Caribbean Challenge Initiative Summit

To accelerate marine conservation action in the Caribbean, a second phase of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) was launched at a Summit of Caribbean Political and Business Leaders during May 17 – 18, 2013 in the British Virgin Islands.

The Summit was co-hosted by Dr. The Right Hon. Keith C. Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Hon D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Premier of the British Virgin Islands, and Sir Richard Branson, Founder and CEO of the Virgin Group.

The event brought together,for the first time, government leaders from Caribbean countries and territories, business leaders of companies with operations in the region, and key partners (development partners, multilateral agencies, private foundations, and NGOs) to agree on a shared vision for the region's marine and coastal environment and to chart a course on how to achieve this vision.




Leaders Declaration

(signed by 8 Caribbean governments)


      To achieve the '20 by 20' goals, undertake a set of 7 broad actions:

  •  national action plans
  •  marine protected areas
  •  restoration
  •  sustainable fisheries
  •  sustainable tourism
  •  ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change
  •  marine pollution.

Corporate Compact

(signed by 15 companies)


  • The 20-by-20 Goal and six actions in the Leaders Declaration were endorsed (marine protected areas, restoration, sustainable fisheries, sustainable tourism, ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, and marine pollution).
  • A set of business-specific principles was also endorsed (e.g. "we will change business practices as necessary, engage our value chain to do the same, and be a leading voice in our industry").

Summit Communiqué

(signed by the 3 Summit co-hosts)


  • The urgent need to create protection for sharks and rays across the Caribbean region, with the aim of protecting 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 transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources over the next five years.

Financial Commitments

(made by partners and companies) 


  •  A total of US $75 million of funding commitments were announced, covering existing and new projects. Commitments were announced, for example, by: European Commission, GEF, Germany, NRG Energy, Sandals Resorts International, TNC, and the UK.

Conservation Commitments

(made by Caribbean governments) 

  •  The Government of Bahamas has just approved the final draft of legislation to establish the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF)—a trust fund to provide reliable and long-term funding to support CCI.
  • By 2020 the Government of Jamaica will have 25% of its marine environment protected.
  • The Government of the British Virgin Islands adopted a Protected Areas System Plan, which calls for 33% of the marine and coastal environment to be protected.
  • Grupo Puntacana  in the Dominican Republic, through its foundation, will host training workshops for coral restoration and other marine-related themes.
  • Sandals Resorts International will continue to support management of four fish sanctuaries in Jamaica, generate funds to support conservation in the Caribbean, provide financial support for sea turtle conservation in Antigua and Jamaica, provide financial support for Bahamas National Trust, and continue to reduce pollution from waste water and runoff from its operations.




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