Thank you to all our Speakers, Sponsors and Attendees for this great congress

About the event

The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund are proud to be the co-organizers and hosts of the inaugural Caribbean Conservation Finance Congress scheduled for July 6th – 8th, 2021 in a virtual format. The Congress will focus on building and showcasing Caribbean sustainable financing solutions for conservation and sustainable development, exchanging experiences among Caribbean actors, and learning from other regions and global initiatives.

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


This event will provide a forum to:

  • Showcase, discuss and advance conservation finance mechanisms designed by the Caribbean for the Caribbean.
  • Promote strong and long-term financing solutions and resources mobilization scenarios for the Caribbean region to accomplish the 2030 targets, including positioning the Caribbean Sustainable Finance Architecture (CSFA) and conservation trust funds in general as a key ally for resource mobilization.
  • Promote exchange and learning among Caribbean conservation finance actors.

Sessions Recordings

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

Session IV:
A Caribbean Blue Economy for Diverse and Sustainable Livelihoods

Session V:
Climate Finance for Resilience

Session VI:
Voices from the Field: Experiences from the Caribbean and the World

Session VI:
Breakout Room – Sustainable Fisheries

Session VI:
Breakout Room – Adapting to Climate Change

Session VI:
Breakout Room – Responsible Tourism

Session VI:
Breakout Room – Protected Areas Management

Session VII:
Blended Finance and Impact Investment Approaches

Session IX:
The way forward for Sustainable Financing in the Caribbean

CCFC Closing

Meet the Speakers

Caribbean Conservation Finance Congress 2021

CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez is CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, the largest multilateral trust fund focused on the environment and climate change. Before joining the GEF, Rodriguez served three terms as Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica, where he pioneered the development of payment for ecosystem services initiatives and led advances in forest restoration, ocean conservation, and de-carbonization. He is an expert on environmental policy, multilateral environmental negotiations, and financing for nature conservation.
Chief Executive Officer, The Nature Conservancy

Jennifer Morris

Jennifer Morris is The Nature Conservancy’s Chief Executive Officer. For the past 25 years, Morris has dedicated her life to protecting the environment for people and nature. At The Nature Conservancy, Morris leads nearly 4,000 global staff who are dedicated to creating a world where people and nature thrive together. Her teams bring diverse groups together in a collaborative way to transform business practices, shape government policies, and leverage rigorous science to prove and scale on-the-ground conservation work.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, Government of Antigua and Barbuda

Hon. Chet Greene

Hails from the village of Liberta in the Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda breaking down barriers unto the International scene, the Hon. Everly Paul Chet Greene brings immense experience in trade, commerce, industry, sports, business, and culture with sacrifice, humility, and dedication -remain a servant with a personal life’s motto of ‘Others’.


He has served extensively in various capacities as minister, senator, president, chairman, Executive Member, Protocol Consultant and in his community.


By way of background, he is the President Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association Antigua and Barbuda’s National, Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), United Nations (UN).


Representative – Minister of Foreign Affairs: Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly | Organization of Eastern Caribbean State v Association of Caribbean States (ACS) | United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) | Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) | Caribbean Community (CARICOM) | Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) | CUBA – CARICOM Summit | CARICOM – CHINA Summit | UNITED NATIONS


Positions held: Member of several commissions and committees at the local, regional and international levels in sport: Commissioner of Sports, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, | Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Futsal Commission | Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Beach Football Commission | Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Match Commissioner | Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Administration Commission | Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Futsal Commission | Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Disciplinary Committee | Colony Forming Unit (CFU) Vice President | Colony Forming Unit (CFU) Administration Commission | Colony Forming Unit (CFU) Match Commissioner


VIP – Protocol Consultant Cricket World Cup, 2007 | Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Executive Member | Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Test Match Coordinator | Antigua and Barbuda Football Association (ABFA) General Secretary


Other interests:

  • Chairman of the YA-So-so Group of companies a group dedicated to baking and catering services.
  • A passion for agriculture which represents a legacy and honor to my father who passed on 16 July 2018.
  • Special love for and interest in the elderly and their wellbeing.

