Description of project:

CANARI is leading a year-long process to develop the framework for a new investment in the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). Following a successful initial five-year investment that ended in July 2016, the CEPF has decided to provide further support to CSOs in the region to build on gains made.  CANARI is collaborating with a team comprising BirdLife Internationalthe International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) on a consultative process that will define the parameters of the new CEPF investment in the Caribbean. Through a series of national and regional meetings, biodiversity conservation stakeholders across the Caribbean Islands hotspot will have an opportunity to shape the updated CEPF ecosystem profile and investment framework for the region. The new CEPF funding phase, which is expected to begin in 2018, will expand the scope of the first programme to include coastal and marine ecosystems. See here for the project summary in English, and here in French.

CANARI was the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the CEPF programme to support civil society’s contribution to biodiversity conservation in the Caribbean Islands biodiversity hotspot from October 2010 to July 2016. Under this investment, a US$6.9 million grant fund provided support for activities in eight countries and at the regional level in the Caribbean. Seventy-seven grants were awarded to 68 civil society organisations. Seventy-eight per cent of the funds committed went to local and regional Caribbean CSOs. See here for more information on the first phase of CEPF funding in the Caribbean islands.

The CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. The goal of the CEPF is to support the work of civil society in developing and implementing conservation strategies, as well as in raising public awareness on the implications of loss of biodiversity. The following Caribbean countries are eligible for CEPF investment: Antigua and Barbuda; The Bahamas; Barbados; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Haiti; Jamaica; St. Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. See here for Frequently Asked Questions in English and here for Spanish.


The CEPF ecosystem reprofiling has resulted in the identification of 324 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot, 167 of which are in CEPF-eligible countries. The reprofiling exercise concluded that biodiversity of the Caribbean Islands Hotspot continues to be at serious risk of species extinctions. Of the taxa reviewed for the preparation of the ecosystem profile, 992 species are assessed as globally threatened. Of the 992 globally threatened species in the Caribbean Islands Hotspot, 575 species occur in countries eligible to receive CEPF funding.

The next phase of CEPF investment will target 33 sites. These priority sites cover 1.2 million hectares in eight countries; 91 percent of their land area is partially or completely protected. Collectively, they represent those sites with the highest biological values that are under the most threat, with the most urgent need for improved management, and where is it possible to work without major impediments.

The new CEPF investment will seek to mainstream conservation values into the policy and legal frameworks of hotspot countries; improve governance arrangements; expand financing opportunities, particularly from local sources; and build a constituency for nature, conservation and ecosystem services. In a departure from the initial phase, the investment strategy includes a specific strategic direction for species conservation.

The final ecosystem profile and technical summary are available for download here:

  • Final Ecosystem Profile Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot (English)
  • Technical Summary (English)

Key activities and results:

  • A series of thematic desk studies and targeted consultations with practitioners from government, civil society and donor agencies in the conservation and development communities will be used to update the situational analysis of the hotspot. See here for the CEPF Caribbean National Consultation Schedule.
  • Site and species outcomes will be updated and defined; more than 270 new globally threatened species (across a range of taxonomic groups) will be included in the analysis.
  • Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) will be defined at the new global standard. The new standard and the data generated are expected to support the strategic expansion of protected area networks by governments and civil society working towards achievement of the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Biodiversity Targets (especially Targets 11 and 12). Click here to link to a PowerPoint presentation by IUCN about the new global KBA standard and download the global standard guidance here.
  • Findings from the thematic and conservation outcomes analyses will be validated at a series national consultation meetings held with the 11 CEPF-eligible countries in the hotspot. During these meetings, stakeholders will identify and prioritise investment needs and opportunities. National consultations will be held in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti. Stakeholders from The Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean will be engaged through a virtual sub-regional consultation.
  • The results of the national and sub-regional consultations will be synthesised into an updated ecosystem profile, which will be reviewed and validated at a final regional workshop.
  • The updated ecosystem profile will set out a situational analysis, based upon a review of biodiversity priorities, threats, policy environment, civil society context, and patterns of conservation investment by other funders, and present a stakeholder-agreed-upon geographic and thematic investment strategy.

Project documents:

  • National consultation discussion papers and questions – Stakeholders are invited to review the discussion papers below and provide feedback. Each one includes a series of questions or areas in which additional information is needed. Please submit your responses and comments to [email protected] with the subject heading CEPF Reprofiling, no later than 31 July 2017. Please note that any facts or figures suggested need to be referenced.
  • National consultation reports


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For further information, please contact: Nicole Brown at CANARI at [email protected] or call: 1-876-818-4285 or 1-868-626-6062.


See related work under CANARI’s Civil Society and Governance and Capacity building programmes.