Marine and Coastal Conservation in the Caribbean: The ’20 by 20’ Caribbean Challenge
2014 - The Caribbean Challenge Initiative’s (CCI) aims are to preserve and protect the region’s marine and coastal environment. CCI’s “20 by 20 Goal” targets the protection of at least 20% of the Caribbean’s marine and coastal environment by 2020. 9 Caribbean governments and 15 corporations have together made a series of bold commitments towards these aims.
The Initiative’s work is critical to the region, which harbors roughly 10% of the world’s coral reefs and 1,400 species of fish and marine species. The region includes 37 countries and overseas territories and covers an area roughly one-third the size of the continental United States. The Caribbean, as is similar with many island regions, is highly dependent on natural resources to support jobs, income, and economic prosperity, particularly tourism and fisheries.
Each year, 40 million people from around the world are drawn to the regions’ magnificent natural beauty and marine life. Caribbean Government Leaders meet with business leaders at the CCI Summit to discuss how to make CCI goals a reality Photo courtesy of TNC/ The annual economic benefits of coral reefs provide the region US$2.7 billion for tourism, US$395 million in the fisheries, and US$944 million to US$2.8 billion for shoreline protection.
Yet, in the past three decades, coral cover in the Caribbean has dropped about 80%. 100% of all marine and coastal natural capital in the Caribbean is threatened by unsustainable coastal development, land and sea-based pollution, unsustainable fishing and ongoing climate change. 100% of commercial fishers in the Caribbean are now overexploited.
Learn more at www.unep.org