The objective of RESEMBID’s Marine Biodiversity workstream is to protect and conserve the marine biodiversity of the 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), with the understanding that marine ecosystems provide critical services to the peoples of the OCTs. Among the principal ecosystem services within the OCTs, are:
- Increased resilience to hurricanes through healthy coral reefs;
- Seagrass beds and mangroves;
- Beautiful beaches and coastal waters for tourism; and
- Fish stocks for local food security and regional trade.
Without adequate protection, conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of these marine ecosystems, these services will no longer be able to withstand the increasing pressures from climate change and growing demands on marine resources from increasing populations and tourists visiting the islands. RESEMBID is therefore working with OCT Governments and their stakeholders to implement projects under five broad themes, namely:
- Marine ecosystem conservation – focusing on four key areas:
- Corals reefs
- Seagrass beds
- Invasive species
- Sustainable fisheries;
- Marine Protected Area Management;
- Sustainable finance and the Blue Economy; and
- Environmental Education.
RESEMBID is taking a holistic, people and environment-centred approach to its marine biodiversity programming, by putting the OCTs’ diverse Marine Biodiversity stakeholders at the centre of all activities and initiatives, and using applied science to help provide evidence for improved policies, planning and decision-making.