The resources on environmental conservation and sustainability available in Dominica are historically strong because of the island's commitment to land preservation through its establishment of three major forest reserves that occupy more than two-thirds of the island. Its rugged topography and uniquely diverse flora and fauna seal its identity as the Nature Island of the Caribbean.
The Cabrits National Park is a wildlife and marine sanctuary, with Fort Shirley as the focal point and tourist attraction.
The Indian River, located just south of the town of Portsmouth, is the deepest and longest river in Dominica and the only one currently amenable to boat rides. It served as a plot located in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, which filmed two of its productions on the island. The river's marsh setting has a unique ecological environment within Dominica and boasts some interesting wildlife for viewing during the boat tours.
According to its website, “The Kalinago Barana Aute is the brainchild of former Kalinago chief Mr.Faustulus Frederick and is located in Crayfish River, about half an hour's drive from the Melville Hall Airport and 1.5 hour's drive from Dominica's capital, Roseau. The facility in itself projects a pre-Columbian Amerindian community in Dominica and currently occupies just less than two (2) acres of land. Several traditionally built structures including the majestic Karbet, mouinas, and ajoupas are prominent features of the facility which were all meticulously fitted amidst the rich vegetation of the Atlantic coast."
The Waitikubuli National Trail is the longest hiking trail, which spans the entire island of Dominica. Crafted on the historical journeys of Dominica's African-descended maroons, the trail consists of 14 segments with varying levels of difficulty. The main office is located in the center of the island, near Pond Casse.
D-Smart Farm, the farm tourism camping ground is an experiment in a variety of sustainable agricultural projects. From seedlings to animal rearing to providing sustainable education and immersion experiences to students and the general public, D-Smart farm is a model eco-conscious entrepreneurial endeavor.
Rosalie Bay Resort, with its eco-friendly aesthetic, is the home to a turtle conservancy program that protects the endangered and protected species of turtles in Dominica. The nesting and hatching seasons for the turtles are a favored activity for beach and resort patrons.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park is located in one of Dominica's forest reserves. It was established in 1975 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Recently, during Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, villages on the boundaries of the National Park experienced significant landslides and mudslides, which caused the death of approximately 30 people.
Located at the southern tip of the island, the Dominica Marine Reserve (est. 1998) is a protective environment for Dominica's marine ecology. It is the home of an underwater volcanic crater and one of the most important diving locations in the world. The recent communications campaign of the SSMR in November 2015 sensitized the public to the environmental challenges that officials are currently facing in their conservation efforts.
Dive Dominica is one of the leading dive centers in Dominica.
The Geothermal Project, the recent and controversial alternative energy endeavor by the Government of Dominica has already passed its first well test and is in continued development. Located in the Roseau Valley area, the Geothermal Project Site has faced some pushback from residents who fear environmental risks in addition to the noise pollution. However, officials make a strong case and the government was able to secure some funding to push the project through the first phase.
According to its official website, The GEF Small Grants Programme SGP is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on behalf of the GEF partnership and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Active in 122 countries worldwide, the SGP supports community action to achieve global environmental benefits. The SGP aims to deliver global environmental benefits in the GEF Focal Areas: Biodiversity, Climate Change, International waters, Land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS)."
The Dominica Botanic Gardens, established during the colonial era, is located in the city of Roseau and serves as a sanctuary for one of the region's richest botanical collection.
700 islands came together to create an exquisite “shallow sea” nirvana; or what the Spanish called “Baja mar”, and what we call today- The Bahamas. Currently, 39 different organizations and ecological sites are mapped from the Bahamas, which include organizations such as the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation, the data-neatline-slug="bahamas-conservancy">Bahamas Nature Conservancy Foundation, the Dolphin Encounters, and Dive Bahamas. Ecological sites such as the North and South Marine Parks, Blue Hole National Park and West Side National Park are just a few amongst the list of ecologically protected areas we have recognized thus far.
While some of the organizations enlisted here enforce environmental laws and protection, others partake in focusing closely on the capacity building aspect of it. For instance, The Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation or, BREEF for short, is a non-governmental foundation with the mission to promote environmental conservation and sustainability with an emphasis on the conservation of the marine environment- especially since 95% of their territory is underwater (breef.org/). However, the Bahamas Nature Conservancy Foundation is an international conservation organization’s prime focus is on protecting important natural lands and waters.
They’ve been working since 1951, and have been able to accumulate 1 million members, 600 scientists, protect over 100 million acres of lands and thousands of miles of rivers, in 72 different countries (The Nature Conservancy [US]). The Bahamas also has organizations such as Dolphin Encounters and Bahamas Divers - two unique and independent entities, which mainly deal with exploration and adventure with underwater life. Dolphin Encounters gives the opportunity to learn about bottlenose dolphins and sea lions in a fun an interactive way, while Bahamas Divers allow divers to swim with aquatic life and observe coral reef.
While certain organizations are formed to raise public awareness, the Bahamas foster environmentally protected areas such as the North and South Marine Parks; two parks created to preserve their reef ecosystem, and said to be third longest barrier reef in the world. Located in Andros, Bahamas you can find the highest concentration of Blue Holes at the Blue Holes National Park at the southern portion of the Marine Parks- according to the Bahamas National Trust. In conclusion, the West Side National Park; a coastal mangrove is home to many- including the endangered West Indian Flamingo.
Land of 365 beaches and the only land in the Caribbean to have a Mount Obama (a mountain renamed after the US’ 44th president), Antigua and Barbuda is eccentrically home to various environmental awareness organizations and protection programs- which play their part in the conservation and preservation of the mother island and its daughter island. A total of 17 items currently exist on Carisealand; 10 of which are located in Antigua and 7 in Barbuda; though we can't say for certain how many of these organizations are still operational as a result of the passage of Hurricane Irma severely damaging the daughter isle, Barbuda. Thus, here are some of the environmental protectors you may discover on the islands.
The Waste Recycling CORP. This is a non- profit organization which was started by the Rotary Club of Antigua Sundown, where they explore services such as; the collection of non-biodegradable materials and sensitizing and distributing recycling bins. In addition, the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation have been quite committed to the preservation and conservation of the environment through their relentless efforts to institute various waste recycling programmes.
The Jumby Bay Hawksbill ProjectJumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) is a study which monitors the Hawksbill sea turtle nesting colony on Long Island, Antigua and is currently in its 29th year of sea turtle conservation. This long-serving study has observed about 450 nesting hawksbills that they have individually tagged, and seen vast amounts of offsprings make their way down the sand into Pasture Bay to start their life journeys. The JBHP ‘s mission is to understand to a deeper degree the life history and community of the sea turtles with the aim that it will provide scientific evidence which will aid in wise management and the formation of good policies. The Project is also a member of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs. With the vision; “To be a vibrant organization guided by creativity, innovation, respect for the environment, standards of efficiency and the application of appropriate science and technology to deliver effective services”, the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries & Barbuda Affairs is versed in activities which will boost the country’s food security and sustainable development under their lands, forestry and veterinary and livestock divisions.
Other organizations and programs mapped on the site include the UN ESA Agenda 21, the Horticultural Society, Codrington Lagoon National Park (CLNP), Green Antigua APUA amongst many more.
The island of spices and home to the family fairy tale “crick crack” stories which feature the famous Caribbean spider character, Anansi and his friends, Grenada too is one of the countries in the Lesser Antilles who sees the profound importance of creating environmental bodies and institutions to advocate for environmental conservation, preservation, and sustainability; 24 of these organizations are now mapped in Carisealand.
With gems such as the 60 feet tall Paraclete Waterfall and Lake Antoine National Park, are just some of the reasons Grenada preserves her nature. Another reason would be the River Sallee Boiling Springs; which is located at the northeast of the island and is of spiritual importance to the residents. In addition, visitors are encouraged to toss coins into the fountain while they make wishes. This is why organizations such as the Grenada Fund for Conservancy; a foundation which aims to promote and protect Grenada’s environment, respecting the delicate balance that exists between natural resources and human needs, sees the importance of existing in order to fight against climate change, and preserve the island’s resources. This aids organizations such as Dive Grenada, to give snorkelers and divers the opportunity to have an intimate experience with the best underwater life and more Grenada can offer; including the underwater sculpture gallery built by artist and a diver, Jason De Caires Taylor in 2006. Other environmental protectors and activist organizations include; Friends of the Earth International, Grenada Goat Dairy Project, and Conservation Kayak.
The Grenada chapter of Friends of the Earth was established in 1991, where Grenada also joined Friends of the Earth International. Friends of the Earth is concerned with land use especially in relation to tourism. They also dwell in activities in relation to coastal clean-ups, sustainable agriculture, local sustainability, and good governance and even rallies up campaigns opposing the shipment of nuclear and other toxic waste across the Caribbean.
The Grenada Goat Dairy Project or, TGD for short, aims at reducing the carbon footprint associated with imports and help generate a sustainable income to less fortunate farmers. Established in 2008, TGD was introduced as a business model to train local farmers in the ways of sustainable income-generating production and marketing strategies for goat dairy products in Grenada.
Conservation Kayak, opposite to the functions of Dive Grenada; where individuals experience Grenada’s underwater beauty, Conservation Kayak offers guided trips to experience the beauty of Grenada on top of the surface with the double goal to provide breath-taking kayaking experience as well as raising awareness of environmental conservation by increasing appreciation of Grenada’s eco-systems.
