Guyana hosts largest regional consultation for CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy

Stakeholders at the Participatory Regional Workshop for development of the CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana
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More than 50 delegates from around the Region are in Guyana for a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) workshop to continue the development of a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS).

The Workshop is being held from 14-15 June, 2018, at the Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

When completed, the Strategy will serve as the framework for support to CARICOM Member States, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to implement the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan 2011-2020. The regional framework will complement national, regional, and international initiatives to protect and sustainably use the Caribbean’s natural resources.

The CBS is an output under the Caribbean Hub sub-component of Phase II of the Programme for Capacity-Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The programme is supported by the European Union (EU) and UN Environment. The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is facilitating the development of the CBS for the CARICOM Secretariat.

The Guyana workshop hosts representatives from CARICOM Member States, regional and national Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academia, international organisations and the private sector. Delegates are expected to review and add to previously articulated stakeholder priorities from national and regional consultations and online surveys. A key focus of the consultation process thus far, is the emphasis on CSO perspectives, to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs are met in the final strategy.

According to the Programme Manager, Sustainable Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Amrikha Singh, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity is essential for economic development, livelihoods and well-being for the people of the Caribbean. Mangroves, reefs and seagrass beds protect vulnerable coastlines from climate change and hurricanes. Forested watersheds are important for water supply. Agriculture relies on pollination of crops. Nature-based tourism drives economies.

Recognising this, she added, some of the emerging priorities for the CBS articulated by CSOs and others include: climate resilience, invasive species management, ecosystem restoration, and enabling structures, frameworks and investment for scaling up biodiversity-friendly livelihoods.

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Dr Douglas Slater, expects that at the end of the Guyana workshop, participants will have refined regional priorities and drilled into the key issues to inform the content of the Strategy.

Draft versions of the Strategy coming out of this workshop will be made available widely for comments before finalisation.

About CANARI: The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is a regional technical non-profit organisation which has been working in the islands of the Caribbean for more than 25 years. Our mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing natural resources critical to development. Our programmes focus on capacity building, policy planning and development, research, sharing and dissemination of lessons learned, and fostering regional partnerships. See here for more information on CANARI: http://www.canari.org/.

For further information, please contact:
Dr. Natalie Boodram at CANARI at natalie@canari.org or call: +868 638 6062

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