CASTRIES, St. Lucia - The executives of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) and the St. Lucia government signaled the formal relocation of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative to St. Lucia.
The CCI, launched in 2008, is a coalition of governments, companies and partners working together to promote marine and coastal conservation and sustainability in the Caribbean.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Barrymore Felicien, and his deputy Sarah Niles, met with CCI Envoy, Karolin Troubetzkoy and CCI Project Coordinator, John Calixte, to formally welcome the CCI Secretariat to St. Lucia and, in particular, to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives.
Troubetzkoy and Calixte, in this first meeting, gave the Permanent Secretary and his deputy an overview of CCI's role as well as its plans for the coming months and into 2020.
Troubetzkoy said CCI would fit very well into St. Lucia: "We have a very strong interest in protecting our fragile marine environment and foreshore because we are small and we recognize the importance of protecting coastal areas for the continued enjoyment of our residents as well as for the many travelers who visit our beautiful island."
Previously, the CCI Secretariat was housed within the Ministry of Climate Resilience and Environment in Grenada. The Government of St. Lucia has agreed to house the Secretariat in the Ministry of Agriculture and to provide logistical support to the initiative.
Since its inception, CCI has galvanized new funding and concrete action while supporting Caribbean governments in meeting their conservation and sustainable development commitments. "CCI is not a talk shop, but rather an action shop emphasizing tangible impacts," Troubetzkoy added.
Participating members, which include 11 governments and 15 companies, have formerly declared their commitment to marine and coastal conservation. The ambitious and collaborative effort of the CCI focuses on two timebound goals.
20-BY-20 GOAL - to effectively conserve and manage at least 20 percent of the marine and coastal environment by 2020.
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE GOAL - to set up sustainable finance mechanisms which provide long-term and reliable funding to conserve and sustainably manage the marine and coastal resources and the environment in each participating country and territory.
The meeting ended on a positive note with an expression of interest to review the re-establishment of the CCI Action Committee for St. Lucia, with a step towards accelerating the goals of the CCI in St. Lucia and highlighting successes and best practices with other regional stakeholders.