The island of Guadeloupe is a French dependency well known for its unique butterfly shape. The main language of the country is French with an unofficial second language of French-Creole. Guadeloupe possesses many environmental conservation programs and organizations. A total of eight organizations and ecological sites are mapped on Carisealand. A few of these include the following.
EcoLamda Association is aimed at protecting the environment and drawing attention to the issues that affect it in Caribbean islands with a significant relationship being fueled with the Commonwealth of Dominica after the organization offered a helping hand to the island after the passing of Tropical Storm Eric. The association was founded in 1944 and, for example, advocates for the surveillance of turtle breeding and hatching sites (http://www.ecolambda.org/).
Association of Friendly Matters of Birds and the Nature of the Lesser Antilles is geared at the protection of birds species on the island of Guadeloupe.since 1988.
The Republic of Cuba is an island located in the northern Caribbean as part of the Greater Antilles with Spanish as its official language. In 2006, Cuba was deemed the only country in the world to have met the accepted standards for both its Ecological Footprint and the United Nations Human Development Index in the Sustainability Index Report by the World Wildlife Fund (http://www.ecocubanetwork.net/).
Topes de Collantes National Park is a natural park and reserve for plants and animals endemic to Cuba. This is a popular site for tourists to visit and learn about the history and care of the flora and fauna of the island.
St. Louis Valley is a large sugar region with immense cultural and ecological significance. Many visitors travel to view the plantation; rich with ecosystems and fertile soils.
This country makes up one of the two sections of the island of Hispaniola which is part of the Greater Antilles in the Northern Caribbean. 21 items are entered in the Carisealand.
Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is an expanse of forested land stretching over three provinces in the Dominican Republic. “The greatest number of flora and fauna make their home here, including at least 180 species of orchids of which 32 are endemic, rhinoceros iguanas and the Hispaniolan solenodon.” (http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/). Over 100 species of birds including the Hispaniolan Emerald, Antillean Piculet, La Selle Trush, the endangered Hispaniolan parrot, the Hispaniolan parakeet, and the golden swallow are star attractions to bird watchers and bird enthusiasts.
Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park is a natural water reserve. Isla Cabritos (an island) is located within Lago Enriquillo (a lake) which boasts a population of the American Crocodile species.
José del Carmen Ramírez National Park is the oldest national park in the Dominican Republic situated in the interior of the island of the Dominican Republic in the Central Mountain Range. There is a wide array of wildlife including cimarron hogs and hutias as well as many different bird species. This site is of particular importance because it provides natural resources and is a popular tourist attraction to the southern province, San Juan de la Maguana (https://www.visitdominicanrepublic.org/).
Jaragua National Park is an ecotourism haven as its borders are formed by marine terraces and coastal plains. Many endemic species are found at this park including the endangered solenodons and hutias. Notably, the perimeter of the Jaragua National Park is the same as “the Xaragua’s chiefdom, which is one of the Taíno territorial divisions where it is possible to find a series of caverns like ‘El Guanal’ or ‘La Poza and Mongó’ that contain Taíno pictograms” (https://www.visitdominicanrepublic.org/).
The island of Puerto Rico, endearingly known as Boricua, is a member island of the Greater Antilles in the north Caribbean Sea. 15 items are presented on the Carisealand map of the environmental sustainability efforts around this island.
Las Casas de la Selva (The Houses of the Forest) is a protected area for the native flora and fauna of Puerto Rico. This site also acts as a research ground under the management of Tropic Ventures group and Tropic Ventures Educational & Research Foundation.
Parque Nacional Isla de Cabras (Goat Island National Park) is a small island located on the coast of Toa Baja, north of the community of Palo Seco. Historically, the island was used as both a military bastion and an isolation area for individuals suffering from leprosy. In the present day, the islands are regarded as a recreational park and wildlife haven.
Jamaica is a popular-known Caribbean island, most famed for its reggae and dancehall music and is also referred to as the ‘Land of Wood and Water’.
The Jamaica Nature Conservancy is an international organization which serves to learn about, protect and raise awareness for the environment through scientific research, initiatives and the publication of works. In Jamaica, they focus on marine life protection through projects like the Caribbean Marine Biodiversity and Resilient Islands Initiative which aim to conserve and sustain marine ecosystems and aid islands cope with the consequences of climate change respectively.
The Jamaica Organic Agricultural Movement is a non-profit, non-governmental organization created to foster an organic agriculture industry in Jamaica with the mission of ‘facilitating the development of a sustainable and economically viable organic agriculture sector in Jamaica while maintaining organic integrity, promoting health, environmental consciousness, and social responsibility’ (http://www.joamltd.org/).
The ‘Helen of the West Indies’, St. Lucia, is a part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea. A total of 24 items have been mapped in the Carisealand project.
