A regional sustainable financing architecture for conservation

Tim Calver, The Nature Conservancy
Published: 08 October 2015
Last edited: 28 March 2019
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The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is the realization of the vision to create reliable, long-term funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean. The CBF and its National Conservation Trust Funds form the regional sustainable finance architecture, which support and incentives Caribbean nations to meet the goals under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and other international and regional commitments. The CBF is a umbrella fund with permanent (an endowment fund) and non-permanent funding (sinking fund).


Scale of implementation
Coastal forest
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Sustainable financing
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of alternative income opportunities
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources


Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas | Caribbean region


  • Limited resources for conservation in the Caribbean. The CBF and the Regional Sustainable Financing Architecture for Conservation is a new and sustainable source of funding to address environmental challenges.
  • Environment is low in the regional political priorities. The CBF and the NCTFs will be crucial in raising the profile of environment and conservation in the region.


  • The National Conservation Trust Funds
  • Civil society
  • Government institutions
  • Community-based organizations

How do the building blocks interact?

The building blocks describe 5 key areas in the design, establishment, current and future implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of this solution. While there are some sequential aspects around these building blocks, their implementation has and is often occurring in a parallel manner. For example, the CBF has been established first and now most of the national conservation trust funds are being established. The operationalization of the different trust funds will also not occur at the same time. Meanwhile maintaining the governments‘ and partners’ commitment is an important factor throughout all the building blocks.


As a regional conservation trust fund, the CBF is a new source of funding in the Caribbean. Thus far, nine National Conservation Trust Funds (NCTFs) are legally established and at different stages of becoming fully operational, with additional countries interested in joining the process. Moreover, all NCTFs have identified and are pursuing additional sustainable financial mechanism to finance biodiversity management activities. With three NCTFs official agreements with CBF have been signed and payments will start flowing in the coming months. Once the architecture is fully functional the CBF, through its endowment, expects to generate approximately US$1.5 – 1.8million/year to be channeled through the NCTFs. New sustainable finance mechanisms established by the NCTFs would match this amount. In addition, a new US$26.5 million sinking fund focused on ecosystem-based adaptation is expected to significantly contribute to create adaptation solutions for Caribbean islands.



Contributed by

ybatista_cbf@yahoo.com's picture

Karen McDonald Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF)

Other contributors

Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF)