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Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for this great congress


About the Event

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and Island Innovation were delighted to host the second Caribbean Conservation Finance Congress at the 27 and 28 of July. The event highlighted the importance of sustainability in conserving the Caribbean’s natural resources with a cadre of experts and key stakeholders as speakers.

This year, the event was focused on advancing circular economies for the further conservation and sustainable development of the Caribbean region. This was timely as the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) launched its groundbreaking program, Nature-based Economies that will be developed around a new Advancing Circular Economy (ACE) Facility. The ACE Facility will work with public and private sector partners as well as other Caribbean stakeholders to fund projects that promote and apply practical circular economy principles to minimize, prevent or remove waste entering the marine environment and/or removing marine litter. The objective of the ACE Facility is to contribute to the reduction of marine litter in the insular Caribbean. This is to be achieved by investments in equipment and infrastructure but also generation of data and knowledge, policy support and education of consumers.


Circular economy principles and their feasibility for implementation in the Caribbean
Innovative sustainable financing mechanisms for circular economy projects in biodiversity conservation
Circular economy strategies for sustainable tourism and ecosystem-based enterprises
Enhancing public-private partnerships to drive circular economy initiatives at the local, national and regional levels
Integrating circular economy practices with climate change adaptation and resilience efforts


Opening Ceremony & Keynote Session: Shaping a Circular Future for All

Panel Discussion: Considerations for Using Circular Economy In Biodiversity Conservation

Panel Discussion: Circular Economy in Practice

Presentations: Circular Economy Success Stories From the Caribbean and the World

Circular Economy in Community Engagement and Innovative Financing

Closing Session: Roadmap for Advancing Circular Economy in the Caribbean

Meet the Speakers

Senior Coordination Officer. UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Christopher Corbin

keynote speaker

Christopher Corbin assumed duties as Senior Coordination Officer on 1st September 2022.

He joined UNEP in September 2004 and has served as the Programme Manager for the Assessment and Management of Environmental Pollution (AMEP) Sub-Programme. Since 2015, he has also managed the Secretariat’s Communication, Education, Training and Awareness (CETA) Sub-Programme where, among other responsibilities, he has coordinated the organization and delivery of intergovernmental meetings of the Secretariat.

Mr. Corbin, a Saint Lucian national born in Barbados, has over 30 years of national and regional programme and project management experience.

Board Chair, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Karolin Troubetzkoy

Karolin Troubetzkoy, is the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts in Soufriere, Saint Lucia. She served as President of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) for 4 terms. During her presidency, Mrs Troubetzkoy was able to gain support from the hotel sector to establish the Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund and served as chairperson of this fund for several years. She was a board member of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Chairperson of the Tourist Board Marketing Committee for many years and also played a regional role with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA). In 2014, Mrs Troubetzkoy re- energized CAST (Caribbean Alliance of Sustainable Tourism) and serves as deputy chair of this CHTA initiative. From 2016-2018, Mrs. Troubetzkoy served as President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), only the second woman to serve as President in CHTA’s 50+ year history. Since 2019, she serves as Chairperson of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation. 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. In July 2020, she became the Chairperson of the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund and in this capacity, joined the board of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. In April 2022, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of GLISPA ( Global Island Partnership). In 2022, Mrs. Troubetzkoy was appointed as the first female Chair for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. She is the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Saint Lucia and is a citizen of Saint Lucia where she has lived for the past 40 years. 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 the effects of climate change.

Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Karen McDonald Gayle

Karen McDonald Gayle is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund – the CBF. The CBF is a regional umbrella environmental fund that uses a flexible structure to facilitate innovative solutions and consolidate regional conservation impacts. With over 25 years of experience in civil society participation, public sector policy development and project design, Karen is a regional expert in Conservation Trust Fund (CTF) management. She has served as the CEO of Jamaica’s largest environmental grant-making institution – the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) and has worked regionally with the United States Agency for International Development and the United Nations Environment Program. A Jamaican national, Karen has served on multiple national boards and is also a founding member of the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals.

Circular Economy Specialist

Derek Luk Pat

Derek Eduardo Luk Pat is a father of one, an entrepreneur, a business consultant and, most recently, a circular economy specialist who believes strongly in impact, efficiency, and balance. Aside from recently launching three start-up companies, he has two decades experience at senior levels in several sectors across the Caribbean.

