CCI-CBF Week

Nature-Based Solutions for our Caribbean Future.

13-16 July, 2020

Meet the Speakers

CCI-CBF Week 2020

Sir Richard Branson

Founder, Virgin Group

Sir Richard Branson is Founder of the Virgin Group, which has expanded into many diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure. Having started Virgin as a mail order record retailer in 1970, Richard founded Virgin Records. There are now more than 40 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 71,000 people in over 35 countries. Since starting youth culture magazine Student aged 16, Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world. In 2004 he established non-profit foundation Virgin Unite to tackle tough social and environmental problems and strives to make business a force for good. Most of his time is now spent working with Virgin Unite and organisations it has incubated, such as The Elders, The Carbon War Room (now merged with The Rocky Mountain Institute), The B Team, Ocean Unite and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. Richard was awarded a knighthood for services to entrepreneurship. He lives on Necker Island with his wife Joan, and has two children, Holly and Sam, and five grandchildren.

Sir Richard Branson

Founder, Virgin Group

H.E. Peter Thomson

UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

Ambassador Peter Thomson is a Fijian diplomat who served as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations from September 2016 until September 2017. He was Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations between 2010 and 2016. For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He led the Fiji team of diplomats that in 2013 chaired the Group of 77 and China – the UN’s largest negotiating group comprised of 133 developing countries. He was elected as President of the International Seabed Authority’s Assembly in 2011 and as President of its Council in 2015. In October 2017, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Ambassador Thomson as the first UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, in which role he is driving the implementation of SDG14, the UN Sustainable Development Agenda’s goal to conserve and sustainably use the resources of the Ocean.

H.E. Peter Thomson

UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, United Nations

Hon. Romauld Ferreira

Minister, Ministry of Environment & Housing, The Bahamas

Minister Ferreira completed his Associated Degree in Chemistry and Biology from the College of The Bahamas. Thereafter he obtained an honours degree in Ecology with Chemistry from the University of the West Indies in 1990, finally completing an honours law degree from the University of London in 1996. He was called to the bar of England and Wales at Lincolns Inn on 12th October 2000 and the Bahamas Bar on 6th December 2000. Minister Ferreira’s professional career spans three disciplines, covering Ecology, Law and Television Broadcasting. He joined the Bahamas Electricity Corporation in July of 1994 where he served as Environmental Officer for six (6) years. In 2000 he started private environmental consulting, having had conduct of dozens of environmental impact assessments and environmental management plans. He has extensive expertise in the energy sector, water and sanitation sectors having worked on several projects funded by the IDB, CARICOM and the German Development Bank. Mr. Ferreira began his television broadcasting career in 2001, as the first co-host of the popular national morning television show Bahamas at Sunrise. In 2017 he was elected to the House of Assembly as the Member of Parliament for Marathon and was appointed Minister of the Environment and Housing.

Hon. Romauld Ferreira

Minister, Ministry of Environment & Housing, The Bahamas

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema is the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity. She was the Director of the Law Division and has worked with UNEP for over two decades. Prior to joining the Law Division in June 2014, she was the Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division, in charge of coordination, operations and programme delivery from 2012 and for one year, also serviced as Acting Director to the same Division. In 2018, in addition to her role as the Law Division Director, she was also the Acting Director of the Corporate Services Division where she led the management of the human resources, financial operations and management and other administrative functions for the entire Organization. In 2009 she had been appointed as the Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Acting Executive Secretary of the UNEP/ASCOBANS and Interim Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Gorilla Agreement, all based in Bonn, Germany and held that position until 2012 and thereafter she joined the Ecosystems Division in Nairobi, Kenya. Before joining UNEP, Elizabeth worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania and left as a Counsellor/Senior Legal Counsel. A lawyer and career diplomat with LLB (Hons) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, LLM from Dalhousie University, Canada and Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy (Summa Cum Laude) from the Centre of Foreign Relations and Diplomacy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

H.E. Ute König

Ambassador, German Embassy Port-of-Spain

German Career Diplomat, Lawyer, Ambassador to Trinidad & Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean States since September 2019

H.E. Ute König

Ambassador, German Embassy Port-of-Spain

Hon. Simon Stiell

Minister, Ministry of Climate Resilience, The Environment, Forestry, Fisheries & Disaster Management, Grenada

Stiell is a Senator and Minister of State with responsibility for the Environment in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, with specific responsibility for Human Resource Development in the Keith Mitchell Administration.

In the Cabinet resuffle of 1 September 2017, Stiel was elevated to the Minister of Education from his original posting as Parliamentary Secretary in that Ministry.

Hon. Simon Stiell

Minister, Ministry of Climate Resilience, The Environment, Forestry, Fisheries & Disaster Management, Grenada

Hon. Patricia Abreu

Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic

Deputy Minister Patricia Abreu Fernández has graduated with high honors from the civil engineering career at the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC). She also holds a Masters degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Utah State University in Logan, Utah, United States of America. She also participated in a Certificate Program in International Relations at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Since 2004 she has worked in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. First as Director of Environmental Standards and Research (2004-2008) and then as Deputy Minister for International Affairs and Cooperation (2008 to present).
From her beginnings in the institution, within the framework of the different roles that she has occupied, different achievements can be highlighted, among which are: coordination, planning and organization of the drafting, adoption, approval, formalization, publication and dissemination of environmental regulation instruments; alignment process of International Agencies towards the environmental policies; participation in negotiations of international agreements; fulfillment of the national commitments under international agreements, and free trade agreements; follow-up to programs and projects financed with international support.

Hon. Patricia Abreu

Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic

H.E. Dr. Didacus Jules

Director General, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Dr. Didacus Jules is the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States since May 2014. He has extensive regional and international experience, most of it focused on education, social policy and organisational transformation. He served as Registrar and CEO of the Caribbean Examinations Council (2008-2014) leading a thorough modernization of the Council. He has also served as Vice President Human Resources Cable and Wireless St, Lucia (2005-2008); PS for Education & Human Resource Development St. Lucia (1997-2008) as well as Permanent Secretary for Education and Chief Education Officer in revolutionary Grenada from 1981-1983. He chaired the World Bank’s Vision 2020 Committee on Education in the Caribbean and has served on many boards. He holds a BA (Hons) from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, an MSc in Curriculum & Instruction and a PhD in Educational Policy and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a MBA from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.

H.E. Dr. Didacus Jules

Director General, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Hon. Pamela Castillo Barahona

Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica

Ms. Pamela Castillo Barahona is the Vice Minister of Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Government of Costa Rica. She has a Master of Arts in Environmental Security and Peace, from the University for Peace.

She has extensive experience in developing relationships with governments, cooperation agencies, and donors; in design and implementation of public-private partnerships; resolution, conflict management and development of multisectoral dialogue platforms and in the implementation of innovative financial mechanisms for conservation and sustainable development.

She was Executive Director of the Tropical Scientific Center (CCT), Program Manager of the Forever Costa Rica Association and Environmental Consultant at CEDARENA (Center for Environmental Law and Natural Resources).For more than 18 years she has worked on issues of management, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Session: 2030 Biodiversity Framework and the Caribbean perspective for the next decade.

Hon. Pamela Castillo Barahona

Vice Minister, Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica

Dr. Jens Mackensen

Board Chair, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, currently serves as Director of the Latin America and the Caribbean portfolio for the Department of Natural Resources at KfW Development Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. He particularly oversees topics such as forest protection, reforestation, sustainable forestry in natural forests, and agriculture, as well as the protection of climate, coasts, and biodiversity.
Over the course of his career, Jens’s work has taken him from leading the strategy and analysis of international climate and forest policies in Kenya with the United Nations Environmental Programme; to managing projects on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Indonesia and Laos; to climate adaptation in India, sustainable forestry in China and Vietnam, and energy, environment, and climate financing in Egypt. He also chairs the board of the Directors of the eco.business Fund and is a board member for the Georg-Ludwig-Hartig Foundation.
Dr. Mackensen received his doctorate in forestry from the University of Göttingen after research in Indonesia, Canada, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Australia.

Dr. Jens Mackensen

Board Chair, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Karolin Troubetzkoy

President, Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association

Karolin Troubetzkoy is the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts in Soufriere, Saint Lucia. She is also the President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), serving for the second time. Mrs Troubetzkoy was able to gain support from the hotel sector to found the Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund and served as chairperson of this fund for several years. Mrs Troubetzkoy was a Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Chairperson of the Tourist Board Marketing Committee for many years. Mrs. Troubetzkoy has been an active member of the marketing committees of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for the past 20 years. Mrs Troubetzkoy was appointed President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in 2016, for the term 2016-2018, she was only the second woman to serve as President in CHTA’s 50+ year history.
In Jan 2019, she was appointed Envoy to the Caribbean Challenge Initiative to bring awareness and build up resilience of the marine and coastal resources in the Caribbean.
She is the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Saint Lucia and is a citizen of Saint Lucia. On May 24, 2019 the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed on Karolin the Order of Merit to acknowledge her work as Honorary Consul and her volunteer leadership in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean to promote sustainable operations, building resilience and mitigating effects of climate change.

Karolin Troubetzkoy

President, Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association

Dr. Grethel Aguilar

Acting Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Dr Grethel Aguilar assumed office as Acting Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in June 2019.

Dr Aguilar brings with her more than 25 years of experience in conservation and sustainable development, having worked extensively on developing and applying environmental law and policy in collaboration with governments and civil society. In particular, she is deeply passionate about the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Through her work in field projects, Dr Aguilar has helped communities access clean water, advocated for environmental justice, assisted indigenous peoples in obtaining rights to their natural resources, and championed gender equality in environmental governance.

Dr. Grethel Aguilar

Acting Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Dr. Robert Brumbaugh

Executive Director, Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy

Dr. Rob Brumbaugh joined The Nature Conservancy in 2004 and is currently the Executive Director for the Caribbean Division. In his more than 15 years with the organization, he has served in several other roles, including Senior Marine Scientist for the Florida Chapter and Global Ocean Management and Habitat Restoration Lead on the Global Ocean Team. With 25 years of experience directing multi-national conservation programs, Rob excels in partnership development and is a talented leader of globally dispersed, high-performing teams. He conceived and led the development of The Nature Conservancy and partners’ Mapping Ocean Wealth Initiative, which won a World Travel & Tourism Council Innovation Award, and helped shape the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project, which informs large-scale marine planning in waters throughout the Eastern Caribbean.

Dr. Robert Brumbaugh

Executive Director, Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy

Jake Kheel

Vice President, Fundación Grupo Puntacana

Jake is an environmental leader. For fifteen years he has confronted social and environmental challenges in the Dominican Republic as Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation and Vice President of Sustainability for Grupo Puntacana. As Vice President of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, he has led creative projects that make Dominican tourism more competitive and environmentally sustainable. He helped pioneer one of the Caribbean’s largest coral reef restoration projects. He helped design and implement Zero Waste, the DR’s largest integrated solid waste program. He directs the Center for Sustainability, a think tank that works with some of the world’s best universities to conduct research and devise experiments related to sustainable development. Jake is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He has a Master’s in Environmental Management from Cornell University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Jake Kheel

Vice President, Fundación Grupo Puntacana

Brian O'Donnell

Director Campaign for Nature, Wyss Foundation

For more than two decades, Brian O’Donnell has been a leading land and wildlife conservationist. Brian works as the director of the Campaign for Nature, an effort supported by the Wyss Foundation to increase global targets and financing for protected areas under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Prior to leading Campaign for Nature, Brian helped develop a new long-term protected area financing strategy while consulting with the Frankfurt Zoological Society.

From 2007 through early 2017, Brian worked as the Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. Brian Led the foundation’s efforts to protect, restore, and expand the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands. At CLF, Brian led a campaign that protected millions of acres of land as National Monuments. Prior to joining CLF, Brian was the National Public Lands Director for Trout Unlimited (TU). He led TU’s efforts to protect U.S. National Forest Roadless Areas, permanently protect more than a million acres in the Wyoming Range, and secure Oregon’s Copper-Salmon Wilderness. Brian also worked for The Wilderness Society where he led campaigns resulting in the congressional designation of the Black Rock Desert and Sloan Canyon National Conservation Areas and dozens of new legislated Wilderness areas throughout Nevada.

Brian has a degree in economics from Rollins College. Brian was a member of the inaugural class of Presidential Leadership Scholars. Brian serves on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Wilderness League and New Mexico Wilderness Association. He lives in Durango, Colorado, United States.

