Top Political & Business Leaders to Join Forces at The Caribbean Summit to Protect the Region's Environment & Economy

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Heads of state and corporate executives to lead summit with the goal of protecting 20 percent of the Caribbean's resources by 2020.

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“This Summit is a milestone on the path to protecting the Caribbean’s environment and helping empower the region’s communities and economy," said Sir Richard Branson.

In two weeks, the Caribbean Summit of Political and Business Leaders, May 17-18, will bring together heads of state and corporate executives to launch Phase II of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) to address environmental threats to the Caribbean region. With the goal of protecting 20 percent of the Caribbean’s marine and coastal resources by 2020, the CCI is among the most ambitious conservation initiatives ever undertaken.

Hosted by Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith C. Mitchell of Grenada, Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE of the British Virgin Islands and Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, the Summit will serve as a forum to announce new CCI partners and large-scale public and private funding commitments to advance the goals of safeguarding the Caribbean region’s tourism-based economy. It will be an opportunity to exchange ideas, share experiences and success stories, and discuss collaboration mechanisms going forward. Government leaders are also negotiating a Leaders Declaration designed to accelerate Phase II of the CCI.

“Protecting our natural resources is one of the biggest opportunities of our lifetime, and nowhere is it more evident than in the Caribbean,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “This Summit is a milestone on the path to protecting the Caribbean’s environment and helping empower the region’s communities and economy.”

The Summit takes place in the North Sound region of Virgin Gorda and a press conference will be held Friday, May 17 on Necker Island with key stakeholders, and field visits can be arranged through The Nature Conservancy to see conservation projects including coral reef nurseries and marine protected areas.

“In the Caribbean, the economy and public health of coastal communities, as well as the region’s largest economic sector, tourism, is inextricably linked to a healthy marine and coastal environment. Coral loss and other threats to the coast could cost the local economy up to $420 million each year,” said Glenn Prickett, Chief External Affairs Officer from The Nature Conservancy. “Investing in the sustainable management of these coastal resources will help ensure livelihoods for fishers, a thriving coastal tourism sector, and greater shoreline protection from future storms.”


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

Virgin Unite
Virgin Unite is the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group. We unite people and entrepreneurial ideas to reinvent how we live and work in the world to help make people’s lives better. Our aim is to do our bit to revolutionize the way businesses, government and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good. We also incubate new, independent approaches to leadership including the Elders, the Carbon War Room, and the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship.

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Sandra Rodriguez
Nature Conservancy, The
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