The Rt. Hon. D. Orlando Smith, OBE | Premier
- website: www.bvi.gov.vg
When did you join the CCI?
The British Virgin Islands joined the CCI in May 2013
Why did your government join the CCI?
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to partnerships that help to preserve, protect and sustain the marine, coastal and terrestrial environments. We co-hosted, co-chaired and joined the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) because it provided us with an additional avenue to partner with Caribbean governments and international corporations in a collective commitment to preserve our respective environments. Additionally, as a Territory, the Virgin Islands is actively taking steps to green our economy, for example transitioning to renewable energy, in our drive toward sustainability and we note that CCI is committed to accelerating efforts of the same. We further recognised that our strategic objectives for the environment and the convention on biological diversity of which we are a signatory, is aligned with that of the CCI.
How is the CCI important to marine and coastal conservation in the Caribbean?
The CCI prides itself on working with leaders of the Caribbean and international corporations with preserving and protecting the region's marine and coastal environment. We recognise that this initiative has helped to create accountability amongst Caribbean islands where the backbone of such economies is reliant on the conservation of coastal and marine resources.
How has the CCI enhanced conservation in your country (What have you achieved since the CCI was established?)
The BVI is a trendsetter when it comes to the protection on our environment and we clearly understand that most of what attracts visitors to our islands is our marine and coastal environment and it is only logical that we protect the very thing that sustains us. What the CCI has done is; it has helped us to create an even greater awareness among our people as we continue to highlight our work in the area of environmental conservation and protection and call on citizens and residents of Virgin Islands to make a commitment to do their part to mitigate against negative impacts on our society. This is important to ensure a better and brighter future for generations to come.
What are your country's main conservation priority actions under the CCI?
- We want to implement the Territory's protected areas system plan.
- We will seek to ensure that a sustainable financing architecture is in place.
- We are focused on initiating a sustainable yachting initiative and wetlands management plan.
How is the CCI approach different from past approaches to marine and coastal conservation?The recognisable difference is that CCI is taking a tripartite approach where Caribbean governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organisations (NGOs) are working collaboratively to partner around the goal of conserving the region's marine and coastal areas, and as such has set up sustainable finance mechanisms and trust funds that would provide long-term funding for conservation activities.
Who is your CCI focal point?
- name: Ronald Smith-Berkeley
- title: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour
- phone: +1( 284) 468-3701