May 21, 2013 – The Sandals Foundation has committed to support the C-FISH Fund as one of its acts of commitment to the ‘Caribbean Challenge’, an initiative that calls for protected zones along the region’s coasts by 2020.
The C-FISH Fund is a private-public partnership with the goal of providing sustainable financial support to fish sanctuaries in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation will partner to put mechanisms in place to bring in sustainable funding through tourism for the C-FISH Fund. These mechanisms will include tours of artificial reefs and the development of local craft to be sold in Sandals Resorts’ gift shops.
The ‘Caribbean Challenge’ was announced at the two-day Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders, hosted by the Virgin Group of Companies CEO Richard Branson, British Virgin Islands Premier Orlando Smith and Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell. In attendance were delegations from nine Caribbean countries; representatives from resort companies and cruise lines, the World Bank, United Nations, foundations and environmental groups.
“The environmental sustainability of the region is everyone’s business and the time has come for us all to step up to the plate. We completely support the ‘Caribbean Challenge’ and encourage the entire region to come on board,” said Adam Stewart, President of the Sandals Foundation, who attended the summit along with Heidi Clarke, the Director of Programmes of the Sandals Foundation.
Additionally, the Sandals Foundation has committed to meet the following objectives by 2017: Support effective management of the Boscobel and Whitehouse fish sanctuaries in Jamaica; provide financial and volunteer support for turtle conservation in Antigua and Jamaica; and continue to provide support for the Bahamas National Trust conch conservation programme.
In making its commitment, the Sandals Foundation will be addressing the areas of marine and coastal protection; restoration of marine and coastal resources; sustainable tourism; sustainable fisheries; adaptation to climate change and marine pollution.