Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 23, 2013 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Patrice Nisbett has signed Phase II of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) and committed the Federation to protect 20 percent of its marine and coastal environment by the year 2020.
This took place at the Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders on May 17 to 18 at Neckers Island, British Virgin Islands. Other countries taking part in the signing were Grenada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the BVI.
The Second Phase of the CCI enabled other Caribbean countries to join the initiative which partners with the business sector of the region. The original signatories of Phase I of CCI were Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Grenada as well as the Bahamas. For this current phase Minister Nisbett signed the Leaders’ Declaration on behalf of Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas and noted some advantages.
“St. Kitts and Nevis particularly welcomes the involvement of the business sector of the region in this initiative as it is through the establishment of such strategic partnerships that we will be able to reap more benefits,” Minister Nisbett stated.
He further noted that CCI provides an avenue through which Small Developing States like St. Kitts and Nevis can strengthen its efforts in marine and coastal conservation and protection. CCI implemented the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) to provide funding for such initiatives.
The St. Kitts and Nevis delegation attending Phase II of the CCI included Director of Physical Planning and Environment Randolph Edmead, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources Ashton Stanley, and Nevis Island Administration Director of Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Environment Angela Waters-Delpeche.
The Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders also saw the signing of a Corporate Compact between leading business executives and the CCI. The Corporate Compact represents financial pledges from these corporations which will also go towards the management of coastal and marine resources of the region.