Language proficiency:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • and soon to add Mandarin
Board Chair, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Karolin Troubetzkoy

Karolin Troubetzkoy is the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts in Soufriere, Saint Lucia. She is also the President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), serving for the second time. Mrs Troubetzkoy was able to gain support from the hotel sector to found the Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund and served as chairperson of this fund for several years. Mrs Troubetzkoy was a Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Chairperson of the Tourist Board Marketing Committee for many years. Mrs. Troubetzkoy has been an active member of the marketing committees of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for the past 20 years. Mrs Troubetzkoy was appointed President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in 2016, for the term 2016-2018, she was only the second woman to serve as President in CHTA’s 50+ year history.
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.
She is the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Saint Lucia and is a citizen of Saint Lucia. 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 effects of climate change.
Board Chair, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Dr. Jens Mackensen

Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, currently serves as Director of the Latin America and the Caribbean portfolio for the Department of Natural Resources at KfW Development Bank in Frankfurt, Germany. He particularly oversees topics such as forest protection, reforestation, sustainable forestry in natural forests, and agriculture, as well as the protection of climate, coasts, and biodiversity.
Over the course of his career, Jens’s work has taken him from leading the strategy and analysis of international climate and forest policies in Kenya with the United Nations Environmental Programme; to managing projects on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) in Indonesia and Laos; to climate adaptation in India, sustainable forestry in China and Vietnam, and energy, environment, and climate financing in Egypt. He also chairs the board of the Directors of the Fund and is a board member for the Georg-Ludwig-Hartig Foundation.
Dr. Mackensen received his doctorate in forestry from the University of Göttingen after research in Indonesia, Canada, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and Australia.
Executive Director, Bahamas Protected Areas Fund

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.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Yabanex Batista

Yabanex Batista is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund where he oversees operations and development of new initiatives. With over 20 years of experience he has focused his career on international financing institutions and sustainable financing for conservation and development, government relations and policy, and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). He has extensive experience on environmental negotiations, establishment of conservation trust funds and other financial mechanisms, fundraising and resources mobilization, and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.

Prior to joining the CBF he worked for GITEC/GIZ (German Government Technical Cooperation Agency) in Mexico, The Nature Conservancy’s International Government Relations Department and Europe Office, the World Bank-GEF Unit, the United States Geological Survey, and IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) in Brazil. He holds an MA in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University.

Secretary General, French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM)

Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann

Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann is Secretary General of the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), since September 2018. Agronomist, with 20 years of experience, mainly for the French Ministry of Economy and the French Agency for Development (AFD), she is specialized on development issues, and sustainable agriculture and energy sectors. She is devoted to reconcile environment preservation and development in an innovative way
Atlantic Regional Director, French Development Agency Group

Philippe La Cognata

Philippe La Cognata is the Atlantic Regional Director of the French Development Agency Group (AFD) since September 2018. He supervises and coordinates the Group’s activity both in the foreign states and in the French territories of the region. AFD Group’s outstanding financing reaches 3 billion euros in the Caribbean. An economist and financier, over the past 30 years, he has held various positions at AFD and in the Delegated Central Bank for the French Overseas Departments and Territories, as CEO in Paris and as Director abroad.
Director External Affairs, Caribbean Division, The Nature Conservancy

Eleanor Phillips

Eleanor is TNC’s “Caribbean Ambassador”, engaging with stakeholders to advance conservation policy in the region from her home base in Nassau, Bahamas. Eleanor is responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the next phase of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI), including developing sustainable finance mechanisms and aligning the Conservancy’s priorities with regional governments, multilateral institutions, and other partners. Eleanor joined TNC in 2003, as the first Director of The Bahamas Country Program. She then became Director of the Northern Caribbean program. Eleanor was instrumental in the development, adoption and implementation of the Bahamas Master Plan for Protected Areas, the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and the Bahamas Protected Areas Fund legislation. She served on a special assignment for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative raising capital for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and since 2016 has served as Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Fund. Prior to joining the Conservancy, Eleanor worked for The Bahamas Department of Fisheries for 11 years. A native of Dominica, Eleanor has a bachelor’s degree in Aquaculture and Environmental Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Dr. Joth Singh

Joth Singh is the Programme Manager of the CBF’s Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) Facility. He has worked across a wide range of environment and development areas including climate change, environmental management, environmental health, coastal zone management, animal welfare and conservation, protected areas management, and water resources management. He has held leadership positions within organizations at the international, regional and national levels. In recent years he has made significant contributions to the climate change efforts in the Caribbean particularly in the area of climate change adaptation. He holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of London, a Ph.D in Environmental Chemistry from the University of the West Indies and was an Post-Doctoral Fellow at Dalhousie University/Bedford Institute of Oceanography.
Programme Manager, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund

Karen McDonald Gayle

Karen has over 20 years of experience in the Jamaican and Caribbean environmental field which have given her vast experience in both Public Sector Policy Development as well as civil society dialogue and participation. She is a founding member of the Jamaica Institute of Environmental Professionals and has proudly served on the Board of Directors of the Natural History Society of Jamaica, Campion College Alumni Association and Jamaicans for Justice. Her professional work has focussed on community environmental management throughout the region including as the Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica’s largest NGO grant-making institution.