Brian O’Donnell

Director Campaign for Nature, Wyss Foundation

Ali Raza Rizvi

Programme Manager, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Ali Raza Rizvi has over 20 years of professional experience in promoting environmental conservation and human well-being. He has been with IUCN since 1994, initially in Asia and now with the Global Ecosystem Management Programme in Washington DC. Ali has held different portfolios, including Regional Group Head, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Group in Asia. He was also Head of the Climate Change & Resilience Programme. His experience of working in the field of Ecosystem-based Adaptation has encompassed a wide range of field work and policy influencing initiatives, and has provided technical assistance to various field projects. In addition he has worked with mainstream development and humanitarian agencies on disaster management, risk reduction, livelihoods, and adaptation initiatives with the objective of incorporating ecosystem based approaches into their work. Currently, he is responsible for the IUCN global programme on Ecosystem based Adaptation.

Ali Raza Rizvi

Programme Manager, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Safiya Sawney

Caribbean Policy Lead, Ocean Unite

Safiya Sawney is currently the Caribbean Policy Lead for Ocean Unite – an expert group of leaders, thinkers, and strategists at the forefront of driving positive change for people and the planet. Most recently she was the Ocean and Climate Policy Advisor to the Mission of the Government of the Republic of Palau to the UN. Formerly, Safiya was the lead policy advisor on Blue Growth for the Blue Innovation Institute and The Blue Network - a partnership platform between the Governments of the Netherlands and Grenada with support from FAO. As an environmental policy consultant and strategist, Safiya has provided policy support to Climate Analytics Inc. on climate finance, strategies and readiness activities in the Caribbean. She was the deputy coordinator for the team that developed and executed the 2013 Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) Summit of Business and Political Leaders. Safiya continues to provide grassroots support to community groups in her native island of Grenada and is constantly on the lookout for unique and impactful initiatives that inspire collection action.

Safiya Sawney

Caribbean Policy Lead, Ocean Unite

Karen McDonald Gayle

Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Karen has over 20 years of experience in the Jamaican and Caribbean environmental field which have given her vast experience in both Public Sector Policy Development as well as civil society dialogue and participation. She is a founding member of the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals and has proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Natural History Society of Jamaica, Campion College Alumni Association and Jamaicans for Justice. Her professional work has focussed on community environmental management throughout the region including as the Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica’s largest NGO grant-making institution.

She is currently Conservation Finance Program Manager for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and plays a critical role in the coordination and technical support to the National Conservation Trust Funds. As the Funds and the Conservation Finance Program grows, this will include support for Governance, Sustainable Finance Mechanisms, and Effective Grantmaking.

Karen McDonald Gayle

Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

James Ellsmoor

Director, Island Innovation

James Ellsmoor is the Director of Island Innovation, a communications agency focused on the need of island communities. He has a passion for sustainable development and renewable energy, particularly applications for rural and isolated communities. Last year he ran the inaugural Virtual Island Summit, which brought together 4,000 participants from Scotland to Samoa to share stories about their communities. James has always used technology to advance his mission, allowing him to live and work anywhere and manage a team spread over 4 continents. Island Innovation focuses on bringing together NGOs, the private sector, universities and government with projects covering topics including lithium extraction, climate change and public policy.

James Ellsmoor

Director, Island Innovation

Dr. Joth Singh

Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Joth Singh is the Programme Manager of the CBF’s Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) Facility. He has worked across a wide range of environment and development areas including climate change, environmental management, environmental health, coastal zone management, animal welfare and conservation, protected areas management, and water resources management. He has held leadership positions within organizations at the international, regional and national levels. In recent years he has made significant contributions to the climate change efforts in the Caribbean particularly in the area of climate change adaptation. He holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of London, a Ph.D in Environmental Chemistry from the University of the West Indies and was an Post-Doctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University/Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

Dr. Joth Singh

Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Yabanex Batista

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Yabanex Batista is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund where he oversees operations and development of new initiatives. With over 20 years of experience he has focused his career on international financing institutions and sustainable financing for conservation and development, government relations and policy, and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). He has extensive experience on environmental negotiations, establishment of conservation trust funds and other financial mechanisms, fundraising and resources mobilization, and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.

Prior to joining the CBF he worked for GITEC/GIZ (German Government Technical Cooperation Agency) in Mexico, The Nature Conservancy’s International Government Relations Department and Europe Office, the World Bank-GEF Unit, the United States Geological Survey, and IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) in Brazil. He holds an MA in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University.

