When did you join the CCI?
The Government of Puerto Rico joined the Caribbean Challenge Initiative during the First Senior Officials Meeting (SOM1) in Kingston, Jamaica (July 2012) where Puerto Rico made the commitment to join the historic efforts and was accepted into the initiative by all member Governments.
Why did your government join the CCI?
Puerto Rico recognizes the overwhelming ecological, economic, aesthetic, scientific, cultural, nutritional and recreational value of coastal and marine resources. Understanding that efforts to ensure the health, security, prosperity and cultural heritage of the Caribbean are unlikely to succeed if the ecosystem services on which we rely continue to be degraded, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico determined important and therefore joined the Caribbean Challenge Initiative.Through the Caribbean Challenge Initiative the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is committing to this and future generations of Puerto Ricans to meet their needs so they may enjoy the quality of life and beauty that our islands have provided us.
How is the CCI important to marine and coastal conservation in the Caribbean?
As part of the Wider Caribbean Region Puerto Rico acknowledges the need of concerted efforts to defend and effectively manage our shared biodiversity, and protect our cultural heritage. Our region is blessed with rich and unique marine and coastal resources. Being conscious of the importance of both conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources in supporting income, livelihoods and economic prosperity Puerto Rico supports and is fully committed to further the objectives of the CCI.
How has the CCI enhanced conservation in your country (What have you achieved since the CCI was established?)
CCI has provided an important forum to raise awareness about the inter-connectivity of marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. The Honorable Secretary Carmen Guerrero has been able to discuss collaboration efforts at the highest levels of Puerto Rico’s Government as well as highlight opportunities for cooperation with other Caribbean governments. Puerto Rico’s scientists have been able to network and share ideas and experiences with colleagues from other islands of the Caribbean
What are your country's main conservation priority actions under the CCI?
- Promote nature based tourism and scientific research opportunities to increase knowledge and improve coastal and marine biodiversity conservation and effective management, as well as revenue generating activities to fund sustainable financing mechanisms.
- Foster Ecosystem based Adaptation to Climate Change: Develop a portfolio of priority actions to be implemented in marine protected areas (MPA) to ensure Caribbean biodiversity resiliency and sustainability.
- Develop and support sustainable fishery practices including the enhancement, surveillance and enforcement of commercial and recreational fisheries and navigation through public-private and community based initiatives and actions.
How is the CCI approach different from past approaches to marine and coastal conservation?
A major difference of the CCI approach is the importance of establishing true regional co-operation to address environmental and sustainable development issues confronting the Caribbean region that go beyond political, economic, and cultural boundaries. All Caribbean Governments being able to partake as equals facilitates an unprecedented regional collaboration that does not only promote participation but also accountability and commitment through the creation of sustainable finance mechanisms directed at implementation.
Who is your CCI focal point?
- name:Ernesto Diaz
- title: Director, Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program
- depart.:Department of Natural and Environmental Resources
- phone: +1 (787) 999-2200 X2729 / 2730