ECCEA Objectives

ECCEA's objective is to develop strategies that are beneficial to both communities, wildlife and the environment, establishing mechanisms which ensure ecologically sustainable development. Strengthening of cross sectoral relationships is emphasized as well as community structure and the importance of local traditions and cultures.

Programmes are designed to enhance and reinforce the local economy, national conservation policies, productivity and the unique diversity of island ecosystems.

As international aid has decreased in the Caribbean so have the natural resources. The ECCEA monitors and evaluates the effects of deforestation, coastal development, coastal and distant water fishing fleet activities in the Caribbean, encouraging development of management plans that correspond to regional need, rather than international exigencies.

The participatory approach and sustainable low impact development projects are high priorities for the ECCEA. Whenever possible, alternative initiatives are proposed when it is seen that a major development project has the potential to inflict damage on ecosystems and biological diversity and adversely affect the communities that depend on them.

Problem areas

To nurture political commitment and build on existing structures and National Environmental Action Plan's (NEAP's) the ECCEA promotes and carries out independent surveys and environmental impact assessments.

Major development projects can contain ambiguous conditions with a tendency for short term gain. The technological transfer that eventually empowers both public and private sectors is often omitted. Large scale or uncontrolled development is responsible for environmental and social frustrations, loss of wildlife and habitats' world wide. This is exacerbated in micro island states and seen to have adversely affected ecosystems and human populations, resulting in more than a 60% reduction of biodiversity in the Caribbean. ECCEA pays special attention to the carrying capacity of sites to be used for any form of tourism.

Until recently the islanders lived a conservative and traditional life style that evolved around fishing, harvesting of shell fish, lobster, sea urchins and inter-island trading of goats, sheep, fruits, coconuts and vegetables.. Mangroves and forests have been heavily harvested for charcoal, firewood and timber. What could be considered a subsistence life style has changed rapidly with the advent of cruise ship visitation. This and the build up of mass tourism, have been responsible for the loss of natural assets and wildlife in many parts of the Caribbean.

Education and awareness

ECCEA actively promotes a regional approach to the sustainable use of natural resources and coastal development. Environmental education and awareness programmes are designed to influence and change attitudes to the world and the other species with which we share it. Through the diversity of its projects and in consultation with both public and private sectors, the Coalition undertakes activities. These include marine and rain forest conservation, survival of endangered species and habitat protection paying particular attention to corridors and remnant areas. UNESCO is a partner in the fulfillment of the education programme.


Biogeographical areas are poorly defined in the Caribbean. A priority action is the establishment of a regional ethnobiological data base with the participation of each of the ECCEA/EU sub projects. The research programme is long term and multidisciplinary and applies to such areas as marine mammals, reduction of oceanic and atmospheric pollution, aquaculture, watershed management and biodiversity assessments. ECCEA's scientific teams work through and with local communities.

Programme focus

  • reduction of waste
  • sustainable fishing methods
  • coral reef surveys
  • marine mammal and turtle protection through controlled observation
  • endangered species survival networking
  • preservation of biological diversity
  • watershed and wetland conservation
  • poverty alleviation
  • nature and heritage tourism development
  • women in development
  • organic agriculture
  • environmental education
  • international conventions
  • world heritage listing