ReefFix: An Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Ecosystem Services Valuation and Capacity Building Project for the Caribbean

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ReefFix is an Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) tool that works with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to support the effective management of coastal and marine resources. Through stakeholder analysis and socio-economic valuation methodologies, participating countries strengthen their capacity to manage marine resources to meet commitments made in the Caribbean Challenge to increase coverage and effective management of marine protected areas (MPAs). ReefFix builds country capacity in (i) ecosystem goods and services valuation methodologies (ii) cost effective interventions to improve marine ecosystem health, and (iii) revenue raising techniques of cost recovery and user pays/polluter pays principles. In this process, ReefFix will use and develop cost-effective techniques that can be replicated throughout the wider Caribbean. Capacity building exercises will disseminate results and disseminate lessons learned and best practices.

Caribbean Countries have requested technical assistance to achieve the commitments laid out in the WSSD Plan of Implementation and the CBD targets. A critical component of this technical assistance is the availability of appropriate and adequate data with which to establish robust baselines and monitor progress towards the goals.

This OAS Coastal Zone Management activity will further improve and expand the MPA data available for the region. This will ensure that the extent and status of marine protection in the Caribbean is accurately represented within regional and global databases that are a) highly visible online and b) used for global and regional monitoring purposes. The contributions and successes of Caribbean MPAs to the global MPA network and marine protection targets will thus be more accurate, visible and more explicit. The data will also be available to all Caribbean countries for use at regional and national levels, to facilitate planning. This greater visibility and understanding will facilitate:

  • the planning, economic valuation, and ecotourism potential of protected areas and their integration into all sectors by providing strategic advice to policy makers in integrated coastal zone management (ICZM);

  • the strengthening of capacity and effectiveness of protected area managers through the provision of guidance, tools and information, and as a vehicle for networking;

  • the procurement of increased investment in marine protected areas by demonstrating their value to the public and corporate donors, as well as governments;

  • the coordination of national, regional and global efforts to meet various marine biodiversity and protection targets;

  • preparations for the CBD Biodiversity 2010 and WSSD 2012 reporting requirements.


Description of the Project:

ReefFix is an demand driven capacity building exercise that disseminates results, lessons learned and best practices.

In this context, ReefFix offers a valuable opportunity for SIDS to strengthen their coastal zone management through one or more of the five options below:

  •  Apply 3 ecosystem services valuation methodologies on fisheries, tourism, or economic productivity/ha/year

  • Cost effective analysis of most efficient interventions for improved marine ecosystem health such as sewage treatment vs. watershed management, reforestation or solid waste management

  • Green tax: cost recovery mechanisms such as hotel bed tax or tourism tax ($1% tax to protect reasons that tourists come.

  • Policy and legislation necessary for the implementation of a payments for an ecosystem services project

  • Marine Protected Area System Plan of most representative marine ecosystems to meet Caribbean Challenge to put 25 percent of near-shore marine and 25 percent of terrestrial natural resources under effective conservation by 2020.


Throughout the Americas Hemisphere related tangible actions include:

Protecting Ocean Areas

  • In 2017 the Chilean government declared the Rapa Nui (Easter Island) Rahui Marine Protected Area (MPA) to safeguard the waters surrounding the iconic Pacific Ocean island, which is known - as are its habitants - as Rapa Nui. The MPA, one of the largest in the world, will protect an area roughly the size of Chile's land area. The MPA will protect Easter Island from industrial fishing, mining, and other extractive activities within the Chilean exclusive economic zone that surrounds the island.

  • Panama announced the recent creation of two major marine protected areas, Cordillera de Coiba (17,223 square kilometers) and Banco Volcan (14,931 square kilometers), increasing Panama’s protected areas from 3.7 to 13.5 percent of its waters.

  • Cuba and the United States announced that negotiations are underway on a new sister marine protected area arrangement between sites in Cuba (Guanahacabibes National Park and the Bank of San Antonio) and the United States (Florida Keys and Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuaries), and possibly others, focusing on scientific research, education and outreach, and sound management.

Promoting Sustainable Fisheries

  • Many countries in the Americas announced their commitment to establish an integrated seafood traceability program as part of a broader, coordinated effort to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud.

  • The United States announced the launch of Sea Scout, a new global initiative that seeks to unite governments and other stakeholders worldwide in the fight against IUU fishing by focusing global assets and partnerships on identifying, interdicting, and prosecuting IUU fishing organizations and networks around the world.

  • Port State Measures Agreement, a groundbreaking treaty to prevent illegally harvested fish from entering the stream of commerce -- Twenty-five parties are needed for the Agreement to enter into force. Seven additional countries are close to joining – Saint Kitts and Nevis, United States, Costa Rica.

  • Bloomberg Philanthropies and its partners, The Rockefeller Foundation and Encourage Capital, announced that they are releasing the first of their new innovative Blueprints for how investments in sustainable fisheries can be structured to provide a model for fisheries globally.

Reducing Marine Pollution

  • The United States announced a commitment by its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of over $1.5 million in 2016 to work with partners to remove marine debris from sensitive ecosystems in the United States and to develop innovative projects that change behavior to minimize the amounts and impacts of marine debris. NOAA also commits to developing a national strategy to combat marine debris, working with partners to implement local solutions around the United States.

Preventing and Monitoring Ocean Acidification

  • Panama announced that in 2016 it will calculate the estimated carbon sink capability of its mangrove ecosystems as part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen national capacities for the conservation of mangroves, with a focus on adaptation and mitigation. Panama will also incorporate ocean acidification data generated by the Marine Global Earth Observatories of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (SIMarineGEO) into its Environmental Information System.

Building Capacity

  • The GEF, UN Development Program, and UN Industrial Development Organization have invested in Large Marine Ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico to bring nations together to manage their shared resources.

  • The Ocean Health Index (OHI), a collaboration between Conservation International and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, committed to provide the technical tools and assistance needed by countries and marine and coastal resource managers to help measure and manage ocean health at local, national and regional scales.


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Saint Lucia - St. Lucia National Trust - ICZM and supporting more effective Marine-Turtle conservation within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area. More info:  Project Report: Supporting more effective Marine-Turtle Conservation within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area (PSEPA)/ Workshop: March 5-8 Further infomation

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Jamaica – Montego Bay Marine Park Trust -- promote World Wetlands Day (Feb 2, 2018), plant mangroves that includes coastal cleanup, monitor beach and shoreline, monitor important shallow and dive sites, research and capacity building on invasive lionfish (e.g. cooking and culling competition), to purchase dive and snorkeling equipment and run a summer program for school children including swimming and snorkeling.​  More info: OAS Reef Fix Jamaica Project Report / Lionfish Cooking Competition and Demonstration - Report / Beach Clean-up for Earth Day 2018 Event / Summer Camp on Conservation 2018 Report / Turtles Handbook Children / Beach Clean Up Earth Day 2018

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Saint Kitts Nevis – Nevis – Janice Hodges and the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Physical Planning Natural Resources and Environment.  Providing a model for effective co-management of The Narrows /Newcastle Bay, St. Kitts and Nevis. More info:  Workshop to facilitate the Development of an effective co-management model for The Narrows/Newcastle /

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Belize -- Belize Audubon Society and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development. Promote progress on ICZM / MPA / coral reef conservation and to collaborate on coral reef health monitoring and outreach. The objective is to assist BAS to integrate their existing biophysical monitoring data on coral reef ecosystem health into targeted communications for fishers, rangers, participants of the Reef Protector program and other educational efforts. More info: Workshop: March 19-24, 2018 / Report Reeffix: An Iczm Coral Reef Restoration, Watershed Management And Capacity Building Demonstration Project For The Caribbean / Workshop: Integrating Biophysical Monitoring Data on Coral Reef Health into Targeted Communication Materials / Caribbean Ocean Governance Belize PPT

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Antigua Barbuda – Ruth Spencer and the Ministry of Environment -- Capacity building, public education and awareness through swimming, beach cleaning and knowledge of  value of the oceans with a focus on children/youth, with a pilot project to  support an NGO that promotes alternative  livelihoods in The North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA) and Barbuda.  Workshop February 20-22, 2018. More info: Case study Waste Management Workshop / World Wetlands Day / Peace in the Storm (children awareness event)Declaration Zero Waste Working Group / Final Report: Sustainable Cities, Resilience and Risk Management

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Dominica - Arun Mandisetti and the Fisheries Division (The Chief Fisheries Officer (CFO) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) conduct a Coral Reef Monitoring, Survey and Evaluation of Hurricane Impact on East Coast of Dominica and collaborate on coral reef health monitoring and outreach. Under the direction of the Forest Officer Dominica Forest Service: Request forestry student interns from Yale University and U of the South (both have huge forests to maintain in their forestry programs) to help maintain 115 miles of trails on Dominica. More info: Marine Damage Report & Dive Sector Needs Assessment Commonwealth of Dominica, Post Hurricane Maria / Hurricane Resilience - Projects on assessing hurricane damage to marine and forest ecosystems and trail maintenance

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines - Sustainable Grenadines Inc. (SusGren) The Nature Conservancy with co-financing from the Philip Stephenson Foundation. Develop and implement the SusGren Junior Rangers Program to train and inspire >20 young people (ages 8-10) from Union Island, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Carriacou, Grenada, to pursue a career in marine protected area management or other environmental field. More info:  Project Report The OAS/SusGren Junior Rangers / Video Junior Rangers Reefix