|Contact: Lee Morrison (202)-458-8741
GEF Contact: Hutton Archer (202) 458-7117
Washington, May 21, 2004 – The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and The World Bank (WB) announced today a 5 -year initiative to support the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) environmental protection strategy with a US$3.7 million grant from the GEF. The Protected Areas and Associated Livelihoods project will curb environmental degradation by strengthening the application of environmental safeguards and management capacity in six OECS member countries.
"Building a sustainable economy depends on preserving the region's environmental riches. This project is guided by the vision of an integrated system of protected areas that will generate sustainable livelihoods for communities living in and around them," said Caroline D. Anstey, the World Bank's Caribbean Director.
Tougher safeguards are essential. Current trends in degradation of reefs and other coastal ecosystems, deforestation, beach erosion, depletion of fish stocks combine to threaten livelihoods in agriculture, fishing and tourism. The latter accounts for one-third to one-half of GDP in most of the OECS countries.
Specific measures to be taken under the grant include: the creation of six new Protected Areas and the start-up of at last 13 sub-projects in and around PAs to reduce environmental pressure on the zones. The sub-projects will also increase and diversify PA-related income to local communities through initiatives such as tourism development; organic farming ventures; training in biodiversity conservation; and increasing environmental awareness among members of the public.
The six participating OECS countries are Antigua and Barbuda; the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
In addition to the GEF grant, which will be administered by the World Bank, the OECS itself will contribute US$1.88 Million, the French Global Environment Facility (Fonds Français de L'Environnement Mondial) will contribute US$1.64 million; and the Organization of American States will contribute US$0.35 million.
For more information on the World Bank's work in the Latin America and Caribbean region, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/lac
For more information on this project, please visit: http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=104231&piPK=73230&theSitePK=40941&menuPK=228424&Projectid=P073267
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a mechanism for providing new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve agreed global environmental benefits in the four focal areas - Climate change; Biological diversity; International waters; and Ozone layer depletion. GEF also supports the work of the global agreements to combat desertification and eliminate persistent organic pollutants.
The World Bank Group is one of GEF’s implementing agencies and supports countries in preparing GEF co-financed projects and supervises their implementation. It plays the primary role in ensuring the development and management of investment projects. The Bank draws upon its investment experience in eligible countries to promote investment opportunities and to mobilize private sector, bilateral, multilateral, and other government and non-government sector resources that are consistent with GEF objectives and national sustainable development strategies. Since 1991, the World Bank Group has committed $1.52 billion in GEF resources and $2.25 billion in Bank group co-financing for GEF projects in 80 countries. In addition to GEF and Bank resources, it has mobilized additional co-financing of $5.48 billion from other donors.
For further information on Bank’s GEF program, visit http://www.worldbank.org/gef . For further information on GEF, visit http://www.gefweb.org.