The Caribbean Program follows the vast tropical Antillean archipelago from Cuba south to Trinidad and the ABC islands, and includes the Bahamas Archipelago and Bermuda, also known as the insular Caribbean. It is a complex region in many ways (politically, culturally and geographically). In terms of marine life, it is the most biologically rich area in the Atlantic, retaining 10% of the world’s coral reefs and 1,400 species of fish and marine mammals. The beauty of its beaches is world renown.
The marine and coastal resources of this region—its coral reefs, beaches, fisheries and mangroves—serve as an essential economic engine. However, unsustainable coastal development, climate change and overfishing, as well as land-based sources of sediment and pollution are negatively impacting the region’s marine and coastal ecosystems.
Though the negative impacts to marine and coastal resources are persistent, the Conservancy’s Caribbean Program is guided by core principles by which we envision: a region where sustainability is embraced and practiced, a Caribbean which serves as a model to the rest of the world as being understood and managed as a whole system, a Caribbean Sea that is recognized as an integrated marine network inextricably linked to the future prosperity and security of its inhabitants and that this recognition forms the basis of a unifying force for effective conservation action.
Towards this vision, the Caribbean Program has, and will continue to expand ocean protection and reduce the vulnerability of natural and human communities to the impacts of coastal hazards by catalyzing high-level political will to protect and manage marine and coastal resources, mobilize funding, and accelerate and support on-the-ground action. These actions include effective site management, restoring critical habitat, establishing a sustainable finance architecture to generate long-term funding for conservation, and taking multi-objective management plans to implementation.
Here, the Caribbean Gateway Site will serve as a web-based resource and face of the science and conservation work for the Caribbean Program that warrants broad and public sharing.
Updated March 19, 2014