Main Issue

Many small island nations share similar sustainable development challenges such as rapidly growing populations, limited resources and fragile environments. The discharge of untreated wastewater into coastal waters, for example, has significantly damaged coastal ecosystems and coral reefs.

The resilience of many fragile island ecosystems is also threatened by climate change, which makes management of shared marine resources more complex. Climate change intensifies existing threats to the coastal and marine environments in the region and further threatens economic, environmental and human security. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF is a financial institution with the ability and experience to confront the challenges facing shared marine and coastal ecosystems. We are working with island nations in the Pacific, Caribbean and Africa to help them develop practical and cost-effective solutions to sustain the natural resource base that underpins life in these fragile islands. 

Many small island developing states are the custodians of huge marine territories with resources and biodiversity of significant global value. Many share sustainable development challenges such as rapidly growing populations, limited resources, and fragile environments. The discharge of untreated wastewater into coastal waters has contributed significant damage to their coastal ecosystems and coral reefs. Read more+

Results

In the Caribbean, the “Integrating Watershed and Coastal Areas Management (IWCAM)” project helped participating countries to implement an integrated approach to the management of watersheds and coastal areas. With projects focused on improvements in integrated freshwater basin-coastal area management on each island of the regional groupings of Caribbean SIDS, the project was able to introduce the Ridge to Reef concept in the management of natural resources in the Caribbean islands. 

This, in turn, catalyzed the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities (LBS Protocol) under the Cartagena Convention to enter into force. In addition, the project played a central role in the formulation of a water management plan for the Basseterre Valley Aquifer. Read more+