Western coast of St. Lucia.
The Caribbean Challenge is the third such regional island initiative to be launched in the past three years, adding to a global trend of island leaders pledging to protect vast percentages of their marine and coastal resources. The Challenge was inspired by the Micronesia Challenge, to protect 30 percent of marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources in the Northern Pacific by 2020, and the Coral Triangle Initiative, to safeguard the epicenter of marine life abundance and diversity on the planet.
As the first and only comprehensive conservation initiative ever embraced across the region, the Caribbean Challenge offers great hope for expanding protection of the region’s globally outstanding natural areas. It is a blueprint for the future—an endeavor of unprecedented scale and scope that will protect marine ecosystems for people and nature.
Together, these three initiatives, which span regions containing 83 percent of the world’s coral biodiversity and 82 percent of the world’s mangrove species, have the potential to protect a significant portion of the world’s marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of more than 130 million people living within these areas.April 13, 2011