The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (MacArthur) recently announced that IUCN member, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), is one of eight winners of the 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, and the first-ever winner from the Caribbean. In making these Awards, MacArthur does not seek or accept nominations. To qualify, “organisations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; have budgets of less than $5 million per year; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs”.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of CANARI’s incorporation as an independent non-profit organisation, although its origins date back some ten years earlier to the Eastern Caribbean Natural Areas Management Program. CANARI’s mission is to promote equitable participation and effective collaboration in managing the natural resources critical to development in the islands of the Caribbean.
CANARI’s main programme areas are Forests and Livelihoods; Coastal and Marine Governance and Livelihoods; Civil Society and Governance; and Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. CANARI’s relationship with MacArthur dates back to the late 1980s and the Institute is currently implementing two MacArthur-funded projects:
- Climate change and biodiversity in the insular Caribbean
- Going from strength to strength: Building capacity for equitable, effective and sustained participation of civil society organisations in biodiversity conservation in Caribbean islands.
Additional information about CANARI is available at www.canari.org.
CANARI intends to use the US$350,000 grant that accompanies the award to test and apply new strategies for organisational development in three areas:
- enhancing its long-term financial stability, notably through the development of an endowment fund;
- enhancing the technical capacity of its staff through three-six week ‘mini-sabbaticals’ focusing on key aspects of CANARI’s research; and
- communications research, with a particular focus on how research findings are best communicated to influence policy making and community-level action.
On June 11, 2009, awardees will be honoured at a ceremony at MacArthur's headquarters in Chicago, which will be attended by CANARI’s Executive Director, Sarah McIntosh, and Board Member, Dr Patrick McConney. Additional information about the award is available at www.macfound.org/macei/2009.