He has led teams as small as 25 to as large as 800, worked in the manufacturing, distribution, hospitality, finance, FMCG and QSR sectors for multinational corporations as well as family-owned businesses. He has served at the Board level of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality, the Trinidad and Tobago Occupational Safety and Health Authority, the Trinidad and Tobago National Quality Council and is currently the Chairman of the Caribbean Kids and Families Therapy Organisation, a Non-Profit organisation dedicated to special needs children.

Most recently, he has been immersed in the world of Standards and Quality and now, the Circular Economy, in which he is presently engaged in a LAC regional project and is actively involved in the current international standards development for the Circular Economy as a member of the ISO Technical Committee 323, the ISO TC 323 Chairman’s Advisory Group and also serves as the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Mirror Committee for ISO TC 323.

He holds an MBA from Heriot Watt University, a BSc. Chemistry & Management (Hons) from UWI and has recently attained his certification as a Circular Economy Specialist.

Executive Director, Bahamas Protected Areas Fund (BPAF)

Karen Panton

Karen Panton is the Executive Director of Bahamas Protected Areas Fund. Karen is no stranger to environmental conservation or indeed the Caribbean Challenge Initiative. Her professional career has been built on financial and accounting support to civil society, including non-profits in Nassau and Jamaica. Prior to her new role with the BPAF, she was the former Director of Finance and Operations at the Bahamas National Trust, serving as the Trust’s appointed director to the BPAF Board. Karen was also the Director of Finance for the Nature Conservancy’s Caribbean Program as well as the Financial Representative for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative. Karen has studied at the then College of the Bahamas, the University of Miami and more recently at the University of Liverpool securing an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Accounting.

Team Leader Energy Transition Project, GIZ

Clemens Findeisen

Clemens Findeisen has been working in the field of renewable energy and waste management for more than twenty years. His career has taken him from industrial companies like Sharp electronics, to consulting companies and NGOs, such as ALIARSE, where he supported public-private partnerships in Costa Rica. Since 2013 he has been working for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, supporting for 4 years the German Biogas Association and holding trainings, as well as carrying out projects in the area of biogas and waste management in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa. Since 2017 he is Team Leader of the Energy Transition Project in the Dominican Republic, which supports the decarbonization of the energy sector, through capacity building, sensibilization and technical studies. He has furthermore prepared several new technical cooperation projects on renewable energy, biogas and circular economy in the Caribbean region.

Acting Director, BCRC Caribbean

Jewel Batchasingh

Ms. Jewel Batchasingh is a career environmental management practitioner and has over twenty – three (23) years of diverse experience in environmental management at national, regional and international levels under the thematic areas of biodiversity, climate change and waste and chemicals management. Her current role as Director of the BCRC Caribbean has heightened her project management and business administration abilities and increased her passion for law. Jewel always enjoys sharing an anecdote or adage.

Coordinator, Our Blue Hands

Ana Carolina Moreira de Oliveira

Ana Carolina Moreira de Oliveira, post graduated in Oceanography in the area of plastic pollution and Geosciences in the area of extreme events and extratropical cyclones.

Coordinator of the Our Blue Hands project collaborative monitoring of microplastics on islands and the Brazilian Coastal Zone.

Plastic Beach Party - Aruba

Christie Mettes

Christie Mettes co-founded Metabolic Foundation in Aruba with her partner Tony Sevold, as a project coordinator she has a key role in its initiatives, opening access to digital making through Brenchie’s Lab, recycling 20 tonnes of plastic with a new business model through Plastic Beach Party, and developing coastal monitoring tools and open access data through Surfside Science.

Chief Operating Officer, CRDC Global

Ross Gibby

Ross has over 32 years of experience in contract manufacturing, operations, business development, marketing, communications, brand innovation and content creation. Over the past four years, he has driven the expansion of CRDC’s RESIN8 solution across Costa Rica, the US, South Africa, the UK, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, the Dominican Republic and others. He is on a mission to end plastic waste and reduce CO2 through market-driven innovation.

