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Cooperation in action

Conserving biodiversity in the Caribbean – on land and at sea

Caribbean islands

The natural riches of the Caribbean are unique. The United Nations calls the region a "biodiversity superpower". However, that biodiversity is in danger because all too often not enough attention is being paid to preserving it. Furthermore, the islands of the Caribbean, situated just on the edge of the storm-swept Atlantic Ocean, are particularly affected by the impacts of climate change. Extreme weather events are literally eating away the coastlines of the many, often small, islands – as we saw once again with Hurricanes Irma and Maria, for example, in September 2017.

Flooding and storms do not just cause roads and houses to be destroyed, agricultural land is also damaged by soil erosion as a result of extremely heavy rainfall. Furthermore, since 1980, one third of the coral reefs which are located off the coasts of these islands, forming an important natural barrier against incoming waves and storm surges, have disappeared.

Supported by the German government, the governments of eight Caribbean countries are working with representatives from local businesses and civil society on an ambitious programme to conserve biodiversity.

Detailed information about the programme can be found in our special feature on biodiversity here.

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