Yabanex Batista

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Lorna Inniss

Coordinator, UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat

Dr. Lorna Veronica Inniss is Coordinator, UNEP’s Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.
A national of Barbados, Dr Inniss has over 25 years of experience in the management of coastal ecosystems and environmental pollution, both within Government and at the international level. Her qualifications include a Master of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Management, a post-graduate diploma in Business Management, as well as a Doctorate in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences.
She chaired the Advisory Board of the Regional Sub-Commission of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOCARIBE) and was a Joint Coordinators of the Group of Experts established by the United Nations General Assembly to deliver the first Integrated World Ocean Assessment.

Lorna Inniss

Coordinator, UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat

Dr. Vasantha Chase

Chief Executive Officer, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Dr. Vasantha Chase is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saint Lucia national Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) which was established as a not for profit private company, under the Companies Act of Saint Lucia, in 2016. She has been the CEO of the SLUNCF since it began operations in January 2018. For five years prior to becoming its CEO, Dr. Chase was intimately involved in the design of the SLUNCF. Previous to joining te SLUNCF, Vasantha was an international consultant specialising in sustainable development of Small Island Developing States and before that she was the Director of Social and Sustainable Development in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

Dr. Vasantha Chase

Chief Executive Officer, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn

Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme, International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn is a Protected Areas Officer with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She holds a Master of Arts in Environmental Policy from American University, Washington, DC, and has over 15 years experience in environmental conservation. Her work has focused on educating communities and citizens to the importance and value of the Caribbean’s rich natural heritage; and improving the capacity of institutions, communities and individuals to manage the natural environment better, especially in protected areas across the Caribbean.

Mrs. Armstrong-Vaughn is coordinating the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) Programme for the Caribbean, which aims to improve the management and governance of protected areas through the provision of tools, services and funding for the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. She works closely with the Caribbean Protected Areas Gateway, a resource hub for biodiversity and protected area data and information, hosted at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at The University of the West Indies in Barbados. She is a national of Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

Hyacinth Armstrong-Vaughn

Protected Areas Officer, BIOPAMA Programme, International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Therese Turner-Jones

General Manager, Country Department Caribbean Group, Inter-American Development Bank

Therese Turner-Jones has been the IDB’s country representative for Jamaica since 2013. In 2017 her portfolio was expanded when she was promoted to general manager of IDB’s Country Department Caribbean Group (CCB). Her purview spans IDB operations in Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and her home country, the Bahamas. A trained economist, Mrs. Turner-Jones has over 25 years’ experience in macroeconomics and economic development, with special emphasis on the Caribbean. She served the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in senior posts for over 20 years. She was a former Deputy Division Chief for the IMF’s Caribbean II Division, Western Hemisphere Department and a former advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean.
She holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom. She is also an alumnus of the University of Toronto, and United World Colleges (Lester Pearson College). A member of the International Women’s Forum, Mrs. Turner Jones is passionate about financial inclusion, gender equity, children, vulnerable communities and the environment.

Therese Turner-Jones

General Manager, Country Department Caribbean Group, Inter-American Development Bank

Maria Pena

Project Officer, CERMES, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus

Maria Pena is Project Officer at the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (CERMES) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. She is a project management professional with 17 years’ experience in implementing and managing externally funded marine resource management projects in the wider Caribbean and conducting associated project research - socio-economic monitoring at marine protected areas (MPAs) and coastal sites; fisheries management planning; MPA management effectiveness evaluation; marine resource governance; climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture; and more recently, gender in fisheries.

Maria Pena

Project Officer, CERMES, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus

Camille David

Marine Expert, German International Cooperation (GIZ)

I joined the GIZ implemented Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS) Program in 2016 as a Program Officer and subsequently became the Marine Expert and program lead on coastal and marine issues for our 3 focal countries. Collaboratively, our program promotes partnership towards improving ecosystem resilience, sustainable resource management and income generation for communities within the protected area spaces. Prior to joining CATS, I was employed as a Technical Associate within the Coastal Systems Program of the University of MA, Dartmouth working on watershed management issues. I completed a doctorate degree from university in 2014 specializing in coastal system science.