Director, Flying Tree Environmental Management

Juan Andrade

Juan Andrade, managing director is an Aeronautical engineer by profession and philanthropist by nature. Juan has worked as a Type Rated Engineer at Air Caribbean Trinidad and Tobago and Bristow Caribbean Helicopters. As the managing director of FTEM he provides management expertise along with networking and communications and is critical in the design and management, for all Flying Tree’s Projects.

Co-founder, Carnicycle

Danii McLetchie

Danii is a Howard University School of Engineering graduate and Sustainability professional with proven leadership and entrepreneurial skills. At Campbell’s Soup Company, Danii managed multimillion-dollar sustainability projects and launched a sustainability engagement team. As the co-founder of Carnicycle, Danii consults with Caribbean stakeholders, promotes environmental awareness, and has received recognition for her achievements, including a Best Sustainability Business Pitch award. Danii also freelances as a green operations consultant for small businesses and holds certifications in Lean Six Sigma and UNDP Sustainable Project Management. Danii is a Sustainable Fashion Ambassador for Re/Make and is committed to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness in inequitable communities through her faith.

Founder, Akata Farms

Bevon Charles

Bevon Chadel Charles is the founder of Akata Farms, a sustainable farm that leverages technology and innovation to transform agriculture and food systems in her community and beyond.
Akata Farms, a sustainable enterprise that leverages technology and innovation to transform agriculture and food systems. Akata Farms concept is derived from “The Dome”, How long can this farm or enterprise operate if placed under “ The Dome” or faced with the constraints of its surroundings. Cut off from its community, the world and left to depend on the resources currently existing under the Dome. What conditions exist, how can they be improved, what action can be taken that minimizes the use of resources for long term use and to ensure a sustainable ripple effect across the entire operations if the farm that’s low cost and built to scale.

She has been featured on United Nations, International Telecommunication Union New York Office regarding digital gender equality project: Talking Tech: Girls and Women in ICT, a project is providing opportunities for young women who are aspiring for a career in the Tech sector to interview women in Tech who are role models, leaders, or further on in their careers.

Senior Finance Officer, CBF

Junior Buchanan

Junior Buchanan, the Finance Officer at the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, is an accounting and operations professional. He currently manages the finance, accounting and procurement functions of the organization. For almost a decade, he has worked with government, private sector, local and international NGOs providing the highest standard of accounting and financial support. He currently holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Services Management.

Technical Officer, CRAB Project, CBF

Theresa Erin Sanderson

Theresa Erin Sanderson is the Technical Officer for the Caribbean Regional Architecture for Biodiversity (CRAB) Project. Erin has over 15 years’ experience in project management for environment and development that spans several sectors including agriculture, education, health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public and private sector entities. She has worked with the World Wildlife Fund in Dominica, the Division of Tourism, Dominica-EU Development Assistance, Green Climate Fund and the Intra ACP GCCA+ Program: Enhancing Climate Resilience in CARIFORUM with the team at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. Erin has a Master of Philosophy degree in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of the West Indies.

Program Manager, Climate Change Program, CBF

Ulrike Krauss

Dr Ulrike Krauss is the Program Manager for the Climate Change Program/EbA Facility. Ulrike is a German-Saint Lucian dual national with over 25 years of experience in natural resource management. Since 2014, much of her efforts are focussed on climate change adaptation in the insular Caribbean. Her past experiences include Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Agroforestry projects in South and Central America; Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in the Insular Caribbean; as well as Integrated Watershed and Land Management, and Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) reporting in Saint Lucia.

Policy Strategist - Oceans, Climate, SIwDS

Safiya Sawney

Safiya Sawney is a strategic advisor in the Caribbean for the Blue Nature Alliance and Government and Policy Consultant for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs. Recently she was the Ocean and Climate Policy Advisor to the Mission of the Government of the Republic of Palau to the United Nations representing the President of Palau at the High-Level Panel.

She was the lead policy advisor on Blue Growth for the Blue Innovation Institute and The Blue Network. Safiya fostered many innovative partnerships to spur action on ocean plastics and environmental awareness for small island states. She was the deputy coordinator for the team that developed and executed the 2013 Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) Summit of Business and Political Leaders in collaboration with the Government of Grenada.
Safiya provided technical support to the Secretariat of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States working with Climate Champion and Grenadian Ambassador Dr. Dessima Williams during UNFCCC climate change negotiations assisting with the operation of the AOSIS Secretariat.

