Caribbean talks conservation on Branson's island
A statue decorates the pool area of Richard Branson's property on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, Friday, May 17, 2013. Political and business leaders gathered here Friday to back an initiative aimed at expanding protection for the Caribbean's imperiled coasts and waters. Delegations from the participating governments signed a communique pledging to establish a framework for a regional approach to coastal conservation, including "increasing considerably the number of marine protected areas." They also said they recognized an urgent need to protect sharks and rays, and vowed a "dramatic acceleration in the transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources over the next five years." (AP Photo/Todd VanSickle)
Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:00 am
NECKER ISLAND, British Virgin Islands (AP) - Surrounded by a turquoise sea and a menagerie of exotic animals on a billionaire's private island, political and business leaders gathered Friday to back an initiative aimed at expanding protection for the Caribbean's imperiled coasts and waters.
The "Caribbean Challenge" calls for special protected zones along at least 20 percent of the region's coasts by 2020 in hopes of protecting its biodiversity and its crucial tourism market. The region's scattered islands have 10 percent of the world's coral reefs and some 1,400 species of fish and marine mammals.
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Friday, May 17, 2013 12:00 am.