Camille David

Marine Expert, German International Cooperation (GIZ)

Vanburn Harry

CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation Fund

Mr. Vanburn Harry is the CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation Fund (SVGCF)

Vanburn Harry

CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation Fund

Tricia King nee Greaux

Executive Director, St. Christopher and Nevis Conservation Foundation

Tricia King nee Greaux truly believes that her name revealed her destiny Tri (Tree) Ci (Sea) A Greaux (Griot -African story teller). Tricia is an environmental story teller, born in Basseterre, St. Kitts in the twin island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN).

She was always fascinated by whales and sharks, so it was really no surprise when she pursued her studies at University of the Virgin Islands and was awarded a BSc in Marine Biology. Mrs King serves as the Marine Management Area (MMA) and Habitat Monitoring Officer at the SKN Department of Marine Resources (DMR). During her tenure as the officer responsible for MMAs, she played an integral role in the declaration of the first MMA in St. Kitts and Nevis. Mrs King is a certified Marine Protected Areas Manager.

“I aspire to use dynamic programs that entice the youth to be more involved in the management and sustainable use of both terrestrial and marine environments. “ Tricia King.

Tricia King nee Greaux

Executive Director, St. Christopher and Nevis Conservation Foundation

Josefina Gómez Mena

Directora Planificación, Fondo MARENA

Biologist, master in Anthropology. Expertise in environmental impact assessment, environmental planning and policy, environmental education, project planning and development. Planning Director Ministry of Environment, Environmental Impact Assessment Director, Ministry of Environment; Researcher Instituto Dominicano de Tecnología Industrial, Centro de Investigaciones de Biología Marina. Environmental science professor Universidad Iberoamericana. Environmental assessment private Consultant.

Dancer. Yoguini. Member of Centro Jung Santo Domingo Developing Group, sponsored by the International Analytical Association of Psychology.

Josefina Gómez Mena

Directora Planificación, Fondo MARENA

Craig Henry

Programme Officer, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Mr. Craig Henry is a native of Saint Lucia and joined the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) as a Programme Officer in March 2020. Mr. Henry has a wealth of experience in the conservation field, having worked with Saint Lucia National Trust, a conservation-oriented NGO, for the last six years. He has worked as a technical officer and a mentor and has collaborated with government agencies, international entities, NGOs (local and international), livelihood groups and communities particularly those affiliated protected areas with an aim to promote sustainable use of resources, sustainable livelihoods and awareness. Mr. Henry also has experience in PAs management which implicates an array of skills and activities, including field monitoring, data collection; designing and implementing project and grants; sustainable finance; community outreach and establishing networking relationships for knowledge sharing and mutual support. At the SLUNCF, Mr. Henry is engaged in both sustainable finance and grant making work programme areas.

Craig Henry

Programme Officer, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Karen Panton

Executive Director, Bahamas Protected Areas Fund

Executive Director of Bahamas Protected Areas Fund. Former Director of Finance and Operations at BNT and Director of Finance, Caribbean Program of TNC.

Karen Panton

Executive Director, Bahamas Protected Areas Fund

Sasha Middleton

Chief Executive Officer, Marine Ecosystems Protected Area Trust Inc.

Sasha is the Chief Executive Officer for the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Ecosystems Protected Area Trust Inc. (MEPA Trust) which is one of eight National Conservation Trust Funds set up throughout the Caribbean region to support conservation activities. Additionally, she is a voluntary member of the National Steering Committee (NSC) for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Program (SGP) for over 7 years, where she conducts technical assessments and selects suitable project proposals submitted to the SGP Secretariat for funding. Because of her efforts to enhance development, Sasha has been a recipient of various awards at the national level to include, Unsung Hero Award, Community Service Award, Moral and Environmental Leadership Award and Nominee for Community Development and Humanitarianism Award. She currently holds a Bachelors Degree in International Business Management and a Master’s Degree in International Development: Development Management from the University of Manchester.

Sasha Middleton

Chief Executive Officer, Marine Ecosystems Protected Area Trust Inc.

Danellia Aitcheson

Fund Manager, National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ) Limited

Danellia Aitcheson is a Conservation Manager with expertise in environmental management using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing. She has a wealth of experience in developing vulnerability and Risk indices to support coastal management. Danellia holds a Master of Science in Sustainability (GIS and Remote Sensing) from the University of Southampton, UK. Danellia is also a member of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers and is a Board representative of Jamaica Institute of Environment Professionals. She enjoys hiking and all water-related activities.