Currently, Safiya is focused on advancing ocean, climate and sustainable development priorities within SIDS and the Caribbean region. She has most recently executed consultancies for the Blue Nature Alliance, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, TNC Caribbean and the CCI, IUCN, Campaign for Nature, and the World Bank

Economic Affairs Officer, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Luiz Krieger Merico

Luiz Krieger Merico is a Geologist with a Master of Science in Environmental Analysis and a Doctorate in Geography with a thesis on Ecological Economy. He was an academic researcher and teacher at several universities in the south of Brazil from the beginning of 1990 to 2010. He worked for more than 12 years in the public sector, specifically with environmental public policies from local level to national level, working with the most important environmental public institutions in Brazil. At the international level, he was the National Coordinator of IUCN in Brazil for 6 years and Senior Researcher of the University of Stockholm at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. Since 2016 he has been working with the United Nations as Economic Affairs Officer for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean based in Santiago, Chile.

Debris and Waste Management Specialist, Hope Town Zero Waste

Juliette Deal

Juliette has worked in the field of resource diversion and waste mitigation for the past 14 years in the Bahamas, the US, and the Caribbean working with businesses professionally and teaching communities on her own time. Juliette has a master’s degree in integrated solid waste management focused on small island developing nations. Most recently, she completed a waste generation assessment project with the Inter-American Development Bank in Abaco, Bahamas, and will soon begin a national project with the United Nations Basel Convention Research Center on plastic waste reduction in The Bahamas. Previously, Juliette was the United Nations Development Program Debris and Waste Management Specialist for Hurricane Dorian’s response in Abaco, Bahamas, working with NGOs and Government agencies to coordinate terrestrial and marine debris removal. Juliette is also the Co-Founder and Director (Volunteer) of Hope Town Zero Waste (funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program through the United Nations) and the Co-Founder and Director of Abaco Zero Waste in Abaco, Bahamas.

Commission, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

Susanna De Beauville-Scott

Susanna possesses over 20 years of experience working in the field of conservation and sustainable development, and has direct experience in the following areas: development and implementation of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures; protected area management; biodiversity management; fisheries management; integrated coastal zone management; ocean governance and marine spatial planning; environmental impact assessment; waste management; and policy development.

She is also a certified project manager with experience in managing national and regional projects in the Caribbean.  Susanna currently works with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission where she provides technical support and manages projects on blue and circular economy matters.

Chief Executive Officer, Island Innovation

James Ellsmoor

James Ellsmoor is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, writer, and influential advocate for island sustainable development. He is widely recognized for his work in renewable energy and sustainability, having contributed extensively as a columnist for Forbes and regularly interviewed for international publications. With a systems approach encompassing climate, oceans, energy, tourism, and conservation, James focuses particularly on small island developing states (SIDS) and sub-national island jurisdictions (SNIJs). Through initiatives such as the Virtual Island Summit, he brings together representatives from diverse islands worldwide, showcasing their leadership in global sustainability and addressing pressing issues like climate action. As a sought-after speaker and consultant, James’s expertise and ability to communicate complex concepts drive positive change and shape the future of sustainable development on a global scale.

CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation Fund

Vanburn Harry

Mr. Vanburn Harry is the CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Conservation fund (SVGCF), a professional Architect, Environmentalist, Conservationist, Sports administrator and Entrepreneur. Throughout his professional career, he has been involved in a multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration in design, infrastructure and environmental projects. He has also been involved in discussions at the national level that help shape the development of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Also, he has represented the country at regional and international forums in varying capacities. His Knowledge and experience as a professional and an entrepreneur has chiseled him into an astute Project Manager with exceptional leadership and administrative skills.