Barre de l'Isle Forest Reserve is located near the center of the island close to L`Abbayee. The reserve features a few trails and the climb and hikes through this forest reserve is a major and popular eco-tourism attraction in St. Lucia. It takes hikers through the forest and up the mountain with the exciting advantage of seeing native wildlife along the way.
Morne Pavillon Nature Reserve this property holds high historical significance in St. Lucia. The area was first used as a cotton plantation and was subsequently passed down to numerous families and owners until ‘in early 2002, a group of interested Saint Lucians aided in initiating an effort to preserve the Morne Pavillon site. This effort resulted in the decision by Mr. Christopher Lutz to donate the property to the Saint Lucia National Trust for a Nature Reserve and Heritage site. This effort was successfully concluded in December 2010 with the formation of a group called Friends of Morne Pavillon who collaborate with the Trust to help develop and manage the property.’ (https://slunatrust.org/sites/morne-pavillon/).
Maria Islands Nature Reserve is located on the Maria Islands (Maria Major and Maria Minor) off the South East coast of Saint Lucia. The Government of Saint Lucia recognized and declared the Maria Islands a Nature Reserve in 1982 due to their special function as a wildlife habitat and their unique flora (over 80 plant species) and fauna.‘The Saint Lucia National Trust has been conducting special environmental education tours to Maria Islands since the early 1980s. The waters around islands are surrounded by coral reefs, allowing for amazing snorkeling experiences. The Maria islands are major nesting sites for birds migrating from Africa annually. Notably, the island is home to five endemic reptile species such as the world’s rarest snake – the Kouwés snake (Saint Lucia Racer), The Saint Lucia whiptail (Zandou), The Worm Snake, The Pygmy and Rock geckos.’ (https://slunatrust.org/sites/maria-island-nature-reserve/).
The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are well known for their epic carnival celebrations each year. This popular tourist destination is also well known for the following environmental sustainability movements. Within the Carisealand project, 25 items are mapped.
ASA Wright Nature Centre is a nature resort and scientific research station located in the mountains of Northern Range in Trinidad. This center is a non-profit trust with the aim of conserving a section of the Arima Valley to protect wildlife.‘The continental origin and proximity of Trinidad to South America, along with its varied habitats, has resulted in an extremely diverse biota. Under talented professional leadership from its volunteer international- and locally-based board of management, the AWNC has developed its efforts in three major areas: Education, Conservation, and Ecotourism. It is now widely recognized as one of the most successful ecotourism stories in the world’ (http://asawright.org/about-the-centre/).
Carib Glass Limited is a glassware manufacturing company committed to a product production process that is good for the environment, for the health of consumers and with a great look. This plant recycles glass and also aids in increasing public awareness for recycling (https://www.caribglass.com/about).
The PlastiKeep company has been an active voice in raising awareness of the importance of recycling plastic as well as making available the resources and facilities to recycle plastic. This company ‘ensures that environmental preservation is achieved by taking action in identifying problems and finding innovative solutions’.
Barbados, also known as Bimshire or Little England, is a highly developed eastmost island in the Caribbean. There are 23 items mapped on the Carisealand website.
The Flower Forest Botanical is 53.6 acres of untouched ecosystem located in the Barbados countryside. There is a wide range of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other greenery. This, along with the fauna is protected strictly in this non-development area.
The Barbados Sea Turtle Project (BSTP) vision is to ‘restore local marine turtle populations to levels at which they can fulfill their ecological roles while still providing opportunities for sustainable use by the people of Barbados, and to support similar efforts in other countries of the Caribbean. For 25 years, this project has been based at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. The (BSTP) operates a 24 hr “Sea Turtle Hotline” to monitor sea turtle sightings and address sea turtle emergencies, monitors the national index nesting beach nightly for 4 months during the nesting season and operates mobile patrol groups. Finally, the BSTP has assisted in productions of sea turtle documentaries for the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Company, BBC, the Discovery Channel, and various internet TV sites (e.g. Travelguru Internet TV)’ (http://www.barbadosseaturtles.org/).
The nation of Guyana is a country on the coast of the North Atlantic coast of the South American continent. The official language is English and Guyana is known for its abundant and dense rainforests. On the Carisealand website, there are 17 items mapped.
The Amazon Tropical Birds Society is located on Light Street, Alberttown and is filled with persons who have dedicated years of their lives to birding. This group is concerned with spreading awareness about the over 5,000 birds endemic to South America which makes up about a quarter of the birds in the entire world.
The Mangrove Restoration Project’s mission is to protect and encourage the sustainable growth of the mangroves in Guyana. ‘The project is funded by the Government of Guyana and the European Union and was implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture. The objective of the project is to seek the commitment of Guyanese towards the protection and development of sustainable mangrove forests. The project commenced activities in February 2010 and is working in the areas of administrative capacity development, research, community development, and capacity building, mangrove restoration (replanting), monitoring and awareness and education.’ http://www.mangrovesgy.org/home/).