Danellia Aitcheson

Fund Manager, National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (NCTFJ) Limited

Susi Menazza

Director Global Institutions, The Nature Conservancy

Susi Menazza is the Director of Global Institutions Senior at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). In her role, she coordinate a team of professionals who establish relationships and fosters partnerships with governments, multilateral agencies and other organizations to develop sustainable, nature-based solutions to some of the most pressing challenges across the globe. She helped establish the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), to promote action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership. She currently represents The Nature Conservancy on the GLISPA Board. A political scientist by training, she specialized in international development and conflict analysis.

Susi Menazza

Director Global Institutions, The Nature Conservancy

Gertrude Duncan

CEO, Grenada Sustainable Development Trust Fund (GSDTF)

Gertrude Duncan is presently the CEO of the Grenada Sustainable Development Trust Fund (GSDTF) and is responsible for the general and active management of the affairs of the Fund to provide long term and reliable funding to support the management of the country’s marine and terrestrial resources, with special emphasis on marine ecosystems.

Prior to joining the GSDTF in 2018, Gertrude worked in the tourism industry for over 20 years and was Head of the Technical Department in the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Culture and played a key role in the Ministry’s strategic vision. As part of her social involvement in her community, she is a member of various organizations. In pursuing her educational development, Gertrude was awarded a scholarship from the Australian Government and earned a Master of Business Administration in Tourism Management from Southern Cross University, Australia, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies.

Gertrude Duncan

CEO, Grenada Sustainable Development Trust Fund (GSDTF)

John Calixte

Co-ordinator, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative

Mr. John Calixte currently holds the position of Co-ordinator of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI). He began his tenure as Co-ordinator on July 1st, 2019. He also has responsibility for managing the operations of the CCI Secretariat.

Prior to becoming the CCI Co-ordinator, Mr. Calixte served as the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources, and Co-operatives in Saint Lucia. He joined the Department in October 2016 and held this position till May 2019.

John Calixte

Co-ordinator, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative

Joseph Smith Abbott

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration

Joseph Smith Abbott joined the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands in 1996 as the Deputy Director and Science Coordinator where he partnered with various local and international organisations to strengthen and institutionalise evidence-based management founded on a better understanding of the resources under the Trust's care. Mr. Smith Abbott left the Trust in 2014 after dedicating 18 years and joined the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration as the Deputy Permanent Secretary to support Government's environmental management and climate resilience building programmes. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a Bachelor's and Master's in Botany.

Joseph Smith Abbott

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration

Kim Halbich

President, St.Vincent & the Grenadines Hotel & Tourism Association

Kim Halbich has worked in the hospitality industry for over 30 years. Establishing Fantasea Tours in1996 and Paradise Beach Hotel in 2007, she presently is Managing Director at both companies.

Her companies have been guided by the philosophy of developing and maintaining high quality standards that benefit all, to continuously strive to exceed expectations while delivering safe and unforgettable experiences to their clients. Committed to being a force for positive change, she works to preserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

A Director of the Hotel and Tourism Association for over 14 years, she held the position of President from 2014 – 2017, she presently holds that position once again. Board member of the SVG Tourism Authority and the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, Ecosystem-based Adaptation Fund Committee. An avid advocate for the environment, education, and sports, she supports many of these organizations in their efforts.

Kim Halbich

President, St.Vincent & the Grenadines Hotel & Tourism Association

Eleanor Phillips

Director External Affairs, Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy

Eleanor is TNC’s “Caribbean Ambassador”, engaging with stakeholders to advance conservation policy in the region from her home base in Nassau, Bahamas. Eleanor is responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the next phase of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI), including developing sustainable finance mechanisms and aligning the Conservancy’s priorities with regional governments, multilateral institutions, and other partners. Eleanor joined TNC in 2003, as the first Director of The Bahamas Country Program. She then became Director of the Northern Caribbean program. Eleanor was instrumental in the development, adoption and implementation of the Bahamas Master Plan for Protected Areas, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund legislation. She served on a special assignment for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative raising capital for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and since 2016 has served as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Fund. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Eleanor worked for The Bahamas Department of Fisheries for 11 years. A native of Dominica, Eleanor has a bachelor’s degree in Aquaculture and Environmental Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Eleanor Phillips

Director External Affairs, Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy

CCI-CBF Week 2020

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