CEO, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF)

Craig Henry

Mr Craig Henry joined the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund
(SLUNCF) in March of 2020 as Programme Officer. For the most part,
he oversaw the SLUNCF’s grant making programme which included
reviewing proposals in response to calls for proposals; providing support
to SLUNCF grantees and their projects, as well as undertaking effective
monitoring and evaluation of these projects. In July 2021, Mr Henry was
appointed as CEO of the organization, acting on behalf of the Board and
Secretariat and in the interest of its mission which is to secure and
provide sustainable financing to support conservation, restoration, and
effective management of Saint Lucia’s biodiversity and natural
resources. Mr Henry is actively engaged in a range of activities in
support of the SLUNCF’s core work programmes areas, fundraising and
grant making. This necessitates a huge emphasis on partnerships;
thinking outside the box and creating synergies in order to create greater
impact in the local conservation landscape. Mr Henry has the pleasure
of heading one of the more advanced National Conservation Trust
Funds (NCTFs) within the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture
at the core of which is the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF). The
SLUNCF has over the years developed a diverse mix of funding
agreements with other long term financial mechanisms in the pipeline. He
has shown a great willingness to learn and to share in the hopes that
the SLUNCF along with other partners can advance national
conservation priorities.

Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association

Kyle Mais

The wearer of many hats, Kyle Mais is best known for his ten-year leadership of the Jamaica Inn, where he is currently the company’s Managing Director of this, one of the Caribbean’s leading luxury boutique hotels located in Ocho Rios. Mais brings to the table over two decades of extensive hospitality experience in all aspects of both large and small resort and spa operations.

An advocate for sustainability, he believes strongly in investing in people first and foremost and “green” or alternative energy technologies and best practices. By doing so, Mais has been successful in reducing both operational overheads and the carbon footprint of properties he has managed while providing exceptional service and offerings.

As a Director of the hotel’s philanthropic arm, The Jamaica Inn foundation, he works to support the local community by investing in projects that focus on education, community, and the environment.

Driven by the growing concerns surrounding global warming and other environmental threats, he was instrumental in the establishing of the White River Fish Sanctuary (WRFS) where he currently serves as a Director. The WRFS is a community-based partnership designed to help revive the local fisherfolk livelihoods and protects one of Jamaica’s biggest natural resources.

Always willing to serve, Mais is very involved with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association where he is a Vice President and the Chairman of the Sustainability Committee. His experience has also led him to be appointed Chairman of CAST, the Sustainability arm of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

Mais is a graduate of Bishops University in Quebec, Canada where he earned an undergraduate degree in Economics, followed by an MBA from Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand.

Event Organizers

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) is a regional environmental fund whose mission is “to ensure continuous funding for conservation and sustainable development in the Caribbean.” Established in 2012, and with a flexible structure, the CBF is designed to accommodate the receipt, investment, distribution and monitoring of conservation funding throughout the region. Currently, the CBF has two programs: (i) a Conservation Finance Program, anchored by a US$80 million endowment fund and (ii) a Climate Change Program, focused on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), with a US$50 million sinking fund.

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Island Innovation is a social enterprise that works with rural and island stakeholders and taps into our global network to find innovative and locally-appropriate opportunities. Island Innovation facilitate connections between island stakeholders and sustainable development practitioners across the globe to share knowledge and promote collaboration. By creating a support network, we smooth the way for developing innovative solutions to drive economic performance, ensure political stability and promote good governance, which improves the social and environmental conditions within island communities.

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frequently asked questions

Why should I attend the conference?

The 2023 Caribbean Conservation Finance Congress is a unique platform to explore the transformative potential of circular economies in the Caribbean region. Let us collectively forge circular pathways that enhance biodiversity conservation, stimulate economic growth, and create a sustainable and resilient future for the Caribbean.

Who should attend the conference?

This conference is aimed at professionals working in the circular economy throughout the Caribbean region as well as internationally. However, it is open to anyone with an interest in the topics covered and all are encouraged to attend.

How much does the conference cost? Do I need anything to participate?

The Conference is totally free!! You can sign up here and all you need to take part is an internet connection and the Zoom webinar software. The networking sessions will be held on Remo, which is accessed directly in your browser.

Will there be Interpretation for the Conference?

Sessions will be available in English, Spanish and French.

How can I contact the hosts with questions?

Please use the contact form below or email us directly at [email protected]

Revisit the CCFC2021

Session I:
Welcome/Opening Session and High-Level Opening Panel

Session II:
SIDS 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Resources Mobilization

Session III:
Building Sustainable Finance Mechanisms for the Marine Environment