Identifying mechanisms for long-term financing of protected areas and coral reef conservation

The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) supported technical assistance for stakeholder meetings to discuss sustainable finance strategies for marine protected areas in TCI in 2015. 


Possible strategies were formulated in consultation with stakeholders by using the Wolfs Company's Eco2Fin framework, an approach to assess current and potential financing streams based on context-specific conditions. This assessment revealed the diversity of fees and taxes charged to tourists, as well as the lack of earmarked government revenue for protected area management. It also concluded that tourism-related revenue offered untapped opportunities to finance marine protected areas, given that these contain key tourism assets such as coral reefs.


A subsequent analysis of TCI's legal framework provided recommendations on feasible mechanisms to increase budgetary allocations and earmark conservation funds for marine protected areas managers such as DECR. Strategic steps formulated to achieve the succesful implementation of these mechanisms included the development of a business case for increased funding of protected areas and key ecosystems such as coral reefs.

  • The willingness of stakeholders from different sectors to collaborate and participate in meetings was essential to produce results that could be subsequently adopted.
  • A supportive tourism sector was also a key enabling aspect.
  • Legal expertise was necessary to identify feasible mechanisms within the existing legal framework.
  • External funding and in-kind support for follow-up actions were key to support the implementation of recommendations.

The use of simple and structured approaches, as well as external facilitation, allowed a fluid communication among stakeholders. The underlying analysis of the governance and socioeconomic context helped identify options that could leverage stakeholder support since the inception.