11 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN JULY 2019 OPENING L INES FIVE CARIBBEAN DESTINATIONS ACHIEVE MARINE PROTECTION GOALS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE F ive Caribbean countries and territories were recognized for their early achievement of the ambitious marine protection target they committed to when joining the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI). The CCI 20-by-20 Conservation Goal challenges members to conserve and manage at least 20 percent of their marine and coastal environment by 2020. The Dominican Republic led the list of early achievers with approximately 75 percent of its marine area under protection, followed by St. Kitts and Nevis (50 percent), the US Virgin Islands (44 percent), Puerto Rico (27 percent), and Haiti (23 percent). “It is a momentous occasion to reach a conservation goal that will benefit the ocean and communities in the Caribbean for generations to come,” said Saint Lucia-based CCI Envoy, Karolin Troubetzkoy, who honored the early achievers at a ceremony in Antigua and Barbuda, recently. The CCI is an innovative platform uniting government, the private sector, and partners, such as funding agencies and NGOs, in a collaborative movement to conserve and sustainably manage the Caribbean’s marine and coastal environments. Launched in 2008, the CCI aims to incentivize Caribbean governments to meet their marine conservation objectives and to support them by catalyzing new funding and accelerating meaningful action. It also works to create more prosperous and stable economies, achieved through sustainable development and growth, to help ensure a more secure future for the entire region.