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Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI)

CANARI is an independent, regional, technical non-profit institute in the Carribean that facilitates and promotes participatory approaches to natural resource governance to conserve biodiversity, enhance ecosystem goods and services, and enhance livelihood benefits and wellbeing of the poor. CANARI places strong emphasis on multidisciplinary research, capacity building and communication for awareness-building as well as policy-influence. The institute works directly with the full range of stakeholders in the islands of the Caribbean who have the rights to, interest in, or formal or informal responsibilities for natural resources, in order to facilitate avenues for their equitable and effective participation in decisions about the use and the management of these resources. CANARI's programme address: forest, coastal and marine governance and livelihoods; climate change and disaster risk reduction; green economy; civil society and governance; and rural livelihoods

Date of Establishment:

11-Jan, 1989

Purpose of Organization:

CANARI's mission is to promote and facilitate equitable participation and effective collaboration in the management of natural resources critical to development in the Caribbean islands, so that people will have a better quality of life and natural resources will be conserved, through action learning and research, capacity building and fostering partnerships.

GEF/SGP involvement:

2005-2007 : Development of a community education and a strategy for sustainable harvesting of the seamoss resource at Blanchisseuse.
2010 : UNDP Community Based Organization Training workshop in project design and proposal writing.
2012-2013 : Community action to build climate change resilience in Trinidad and Tobago.
2015-2016 : Building climate resilient livelihoods in rural communities Trinidad and Tabago
In addition to the projects listed above CANARI has also contributed to the development of GEF projects including:
2014-2015 : Preparation of the full project investment for Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector for Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4 Fish)
2014 : Development of a Stakeholder Inventory and Involvement Plan and a Communications Strategy to support buy-in of the CLME Project Document by CLME+ Countries and the successful submission of the Project Document to the GEF Secretariat for Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+)
2013 : Project preparation for GEF project 'Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago' for Improving Forest and Protected Area Management in Trinidad and Tobago


Over its twenty-seven years of operation CANARI has undertaken many projects relevant to the work of the GEF. Below are just a few projects that highlight the key achievements of the Institute’s work. A more comprehensive listing of CANARI’s past and on-going projects, including key project achievements/outcomes, can be found on CANARI’s website (www.canari.org).
Climate Change/Biodiversity

Updating Montserrat’s National Climate Change Adaptation Policy and Developing an Action Plan
1. Produced draft National Climate Change Policy and Action Plan through a consultative process.
2. Enhanced awareness of stakeholders in Montserrat on the impacts of climate change.
3. Identified actions that need to be taken for mitigation and adaptation in priority areas.

Promoting participatory information communication technologies (ICTs) for adding value to traditional knowledge in climate change adaptation, advocacy and policy processes in the Caribbean
1. Built capacity of 22 trainee facilitators from the Caribbean islands (representing civil society, government, inter-governmental partners and academia) in how to use Participatory Three-Dimensional Modelling (P3DM) through facilitating a training of trainers’ workshop in participatory approaches as well as building a P3DM model of Tobago.
2. Increased understanding, capacity and motivation of at least 300 persons from communities and decision-makers from key sectors in Tobago have to take joint action to build resilience to climate change and extreme climatic events.

Climate change and biodiversity in the Caribbean
1. Enhanced awareness about potential impacts, research gaps, priorities for policy and action on climate change and biodiversity in the Caribbean islands.
2. Enhanced collaboration among researchers working across different disciplines across the Caribbean.
3. Enhanced awareness of researchers about the importance of communicating to influence policy.

Communicating climate change: A toolkit for Pan- Commonwealth community-based and grassroots organisations
Produced and widely disseminated a toolkit aimed at enhancing capacity of Caribbean stakeholders to communicate about climate change issues.

Formulating a civil society agenda for action on climate change in Saint Lucia
1. Built capacity of civil society organisations in Saint Lucia to work collaboratively to address the impacts of climate change on natural resources and associated livelihoods.
2. Supported civil society organisations in Saint Lucia to communicate to government about what are the priorities for climate change adaptation and mitigation and what role civil society can play.

