CANARI’s Contribution To Delivery Of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) supports efforts to achieve the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed at the 2015 UN Global Summit on Sustainable Development. CANARI’s contributions to the SDGs are delivered through its various programmes, guided by its mission.


CANARI’s approach to delivering its mission over the past 30 years is in line with the integrated, inter-sectoral approach mandated under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The SDGs are not intended to be approached in isolation since focusing on linkages across the SDGs will transform the approach to development. While CANARI is mostly focused on environment-themed SDGs, its work delivers cross cutting results, which have impact on and relevance for other SDG priorities, such as reducing poverty and improving livelihoods; inclusive economic growth; and strong institutions and governance.

Click on each of the Goals to learn more

Forests Livelihoods & Governance Programme

The goal of CANARI’s Forests, Livelihoods and Governance programme is to “improve livelihoods and reduce levels of poverty through the wise use and the equitable distribution of forests goods and services that are critical to development”. This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 10, 12, 13, 15 and 16.

Under this programme CANARI is doing a significant amount of work related to participatory forest and protected area management for conservation and sustainable livelihoods, community climate change adaptation and building climate resilient enterprises. The Institute also provides technical assistance to Caribbean countries in national policy formulation and institutional frameworks for improved environmental management, drawing on its expertise in environment, climate and forestry and facilitating participatory policy and planning processes. CANARI acts as a bridge between the policy and planning arena and the persons directly using the forests for their livelihoods to encourage and support participatory governance of the resources. Consequently, the work under this programme has implications for reducing climate change impacts, encouraging sustainable resource consumption, and improving livelihood conditions which contribute to reduced poverty and inequalities.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action:

Through the Creating a Road Map for the Participatory Development of Protected Area Management Plans in Trinidad and Tobago project (2017) CANARI is helping to build the capacity of forest managers and users in Trinidad & Tobago (from government, civil society, and communities) in participatory forest governance approaches. SDG results are being delivered on sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction alongside forest conservation. The project is contributing a road map to guide participatory development of management plans for six1 pilot protected areas (PAs) in Trinidad & Tobago, including promotion of co-management and consideration of community livelihoods and will feed into objectives to develop a new system of (PAs) consistent with the country’s approved 2011 Protected Areas Policy to conserve globally important biodiversity and ecosystems.

Under the Enhancing Environmental Management Legal & Policy Frameworks in Grenada, St Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat project (2017-2018) CANARI is providing technical assistance for the development of institutional frameworks in four Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Member States – Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia – for improved environmental management, climate resilience and forest management. Policies and plans will be developed with participation of stakeholders and lay the foundation for delivery of SDG results on participatory governance, biodiversity conservation, economic development, livelihoods and climate resilience.

Under the Building climate-resilient enterprises in Trinidad and Tobago project (2016) CANARI has helped to build capacity of rural communities to develop sustainable forest-based enterprises that are resilient to climate change, contributing to delivering of SDGs on poverty reduction alongside forest conservation and climate action.

Under the “ Adaptat io n of Rural Economies and Natural Resources to Climate Change” project (2015), CANARI facilitated participatory three-dimensional modelling (P3DM) of watersheds in the Soufriere Scott’s Head-Gallion area of Dominica, incorporating scientific, local and traditional knowledge on resources, land uses, impacts of climate change and extreme events and potential resilience building measures to help inform recommendations for managing the forest, coastal and marine areas. SDG results were delivered on participatory governance, biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and economic development and resilience to climate change and natural disasters.

The Research on social protection to foster sustainable management of natural resources and reduce poverty in fisheries and forestry dependent communities in two Caribbean countries project (2015) delivered actionable knowledge on the linkages between social protection, natural resource management, women and overall people’s empowerment and poverty alleviation in fisheries and forestry communities in two Caribbean countries – Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Coastal & Marine Livelihoods & Governance Programme

The goal of CANARI’s Coastal & Marine Livelihoods & Governance programme is to ‘’improve livelihoods and contribute to poverty reduction by promoting and facilitating sustainable use and governance of coastal and marine resources, building effective institutions and facilitating collaboration between key stakeholders, through participatory research, capacity building, and communication of lessons learned’’. This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14 and 16.

Under this programme CANARI works to promote, build capacity for and facilitate participatory and ecosystem-based approaches to coastal and marine management. This ranges from building capacity of regional, national and local fisherfolk organisations and networks to participate in governance and management, facilitating participatory development of policies and plans and building resilience of small scale fisheries to climate change. CANARI’s work here also contributes to enhanced understanding of the conditions for optimising the contribution of Marine Protected Areas to livelihoods, as well as understanding of institutional arrangements outside of Marine Protected Areas that can provide conservation and livelihood benefits. The highly cross cutting nature of the work under this programme aligns it to a number of SDGs and the results under the programme contribute to reduced poverty, hunger and gender equality while contributing to economic growth, wise use and climate action driven by conservation of coastal and marine resources.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action:

CANARI is collaborating in the execution of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem plus Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) project (2017-2019), which started in May 2015. The objective of the project is to facilitate ecosystem-based management for key fisheries in the CLME+ region, to ensure the sustainable provision of goods and services from shared living marine resources thereby delivering SDG results on conservation, food security, economic development and livelihoods and good governance.

The Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES) project (2017-2020) supports capacity building of civil society and coastal community small and micro- enterprises for innovative actions and advocacy for conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity and development of sustainable and resilient livelihoods.

CANARI in partnership with the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies of the University of the West Indies (UWI-CERMES) is implementing a technical assistance project Enhancing Stakeholder Participation in Management of the Flyingfish Fishery project (2017-2019), aimed at enhancing stakeholder education and participation in flyingfish fisheries governance and management. This work will contribute to enhancing the governance arrangements for implementing an ecosystem approach to flyingfish fisheries in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ region) to deliver SDG results on conservation, economic development and poverty reduction and food security.

CANARI has partnered with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources – Anguilla, the Fisheries and Ocean Resources Unit- Montserrat and UWI-CERMES to implement the Climate Change Adaptation in the Fisheries of Anguilla and Montserrat project (2017-2020), which is aimed at mainstreaming climate change adaptation into fisheries governance and management in Anguilla and Monserrat, using an ecosystem approach to fisheries.

As a member of the Gender in Fisheries Team , CANARI worked to promote gender equality in small-scale fisheries value chains and governance in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to deliver SDG results on gender, food security, livelihoods and conservation.

The Strengthening Caribbean fisherfolk to participate in governance project (2013-2016) and significantly contributed to establishing and strengthening fisherfolk organisations and enhancing communication among fisherfolk organisations (at regional, national and local levels); and enhancing fisherfolk input into key decision-making processes and development of policies (at the global, regional and national levels). SDG results were delivered on equity, good governance, food security, poverty reduction and ocean conservation.

Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Programme

The goal of CANARI’s Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction programme is “to improve resilience of livelihoods and ecosystems to climate change and related disasters by building the capacity of stakeholders, particularly those most vulnerable to climate change, to participate effectively in ecosystem management and develop appropriate responses to climate change, through research, action learning, capacity building and application and communication of lessons learned.” This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 11, 14, 15 and 16.

This is a highly integrated and cross cutting programme that addresses impacts of climate change and natural disasters on forest, coastal and marine ecosystems as well as rural communities and community micro enterprises. CANARI provides technical assistance to facilitate participatory vulnerability analyses (incorporating local knowledge) and development of policies and adaptation plans (at national and local levels). Capacity building is provided for civil society organisations and rural communities so that they can effectively engage in practical actions and drive community adaptation, particularly using ecosystem- based approaches. Community enterprises are supported to ‘climate proof’. CANARI promotes an ecosystem-based approach to increasing awareness and understanding of the impacts of climate change and other threats on natural resources and associated livelihoods and potential response options.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action

The Climate ACTT: Action by Civil society in Trinidad and Tobago to build resilience to climate change project (2016-2017) built the capacity of five civil society organisations in Trinidad and Tobago to internationally accepted levels of best practice in two areas: institutional (organisational) strengthening; and technical capacity to deliver programmes/projects related to climate change adaptation and resilience. CANARI produced a toolkit that is tailored to support organisations working in the Caribbean small island context which includes an overview of how climate change is affecting the Caribbean as well as practical tools for awareness raising and advocacy, conducting vulnerability assessments, adaptation planning and community-based and ecosystem-based actions to build resilience. SDG results were delivered on climate adaptation, poverty reduction, conservation of natural ecosystems and participatory governance.

Under the Building Climate Resilient Rural Enterprises in Trinidad & Tobago project (2016-2017) CANARI also continued to pilot a methodology and supported two community groups in Trinidad and Tobago to use value chain analysis to determine vulnerabilities and build resilience to climate change within natural resource-based enterprises, delivering SDG results on poverty reduction and climate action.

CANARI contributed to development of regional targets and plans for building community resilience to disasters under the regional Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Strategy 2014-2024 and continued to serve as a member of the Civil Society Sub-Sector Steering Committee convened by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to input into implementation of the Strategy, particularly on Priority Area 4: Strengthened and sustained community resilience. CANARI’s work in supporting community-based resilience building directly contributes to SDG results on climate adaptation and poverty reduction.

Green Economy Programme

The goal of CANARI’s Green Economy programme is “to effectively and equitably engage stakeholders in developing a model of economic development for the Caribbean that facilitates ecological sustainability and social equity.” This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17.

CANARI has been facilitating a regional dialogue on green economy since 2010, including developing a Caribbean definition for what is a green economy in the Caribbean context and establishing the Caribbean Green Economy Action Learning Group (GE ALG) as the leading independent and credible multi-stakeholder network on green economy in the Caribbean. The GE ALG developed a programme of work on green economy and members started to work on priority areas, with CANARI focused on exploring how small and micro enterprises (SMEs) can deliver triple bottom line benefits and be a pathway to a green economy. The collaborative work here on exploring new economic pathways and how green economy transitions can help achieve social, as well as economic and environmental objectives is demonstrative of partnerships for the goals and integrated transformative approaches to sustainable development espoused in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action:

The #GE4U: Transformation towards an inclusive green economy in the Caribbean (2016-2019) project is engaging local stakeholders, including civil society and resource users in communities, in movements to shape and create green economy policies that respond to local realities. The project has re-convened the regional GE ALG to analyse and influence green economy transitions at the regional and sub-regional (Eastern Caribbean) levels and has established a national Small and Micro Enterprise Action Learning Group to influence green economy transitions in Trinidad and Tobago. As part of this work, CANARI is developing the Green Enterprises Radar – a tool designed to be used by the small entrepreneur with assistance of facilitators, to support enterprises to self-assess how they can deliver triple-bottom line economic, environmental and social benefits while demonstrating good governance. An online Caribbean Green Economy Knowledge Platform will facilitate knowledge sharing among policy makers and practitioners in government, civil society, private sector, small business and researchers to promote inclusive green economy transitions. This work will contribute to results under a range of SDGs including on economy and poverty reduction, sustainable consumption and production, energy, climate and good governance.

Rural Livelihoods Programme

CANARI’s Rural Livelihoods programme seeks to ‘’support rural communities to develop sustainable natural resource-based livelihoods through building capacity, catalysing partnerships and influencing policy to create an enabling institutional environment.’’ This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 2, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.

Under the programme, CANARI helps individuals and groups from rural communities in Caribbean countries to identify natural resources-based enterprises and assists with their initial set-up. Since 2010, CANARI has been using capacity building, mentoring and small grants to provide additional support to develop products, services and markets for community small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and has helped increase awareness among rural entrepreneurs of the policy environment in which their enterprises operate. The programme is closely linked to many other programmes at CANARI including the Forests, Livelihoods and Governance, Coastal and Marine Livelihoods and Governance, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and Green Economy programmes and contributes to a wide range of the SDGs which have to do with improved quality of life, backed by responsible management of natural resources.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action:

The #GE4U: Transformation towards an inclusive green economy in the Caribbean project (2016-2019) includes a strong focus on social and community small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to deliver SDG results on poverty reduction, economic development and conservation.

The Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean project (2017-2020) is supporting development and strengthening of SMEs from targeted communities around marine protected and marine managed areas in 10 countries. Entrepreneurs will learn ways to develop enterprises that sustainably use marine and coastal resources to deliver economic, environmental and social co-benefits as well as how to ‘climate proof’ their enterprises. Measures to establish and strengthen private-public partnerships to support SMEs will also be explored. This will deliver SDG results on poverty reduction and conservation.

Under the Engaging Civil Society in CLME+ Strategic Action Programme Implementation project (2017-2019), CANARI is contributing to enhancing capacity of fisherfolk (including women and youth), fisherfolk organisations and SMEs in selected fishing communities in St. Kitts and Nevis to develop enterprises based on the sustainable use of sea moss (a species of red algae used to make drinks and foods). This will deliver SDG results on poverty reduction, food security and conservation.

Under the Building climate-resilient enterprises in Trinidad and Tobago project (2016-2017), CANARI built capacity of enterprises in a rural community in Trinidad and Tobago to develop proposals to finance their enterprises and helped generate understanding among policy-makers of poverty in fisheries and forestry-dependent communities and strategies used to cope. Two community groups in were mentored and supported to develop collaborative enterprises. This delivered SDG results on poverty reduction, conservation and climate action.

Civil Society & Governance Programme

The goal of CANARI’s Civil Society and Governance programme is “to enhance the capacity of civil society stakeholders to participate equitably and effectively in the governance of natural resources, through research and action learning, innovative capacity building programmes and communication and application of lessons learnt.” This programme directly contributes to delivery of SDGs 1, 10, 11, 16 and 17.

CANARI’s work on civil society and governance is reflected in explicit projects under the programme, as well as several cross cutting initiatives and projects under the Coastal and Marine Livelihoods and Governance, the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction and the Capacity Building programmes. CANARI is involved in several key regional and national initiatives that leverages its experience to support more effective engagement of civil society in biodiversity conservation, protected areas management, coastal and marine resources management and governance, and implementation of the SDGs. The work here is focused on strengthening civil society organisations (CSOs) and their networks and ensuring civil society plays an active role in achieving the SDGs, in partnership with government and other development actors.

Illustrating the SDGs in Action:

Under the CSOs For Go o d Go vernance: E nhancing c iv il so ciet y’s co ntributio n to go vernance and develo pm ent pro cesse s in Trinidad and T o bago ( CSOs4 GoodGov) project (2017-2020), a consortium of seven CSOs including CANARI, representing diverse sectors, initiated a process for strengthening advocacy and engagement of civil society on implementation of the SDGs in Trinidad and Tobago, including through establishment of a cross-sectoral SDGs Catalysts Network. Facilitating knowledge sharing, collaboration on advocacy and integrated working among CSOs across different sectors is a key component of the project to address key SDG national priorities.

The Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean project (2017-2020) is building capacity of CSOs and small and micro enterprises (SMEs) and will deliver results on biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, gender and governance.* Through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot project (2010-2016) CANARI supported 68 CSOs to implement 77 grants in eight countries to deliver concrete results in biodiversity conservation. Enhanced capacity of 58 local and regional Caribbean CSOs was also achieved. This contributed to SDG results on conservation, poverty reduction and economic development, climate action, governance, partnerships.

Under the Engaging Civil Society in CLME+ Strategic Action Programme Implementation, CANARI is developing a framework to guide more effective engagement of CSOs, fisherfolk and other resource users and SMEs in implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of Shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem

(CLME+). This includes development of a database (of CSOs, SMEs, small grant donors, and capacity building programmes, projects and initiatives) and a civil society capacity building programme as well as a Small Grants Coordination Mechanism. SDG results achieved will include on poverty reduction, economic development, ocean conservation, climate action and good governance.

The Climate ACTT: Action by Civil society in Trinidad and Tobago to build resilience to climate change project (2016) supported climate action at the community level by strengthening of CSO capacities for implementing climate change adaptation projects and delivered SDG results on climate action, conservation and governance.