Pascal O. Girot, Regional Program Coordinator for the IUCN Regional Office for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean Initiative (IUCN-ORMA/Caribe), and Deirdre P. Shurland, Coordinator of the Caribbean Initiative, embark upon visits to the Caribbean. The purpose is to familiarize members with the implementation of the IUCN Caribbean program and to establish links with key partners.
San José, 3rd of April 2010. The IUCN Caribbean Initiative is building consensus for its regional program implementation. Pascal Girot and Deirdre Shurland discussed the reality of their work as they embarked upon visits to the region. Visits were made in April 2010 to the Dominican Republic, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, and in May 2010 these will be followed up by visits to Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Barbados.
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Botanical Gardens in Santo Domingo, the IUCN/ORMA-Caribe team met with members of the IUCN National Committee and discussed the realities of implementing the Caribbean Initiative, the Committee´s environmental priorities such as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, controlling invasive species, financing protected areas, frontier development on the DR/Haiti border and the Caribbean Biological Corridor – an undertaking of the Governments of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba. The meeting also discussed ways to maximize coordination with members. The IUCN team also visited the Dominican Ministry of the Environment meeting the Minister and Vice-Minister and expressing support for Corridor activities.
The IUCN-ORMA/Caribe team also met with donor agencies in Santo Domingo including the GTZ and UNDP, discussing regional program priorities, rehabilitation work in Haiti and potential synergies with the Caribbean Initiative. The team paid a courtesy visit to the office of the French Ambassador, Mr. Roland Dubertrand briefing him on IUCN´s regional work and in particular on the progress of implementation of regional projects funded under the IUCN-French Government framework agreement.
On April 29th & 30th 2010, Pascal Girot will conduct meetings in Trinidad and Tobago at the local office of the Delegation of the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank and at United Nations House. Deirdre Shurland will visit Tortola, BVI; Puerto Rico and Barbados from May 6th – 14th 2010 also meeting with delegations, donors and IUCN colleagues.
The major outcomes of these meetings are expected to be closer liaisons with IUCN members in the development and implementation of regional projects, strategic partnerships with donors and key regional institutions such as the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, for the benefit of biodiversity conservation in the region.