Owen is a coastal scientist with over 18 years of experience in developing and implementing projects in the Caribbean with a focus on ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, fisheries, marine protected areas, sustainable livelihoods and vulnerability assessments. He has an extensive track record of successful project development and implementation with a wide range of donors, including multilateral, bilateral organisations, foundations and the private sector.
He specialises in coordinating complex activities with multiple stakeholders and has a special interest in implementation at the community level and in the “democratisation of science”. Owen obtained his bachelors degree in biochemistry from Oxford University in 1988, and his masters and doctorate in marine biology from the University of Wales in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He was a founder member and director of the award-winning Buccoo Reef Trust, an environmental NGO based in Tobago where he lived for eight years. He is a keen underwater videographer and film-maker, and is bilingual in english and french.
Newton Eristhee is a Caribbean citizen with intimate knowledge of the unique socioeconomic and political climate in the Eastern Caribbean. Newton’s MSc degree from the University of the West Indies is in Marine resource and Environmental management. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the management of coral reefs and artisanal fisheries across the Caribbean, from the Grenadines to as far North as the British Virgin Islands and Jamaica. He has facilitated and participated in the implementation of numerous regional fisheries, conservation and marine protected area initiatives in the Caribbean.
As the manager of the Soufriere Marine Management Association in St. Lucia, he successfully implemented innovative sustainable financing mechanisms for the marine park and developed closer partnerships between the private sector and the local community.
More recently Newton’s work has focused on Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and during the past four years he played in critical part in the implementation of the Caribbean fish Sanctuary Partnership initiative (C-FISH) in Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. His passion is for working with communities, enhancing livelihoods, strengthening cooperatives and building strategic partnerships with governments and the private sector. Newton conceptualised and developed the CARICOM Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Sustainable Seamoss Production that allows artisanal seamoss farmers to gain an internationally-recognised qualification at the level of an associate degree.
Ms. Judi Clarke is a specialist in climate change adaptation, stakeholder dialogue, communications and facilitation and LAC regional project implementation. She has over sixteen years of experience in the Caribbean region as an environmental management professional and climate change adaptation specialist and served as the Caribbean Regional Director of CARIBSAVE from July 2010 – July 2016. She has experience as a senior, technical researcher and climate communications specialist having also worked as a consultant for the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), other regional agencies and national governments on projects within small Island Developing States. Her research skill set includes primary and secondary research such as stakeholder consultations, surveys, geophysical data collection and statistical socio-economic analyses. Her communications specialties include engaging with audiences across scientific and non-scientific backgrounds through various media such as conference presentations, written reports, and formal and informal meetings, “how-to” guides, targeted knowledge products and evaluations of social and environmental adaptation interventions.
Her involvement in discussions on climate change issues have been at regional as well as international forums. Judi specialises in multi-stakeholder engagement and has worked with country risk management practitioners in developing and implementing decision making processes; developing feasible policy options and implementation measures for adaptation to climate change at local, national and regional levels. Judi has been specifically involved in the development of risk management and environmental impact assessment guidelines for key sectors that include climate change considerations.
Several of the projects which Judi has managed and provided technical input to have been directed towards reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to climate change in communities in Caribbean countries in terms of livelihoods, natural resources and the built environment. In bringing the relevant actors together in discussion on the challenges and opportunities related to the disaster risk management, she has facilitated several, participatory stakeholder workshops at national, local and regional levels across the Caribbean with senior government officials, community representatives and private sector.
Simone (M.Sc.) is an environmental professional with a specialization in marine ecology, having completed a Bachelors in Zoology and a Masters in Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystems.She is a trained Marine Biologist, working in the area of conservation for 5 years. Her areas of experience include underwater marine surveys (fish, coral), marine protected areas, coral restoration and working with grass roots communities toward development. Simone has participated in a number of projects involving climate change adaptation, environmental assessments, underwater ecological assessments, invasive species tracking, and GIS analysis. In addition to these, she has experience in tourism and education, project management, and visual arts.
Chester Nathoniel, here with his daughter Chelsea, is a scuba diving instructor based in St Lucia with extensive knowledge of the marine ecosystems gained over 15 years and on more than 3,000 dives. A former marine park warden and employee of the Soufriere Marine Management Association (SMMA), Chester is now the manager and co-owner of Action Adventure Divers (http://www.aadivers.net/index.html).
Chester has worked with CLEAR since 2017 and is instrumental in establishing and managing coral nurseries inside the SMMA. He participates in many training and monitoring exercises and is one of the official trainers for the newly established National Vocational Qualification in Coral Restoration. A highly respected member of the local community and a passionate practitioner of marine conservation, he is a driving force for positive change and community empowerment.