She is currently Conservation Finance Program Manager for the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and plays a critical role in the coordination and technical support to the National Conservation Trust Funds. As the Funds and the Conservation Finance Program grows, this will include support for Governance, Sustainable Finance Mechanisms, and Effective Grantmaking.

CEO, Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund

Craig Henry

Mr. Craig Henry is a native of Saint Lucia and joined the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCFs a Programme Officer in March 2020 and was recently appointed as CEO. Mr. Henry has a wealth of experience in the conservation field, having worked with Saint Lucia National Trust, a conservation-oriented NGO, for the last six years. He has worked as a technical officer and a mentor and has collaborated with government agencies, international entities, NGOs (local and international), livelihood groups and communities particularly those affiliated protected areas with an aim to promote sustainable use of resources, sustainable livelihoods and awareness. Mr. Henry also has experience in PAs management which implicates an array of skills and activities, including field monitoring, data collection; designing and implementing project and grants; sustainable finance; community outreach and establishing networking relationships for knowledge sharing and mutual support. At the SLUNCF, Mr. Henry is engaged in both sustainable finance and grant making work programme areas.
Caribbean Policy Lead, Ocean Unite

Safiya Sawney

Safiya Sawney is currently the Caribbean Policy Lead for Ocean Unite – an expert group of leaders, thinkers, and strategists at the forefront of driving positive change for people and the planet. Most recently she was the Ocean and Climate Policy Advisor to the Mission of the Government of the Republic of Palau to the UN. Formerly, Safiya was the lead policy advisor on Blue Growth for the Blue Innovation Institute and The Blue Network – a partnership platform between the Governments of the Netherlands and Grenada with support from FAO. As an environmental policy consultant and strategist, Safiya has provided policy support to Climate Analytics Inc. on climate finance, strategies and readiness activities in the Caribbean. She was the deputy coordinator for the team that developed and executed the 2013 Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) Summit of Business and Political Leaders. Safiya continues to provide grassroots support to community groups in her native island of Grenada and is constantly on the lookout for unique and impactful initiatives that inspire collection action.
Blue Economy Director, Waitt Institute

Dr. Angus Friday

Dr. Angus Friday leads the Waitt Institute’s work in helping nations design sustainable blue economies to support long-term ocean and community health and wellbeing. He is an accomplished blue economy leader and practitioner, having served as the World Bank’s Ocean Representative and having worked with the Dutch Government and FAO in establishing the Global Blue Growth Network. Dr. Friday also played a leading role in developing the Blue Grenada Program which included the development of a Blue Growth Master Plan and the establishment of the Blue Innovation Institute; all of which contributed to the World Bank’s “First Fiscal Resilience and Blue Growth Development Policy Credit” with $30 million in concessional financing for Grenada under IDA-18.

As a diplomat, he served as Grenada’s Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Canada and also as Grenada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. A qualified medical doctor with an MBA, Dr. Friday brings a wide perspective on the interconnected nature of business, health, and international economic policy.

Executive Director, Hawai‘i Green Growth

Celeste Connors

Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai‘i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure systems and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration’s climate and energy policies, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for City of New York.

Celeste is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center and was a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. Celeste has served on numerous boards including her current service on Hawaiian Electric Industries, the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience at the University of Hawaii and Icebreaker One. She previously served on the Board of America’s Service Commissions, the IUCN World Conservation Congress National Host Committee, and was a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations. Celeste grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu.

Meet our sponsors


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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Incorporated in 2016, the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF) is dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and effective management of Saint Lucia’s biodiversity and natural resources. Broadly, the purpose and objectives of the SLUNCF are to support the long-term management and expansion of Saint Lucia’s areas of land and/or sea which are specifically dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and natural resources and other activities that contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity, while also creating sustainable livelihoods.

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frequently asked questions

Who should attend the conference?

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

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]

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