St. Lucian Hotelier Take on Efforts to Conserve Caribbean’s Marine Environment

From left: Eleanor Phillips, Director of External Affairs for the Caribbean for The Nature Conservancy; German Ambassador to CARICOM and Chairman of the CCI Steering Committee Holger Michael; Karolin Troubetzkoy, new Envoy for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative; and Yabanex Batista, CEO of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.
From left: Eleanor Phillips, Director of External Affairs for the Caribbean for The Nature Conservancy; German Ambassador to CARICOM and Chairman of the CCI Steering Committee Holger Michael; Karolin Troubetzkoy, new Envoy for the Caribbean Challenge Initiative; and Yabanex Batista, CEO of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund.

The Caribbean’s marine and coastal resources are the preeminent drawing card to the region for visitors staying on land and sea alike. A decade old initiative to prevent degradation to these assets received new energy earlier this year when St. Lucian hotelier Karolin Troubetzkoy joined the 2008-founded Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI). 

“The marine community throughout the region can play a lead role in this initiative by spearheading advocacy efforts around important conservation issues and encouraging our governments and the business community to take action on our environment,” says Troubetzkoy, executive director of the Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts. 

“Sustainability should no longer be a buzzword, but an essential part of our seagoing gear, like a life jacket. Every member of the marine community should be educated on the damage done to the oceans by human activity and tell their guests about positive actions we can take to clean and conserve the seas and foreshores. For example, if every member of the marine community pledged to remove at least three pieces of plastic on each visit to a beach or a boat, their efforts would add up. We are not asking people to do good for the sake of doing good, we are asking them to clean and conserve their own playgrounds so our children and grandchildren can experience the same incomparable joy from the marine environment.”

CCI members include 11 governments and 15 companies, who have formally declared their commitment to the initiative. www.caribbeanchallengeinitiative.org

Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.