax: 212-661-4188 

skype: jessrobbins1


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