Participatory research to enhance climate change policy and institutions in the Caribbean: ARIA tool pilot
1. Conducted participatory assessments of the state of institutional capacity and readiness to implement climate change adaptation policies at the national and sectoral levels in Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago using the ARIA tool
2. Built capacity of the implementing partners, other civil society organisations and public sector agencies to utilise the ARIA toolkit
3. Enhanced awareness among civil society organisations about the state of institutional capacity and readiness to implement climate change adaptation policies at the national and sectoral levels in Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago
4. Developed knowledge products for information sharing and advocacy

Empowering rural women through improving livelihoods
1. Built capacity of fourteen rural women in Trinidad and Tobago and their families to reduce vulnerability of their respective natural resourced-based enterprises to climate change impacts.
2. Supported establishment of a network of rural women involved in businesses based on the sustainable use of natural resources.
3. Built the capacity of fourteen rural women producers to better advocate their needs to key policy makers for the establishment of similar networks and mechanisms to access support for their rural businesses
4. Shared, through the development and dissemination of communication products, the experiences of women engaged in this project with other members of their organisations and with women in other communities.

Enhancing food security from the fisheries sector in the Caribbean: Building the capacity of regional and national fisherfolk organisation networks to participate in fisheries governance and management
Project on-going to the end of December 2016. Some achievements to date:
1. Established and built the capacity of a network of regional fisherfolk mentors across 17 Caribbean countries/ territories to more effectively provide coaching and other technical assistance to support the efforts of fisherfolk and their organisations to participate in fisheries governance and management.
2. Established and built the capacity of a community of change agents (Fisherfolk Action Learning Group) from across 17 Caribbean countries/ territories to lead, catalyse, facilitate and support effective participation of fisherfolk in governance and management of the small scale fisheries sector in the Caribbean.
3. Supported the participation of fisherfolk leaders to attend key regional decision-making meetings on fisheries governance.
4. Implemented a small grant facility for fisherfolk organisations – the Fisherfolk Strengthening Fund (FSF) and supported projects from nine fisherfolk organisations in eight countries (Anguilla, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos) to contribute to the strengthening of the fisherfolk organisations involved to participate in fisheries governance and management.

Involving Fisherfolk Organisations in Marine Fisheries Management and Policy in the Commonwealth Caribbean
1. Strengthened capacity of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations - Coordination Unit (CNFO-CU) to undertake policy analysis and develop proposals.
2. Enhanced understanding of the CNFO-CU about the Common Fisheries Policy and implications for fisherfolk.

Participatory Forest Management: Improving policy and institutional capacity for development
1. Improved understanding of what is participatory forest management and what is required to make it happen in the English-speaking Caribbean islands.
2. Improved understanding of the type of governance needed for effectively linking forest, livelihoods and poverty reduction in the English-speaking Caribbean islands.
3. Built capacity (knowledge and skills) for participatory forest management and the development of community forest-based livelihoods in the English-speaking Caribbean islands.
4. Created a regional community of actors with a shared commitment to managing forests in ways that are beneficial to both nature and people, especially people living in poverty.
5. Facilitated informal networking, on a regional scale, among actors at the community level involved in community forestry and forest-based livelihoods.

Piloting community-based management planning for the sustainable use of forest resources in Trinidad and Tobago
1. Built capacity of the partner community group (Brasso Seco Tourism Action Committee) in community forest management including through developing competencies in networking and advocacy, the use of Global Positioning System (GPS), photography and shooting video, data capture and storage and event planning and coordination.
2. Built capacity of the Forestry Division gained experience in facilitating a community-based forest management planning initiative.
3. Built capacity of the Forestry Division to communicate to varied target audiences through inputting into the drafting of different communication products.
4. Built capacity of the Forestry Division to formulate and assemble electronic interactive documents for forest management.
5. Piloted a participatory process to use Geographic Information System (GIS) to facilitate community-based management planning.
Countries in which organization is active:
  • Trinidad and Tobago

Contact Details
Street Address:
Unit 8, Building 7, Fernandes Business Centre, Eastern Main Road.
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone No.:
868 626-6062
Fax Phone:
868 626-1788
Organization founded:

NGO Information
Focal Area:
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Climate Change - Agriculture/Forestry
  • Climate Change - Others
  • Organization Type:
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Geographic Scope:
  • Regional

  • Contact Person
    Ms. Nicole Leotaud Key Contact Person
    Executive Director
    Street Address:
    Unit 8, Building 7, Fernandes Business Centre, Eastern Main Road.
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Telephone No.:

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