Skip to Content
The OECS and CBF Talk Sustainable Financing For Conservation

The OECS and CBF Talk Sustainable Financing For Conservation

Joint Media Release: OECS and Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF)

OECS Member States have adopted environmental policy frameworks that set goals for sustainable development, maintaining and restoring ecosystems, and managing marine and coastal ecosystems. Achieving these outcomes is largely dependent on sourcing adequate financing. 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 OECS, in partnership with the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF), conducted a Sustainable Finance Knowledge Exchange Workshop in Dominica between September 27 and 28, for managers and representatives of National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs) from several Caribbean territories, including Cuba, to share experiences and lessons learned on the management of Marine Managed Areas (MMAs) and fundraising for conservation initiatives. The gathering also sought to provide guidance and support to the Steering Committee of the newly formed Dominica National Conservation Trust Fund. 

Dr. Volker Hamann, Sustainable Marine Financing Team Leader for GIZ expressed his satisfaction with the event’s outcome. “The GIZ Sustainable Marine Financing Project would like to thank the CBF and OECS for the joint organization, and the German Embassy in Trinidad for financial support of this important workshop. After moving to the Caribbean in January 2021, I am delighted to finally have my first face-to-face meeting with many of our partners. All participating countries face similar challenges and obstacles when it comes to nature conservation. Setting up sustainable financing structures is one of the most important and urgent tasks in this regard. The exchange of strategies and experiences between Marine Managed Areas and Conservation Trust funds is crucial for the successful conservation of marine (and terrestrial) space. We hope that this is only the first of a series of regional exchange formats among practitioners in the area of sustainable financing for marine conservation.”

The ICCF facilitated the expert contribution of Dr. Justin Ram, CEO of Justin Ram Advisory Associates and GSEC, to address the meeting and provide pertinent insights. Dr. Ram advised that “new and innovative financing mechanisms can potentially advance the Blue Economy (BE) in the OECS. Emerging financing mechanisms, which have been tried and tested within the climate change and sustainable development agenda present viable options for the Blue Economy, which include Conservation Trust Funds.”  Dr. Ram was a lead contributor of the recent OECS Assessment Report On Sustainable Financing Options For The Blue Economy (through the CROP Project, and he has over twenty-five years of practical, advisory research and management experience in the Caribbean Region.

The CBF has supported the establishment of 11 Conservation Trust Funds in the Caribbean region. Conservation Trust Funds (CTFs) are private, legally independent institutions that provide sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation. The core business of CTFs is to mobilise resources from diverse sources, including international donors, national governments, and the private sector, and to direct them, primarily through grants to a diverse range of environmental programmes and projects through non-governmental organisations, community-based agencies, and governmental agencies. 

The CBF through its Conservation Finance Program focuses on the provision of funding towards the protection and management of biodiversity and natural resources and is mainly supported through the Endowment Fund. The proceeds of this Fund are invested in country-based sub-accounts and are channeled through partner National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs), who in turn lead grant-making programs at the national level. CBF and the NCTFs work together in the design and implementation of additional financial mechanisms that provide a required match to complement the CBF resources. The Program also includes an organisational development component aimed at strengthening the network of NCTFs that are part of the Caribbean Sustainable Financial Architecture.

At the conclusion of the Workshop, Technical Specialist with the OECS Environmental Sustainability Division, Jannel Gabriel, said, “We are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative. One of the greatest challenges in our efforts to conserve nature is accessing sustained funding and having the flexibility to allocate donated funds towards our prioritised activities. This knowledge exchange will allow the sharing of information on the best strategies to manage Conservation Trust Funds, identify and establish networks and partnerships,  and gather tips on how Trust Funds can leverage the value of biodiversity to access innovative sources of financing. We wish the Dominica Conservation Trust Fund every success in its mission to conserve the region's natural resources.”

Dr. Hamann’s concluding remarks summarized the ultimate vision of the workshop’s partners: “Our partners and us envision in the long run to increase harmonization and coordination between countries, NCTFs, and MMAs in the region, so conservation goals can be achieved jointly. It has to be clear that the ultimate goal of the conservation activities is to secure and improve the livelihoods in communities and secure them for the future.”

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 two programs:

1. the Conservation Finance Program, based on an endowment fund, and

2. the Climate Change Program, focused on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) strategies.

A Nature-based Solutions program will be added to the CBF portfolio by October this year.

For more information, please contact: [email protected] or visit

About the OECS

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Inter-governmental Organisation dedicated to regional integration in the Eastern Caribbean. The vision of the organisation for 2020-2024: "A better quality of life for the people of the OECS." Mission Statement: "To drive and support sustainable development through regional integration, collective action and development cooperation".

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States came into being on June 18, 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate and promote unity and solidarity among Members States. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, named in honour of the capital city of Saint Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The 1981 Treaty was replaced in 2010 with a Revised Treaty of Basseterre, creating an economic union which is an agreement between countries where barriers to trade are reduced or removed for a single market with a customs union.

About the GIZ Sustainable Marine Financing Project (SMF)

The GIZ SMF Project is implemented together with CARPHA in four countries of the Eastern Caribbean: Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. 

The Caribbean small island states are global hotspots of marine biodiversity. The management of marine managed areas (MMA) plays a key role in securing the multiple services of marine ecosystems, especially for sustaining livelihoods through avenues such as the fishery and tourism sectors. Currently, there Is a lack of sound financing systems and effective financing mechanisms for the proper administration of MMAs, i.e. the implementation, monitoring and supervision of protective functions and utilisation measures. This will contribute toward laying the foundation for the successful introduction of sustainable financing mechanisms for MMAs. This will include capacity building, drawing up national plans of action and developing human capacities of all relevant partners at the local, national and regional levels.

For more information please contact: [email protected] 

About the ICCF

The ICCF Group coordinates the strategy, administration, and activities of ICCF offices around the world and is led by a Board of Directors with input from our advisory Board of Governors. The ICCF Group advances leadership in international conservation through public and private partnerships, and by raising conservation awareness among policymakers.

The ICCF Group has offices in the United States (ICCF U.S.), Africa (ICCF Kenya), Europe (ICCF-UK), Asia (ICCF Indonesia), and Latin America (ICCF Colombia). Each ICCF office is established as a separate legal entity, registered in the host country, with its own Board of Directors. These entities have charitable status in their respective countries, and their role is to further the mission of the ICCF Group. These separate legal entities are bound by a collaboration agreement that ensures a common purpose for all.

For more information, visit:


Jannel Gabriel Technical Specialist, Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management, OECS
Danny Moonie Communications / Knowledge Management Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Renée Smith Communications Officer, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund





About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Back to

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia