Caribbean Biodiversity Fund Announces the Launch of the Caribbean Sustainable Blue Finance (BluEFin) Project, a Major Initiative to Advance Sustainable Marine Conservation and Economic Development. | SMN NEWS

St. Lucia:—  The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is thrilled to unveil the Blue Economy Finance (BluEFin) Project, an innovative initiative dedicated to bolstering conservation financing throughout the Caribbean region. This pioneering project receives substantial backing from the Global Environment Facility and operates under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme, with execution by the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.

Project Inception and Stakeholder Engagement

The BluEFin Project kicked off with a dynamic two-day hybrid event on April 23 and 24, 2024, in St. Lucia, connecting a broad array of stakeholders from The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This format promoted extensive participation from government officials and was instrumental in engaging representatives from the partner CBF National Conservation Trust Funds. This collective participation established a solid platform for open dialogue and cooperative efforts, which is essential for the project's success.

The first day of the launch event spotlighted the introduction of ground-breaking financial models and governance frameworks to drive sustainable financing across the Caribbean. Discussions centered on pivotal elements like Blue Carbon Sequestration Schemes and the creation of a Sustainable Blue Finance Knowledge Sharing Hub. These initiatives are designed to enhance regional collaboration and deliver vital local support.

Formation of the Project Steering Committee

The subsequent day witnessed the official formation of the Project Steering Committee, which will play a crucial role in directing the project. This committee is tasked with ensuring the successful delivery of the project’s objectives by providing strategic guidelines and decision-making for the project's execution.

A Milestone for Regional Development

Tadzio Bervoets, Technical Officer for the BluEFin Project at the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, highlighted, "The BluEFin Project marks a significant breakthrough in our efforts to synchronize the conservation of vital Caribbean coastal ecosystems with the sustainable economic growth of our member states. By leveraging novel financial strategies and fostering regional collaboration, we are set to safeguard our precious marine resources while simultaneously boosting the region's economic vitality".

The BluEFin Project is poised to become a keystone in the nexus between environmental conservation and sustainable economic advancement in the Caribbean, promoting the well-being of both its ecosystems and its people through innovative and sustainable financial approaches. The project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility for a total of USD 6 million, with a timeline until 2028. Some key results that will be achieved include the establishment of at least five sustainable finance mechanisms, enhancement of marine protected area management effectiveness in at least ten sites, and significant advancement in regional blue carbon initiatives."

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