Announcement on Country Support from Germany for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative

from left to right:  Richard Branson, Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr. D. Orlando Smith , Keith Mitchell, Primeminister Grenada (Co-Hosts), German Ambassador Stefan Schlüter Enlarge image from left to right: Richard Branson, Premier of the British Virgin Islands Dr. D. Orlando Smith , Keith Mitchell, Primeminister Grenada (Co-Hosts), German Ambassador Stefan Schlüter (© Embassy)

" For the sake of time: all protocol is observed. I would not want to start though without thanking you, Sir Richard, for opening your home to us and to this worthy cause. I am delighted to be here, Germany is delighted to be an important partner in our joint endeavor.
Climate change and declining biodiversity are amongst the foremost challenges our global society are currently facing. Germany has been a major actor in international efforts to combat climate change and to conserve biodiversity. We have supported the Caribbean Challenge Initiative as an important instrument in this fight and we will continue doing so.
CCI deals with the problems in a particularly affected region, it furthermore is a positive example of cooperation between governments and civil society. I am heartened by the presence of so many government as well as business leaders. This is private public partnership at its best. And we do need a joint and coordinated effort.
German support for protection and management of biodiversity in the region is significant. So far we have participated in CCI related projects with funds totalling close to 40 Mio. USD. Our contribution to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund has been remarkable with about 60% of its funds coming from Germany so far. We do hope that other donors will follow our example and contribute to the further financing of the fund.
I would like to briefly mention two new projects which hopefully will start before the end of the year:
The first is a financial project “Ecosystem based approaches for climate change adaptation” in St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica with a volume of about 14 Mio USD. Our partner will be the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.
The second one is a project within the framework of our Environmental Ministry’s International Climate Initiative. In six CCI participating countries we will support the creation of a “Climate- Resilient Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas network.” The volume will be just over 4 Mio USD, the partner is The Nature Conservancy.
I mentioned the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund as an important financing mechanism for the tasks ahead of us. In the preparations for this summit some partners have questioned details of the functioning and scope of the CBF and to our regret mentioning of the CBF seems to have been dropped from the Leaders Declaration. In our view the CBF offers a viable and constructive financing mechanism for the challenges ahead of us and we hope that it will be used accordingly in the framework of the CCI.
Equally important it is to set up a CCI Secretariat as quickly as possible. Germany is prepared to support the CCI Secretariat and Partner Network. You might recall that back in the 70’s Henry Kissinger once complained that the European Union did not have a telephone number. It is my hope that the CCI very soon will have such a number in order to play an active role in the necessary follow-up of our successful gathering."

Necker Island, May 17, 2013
Stefan Schlüter
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago