From the bottom of the Caribbean Sea across the fields of succulent sugar to the top of Mount Hillaby across the Cliffs of Bathsheba diving to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean – Barbados is a beauty of the Caribbean.
It is a unique meeting point of the Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea makes Barbados a unique landscape for nature’s playground. It biodiversity is packed into 430 km2 and up to only 343 metres above sea level. The terrestrial landscape is home to not only 287,105 people but also an array of wildlife and species who not only live on the island but both human and animal alike migrate during northern winter seasons and use Barbados as a resting or transit point. Its compact size is expanded by its marine territory that expands over 400,000 metres in its Exclusive Economic Zone into the Atlantic Ocean. In such, both the land and sea form key components for both lives and livelihoods of the local populations.
A primarily tourist economy, Barbados relies heavily on its environmental resources as part of its tourism product. Boasting some of the world’s best sun, sea and sand, the preservation of marine and terrestrial spaces is a key component for economic productivity. Beyond this, the environmental health of the island is important for the health of its people. Although highly concentrated in urban centres, Barbados has a population density of 660 people per square kilometre (1,704/square mile). This high density means the environmental resources need to be well distributed and managed for both purposes of scarcity but also for general health and safety of populations that share natural resources.
Barbados has had a long history of government support and local civil society activism towards environmental initiatives. However, many of these organizations lack sustainable funding opportunities. The Barbados Environmental Conservation Trust seeks to provide this support for civil society in Barbados to be able to execute and amplify the work they have been doing.
The BECT supports projects mainly in the following areas: