Saint Lucia well-represented at recent Caribbean Biodiversity Fund AGM

SAINT Lucia was well represented at the just-concluded 6th Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held from June 18th-22nd in Miami, in collaboration with the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI)-CBF Finance Solutions Roundtable.

The recently-launched Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) was represented by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Vasantha Chase and also by Mr. Roderick Cherry, its Chairman of the Board.

CEO Dr Vasantha Chase

Of the three presentations made by Dr. Chase was one on a critical theme which will impact the sustainability of the Fund entitled ‘Charting the Course for Resources Mobilization in Support of CCI-CBF Goals’.

In her presentation Dr. Chase discussed the various sustainable financing mechanisms that the SLUNCF is pursuing.

Dr Chase says, “The timing of this AGM proved beneficial for SLUNCF, as this entity transitions into being fully-operational and implementation of its first ever work plan.

“It will help to ensure Saint Lucia’s biodiversity and natural resources and human and ecological communities are healthy and resilient to change; and to catalyze and support the conservation, restoration and effective management of Saint Lucia’s biodiversity and natural resources.”

The CEO disclosed that the Fund, in the coming months, with the support of and in partnership with its national, regional, international funding partners and stakeholders, “will roll out a community focused, customized, and tailored Public Awareness & Outreach Plan to galvanize community support and participation for its programs and grant making opportunities.”

During the five-day meeting, the substantive topics discussed included Strategic Plans, Institutional Strengthening Proposals, Finance, Work Plans and Budgets and Networking.

Dr. Chase noted that the next step for SLUNCF “dovetails into the generalized work program of CBF and CCI.”

She said, “We will be rolling-out our Grant Making and will be one of only two national conservation trust funds in the CBF to do so at this time.”

The CEO concluded, “We will also continue to actively seek to grow our endowment fund, so that we can increase funding opportunities for public and private sector agencies, NGOs and CBOs, as well as academia, to undertake environmental management projects in Saint Lucia”.

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