Release – The Nature Conservancy is delighted to announce that its proposal “CoralCarib: Pioneering a new strategic approach for conserving and restoring Caribbean coral reef ecosystems that target Climate Resilient Refugia” to the International Climate Initiative (IKI) has been approved by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) in Germany.
The proposal will be implemented in four target Caribbean countries, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica, with additional exchanges with Belize over a six-year period with an investment of 6.3 million Euros.
The goal of the CoralCarib project is to increase marine biodiversity in 1,871 hectares of priority coral reef ecosystems in the four targeted Caribbean Islands and regionally through scaling.
Through project interventions, healthier and more resilient reefs will provide socio-economic benefits to people living in the coastal zones in these four countries. Specifically, the project states: “Healthier coral reef ecosystems will contribute significantly to increased biodiversity, economic prosperity, food security and social resilience of the selected countries.”
This project will pioneer a new strategic approach focused on “Coral Climate Refugia”, with activities designed to protect, restore, and sustainably use coral reefs with high potential to survive future climate impacts.
Some of the major activities to be undertaken during the project include effective management of marine areas, reducing the threats to coral reef survival, coral restoration using advanced technologies, promotion of sustainable livelihoods, and a range of scaling activities to achieve region-wide impacts. Under this project, knowledge and experiences related to coral conservation, restoration, and sustainable livelihoods will be also shared with reef conservation partners in Belize.
The project is expected to generate long-term socio-economic benefits to coastal communities across the Caribbean region as a result of improved coral reef health. The benefits will be derived particularly in the form of greater coastal protection from storms and related flooding/shoreline erosion and an economically vibrant coastal tourism sector supported by extensive natural beaches, marine ecotourism, and fresh seafood.
The teams in the four CoralCarib target countries of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica will have numerous resources at their disposal because of the project. These include access to the methods and results of Coral Climate Refugia mapping, coral restoration methods, protocols, spawning calendars, online monitoring platforms, and a coral monitoring analytic toolbox. Several important coral restoration and monitoring tools will be produced and made freely accessible to be shared with the broader coral restoration community.
CoralCarib is a joint program being implemented by a Consortium of four partners: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Fundación Dominicana de Estudios Marinos (FUNDEMAR), Fundación Grupo Puntacana (FGPC), and Alligator Head Foundation (AHF). The Consortium will also work with several implementing partner organizations in the target countries, including the Acuario Nacional de Cuba (ANC), Centro para la Conservación y Ecodesarrollo de la Bahía de Samaná y su Entorno (CEBSE), Haiti Ocean Project (HOP), Initiative pour l’Environnement et le Développement Intégré en Haïti (IEDIH), and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
The Caribbean has ten per cent of the world’s coral reefs, with 60% of the region’s reefs found in the four target countries. However, live coral cover has declined 60% in the past 20 years due to climate change and a range of other factors.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other
The project´s main donor, The International Climate Initiative (IKI), is an important part of the German government’s international climate finance commitment. Since 2022, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) is the administrative lead for the IKI. The funding program cooperates closely with the Federal Ministry for Environment Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), as well as the Federal Foreign Office. Through the IKI, the ministries jointly support approaches in developing and emerging countries to implement and ambitiously develop the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) anchored in the Paris Agreement. This includes measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to conserve and rebuild natural carbon sinks, considering environmental, economic, and social concerns. With regard to biodiversity, the IKI also supports its partner countries in achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). To date, IKI has approved more than 800 climate and biodiversity projects in over 150 countries worldwide with a total funding volume of 5 billion euros (2008-2021).
About Grupo Puntacana Foundation
Formed in 1994, the Grupo Puntacana Foundation is a leading not-for-profit foundation in the Dominican Republic that works at the nexus of sustainability and development, seeking to provide solutions to the numerous environmental and social challenges the tourism industry faces. The Foundation works with strategic partners from the private sector, government, academia, and foundations to create real-world solutions that can be shared widely in order to make the tourism industry more sustainable in the long term. The Foundation has received numerous international awards for its sustainability initiatives, including awards from World Tourism and Travel Council, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, and National Geographic Traveler. The Foundation has pioneered numerous ground-breaking initiatives, including leading one of the most expansive and longest-running coral reef restoration initiatives in the Caribbean and the first large-scale integrated solid waste management project in the DR. In 2021, Foundation President Frank Rainieri was appointed Ambassador of Sustainable Tourism by the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO.
About Alligator Head Foundation
The Alligator Head Foundation (AHF) is a not-for-profit, non-government organisation committed to ecological restoration through marine conversation. We work for fish-filled seas, healthy reefs and thriving communities. AHF employs a collaborative approach to protecting fish stock, restoring habitats, and building capacity in our communities. Since 2016, with its community-driven model Alligator Head Foundation has managed the East Portland Special Fisheries Conservation Area. We are the only protected area on the island with a modern marine lab supporting the restoration work we do. AHF implements projects directed at ecosystem resilience, adaptation to climate change and building awareness and environmental responsibility and ownership in the communities of East Portland Jamaica.
FUNDEMAR is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sustainable use of coastal marine ecosystems and resources in the Dominican Republic, through four strategic lines: research, education, community integration, and conservation. It has a multidisciplinary technical team of biologists, ecologists, educators, and a network of local and international institutions. It was created by Idelisa Bonnelly in 1991, since then FUNDEMAR has established sustainable community programs with solutions based on nature and has successfully implemented projects on the conservation of the country’s marine resources, among which is the first laboratory and coral-assisted fertilization guide and the first reintroduction of manatees in the country. Additionally, it is a leading research institution, contributing to science through numerous scientific publications.
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