Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Area Network (ECMMAN)


The ECMMAN project helps six Eastern Caribbean realize national and regional commitments to protect their nearshore and marine resources under the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, among other environmental commitments and policies. The marine and coastal resources of this region — its coral reefs, beaches, fisheries and mangroves—serve as an essential economic engine, supporting jobs, income and overall economic prosperity. Indeed, perhaps more than any other region, the Caribbean is highly dependent on its marine and coastal environment, since: (i) about 70% of the population lives along the coast; and (ii) the region’s largest economic sector (tourism) is inextricably linked to a healthy marine and coastal environment. Unfortunately, these resources face growing threats, including pollution, climate change, erosion, increasing storm intensity, overfishing and coral bleaching.  Given the multiple threats, and multiple resources users, marine managed areas with comprehensive management plans have the potential to reduce conflicts and provide sustainable reductions in threats. The ECMMAN project’s goal is to build a network of marine managed areas (MMAs) throughout the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. There are four overarching objectives, which include:

  1. Declare new MMAs and strengthen existing MMAs;
  2. Build strong constituencies for sustainable livelihoods and ocean use;
  3. Improve and update an Eastern Caribbean Decision Support System (ECDSS) that provides accessible decision making tools and incorporates current ecological, socio-economic, and climate change data; and
  4. Institute sustainability mechanisms to support the MMA network, including regional political commitments and actions, collaboration mechanisms on marine and coastal resources, and sustainable financing.

TNC’s Role

  • Scientific/technical expertise
  • Financing
  • Stakeholder engagement

The Nature Conservancy connected people with the funding, training and tools necessary to manage and protect the coastal and marine ecosystems upon which they depend. The Nature Conservancy managed financial support for project activities, and provided scientific expertise, such as training in data collection and monitoring. The Conservancy also provided advice on public awareness, and MMA management plan development.

Project Partners

Lead Institution: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (Funder); The Nature Conservancy (Funding recipient)

Other Partners: OECS Commission, Caribbean Marine Protected Area Managers Network (CaMPAM), the U.N. Environment Program/SPAW-RAC, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organizations (CNFO) in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism and PCI Media Impact

Project Type and Status

MMA Network Design

The ECMMAN project, will be completed in October 2017. The strengthening of marine managed areas and MSP in the region will continue through various projects, such as Debt for Nature Swaps and the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) project.

Fact Sheets and Links

ECMMAN Project Fact Sheet


Sherry Constantine, Ph.D.
Senior Program Manager
Caribbean Division
Email: sconstantine@tnc.org

Photo credit: © Raquel Seybert for The Nature Conservancy