Photo credit: Zeynep Gökalp/Unsplash

Introducing ECOP Caribbean

The Node for the Caribbean region launched in November 2022, with a call to Early Career Ocean Professionals across the diverse Islands, nations and states in the Carribean to connect through a collective ECOP Programme network.

ECOP Caribbean Coordination Unit

Dr. Dayne Buddo is the Caribbean Node Coordinator  

As the Director of Global Ocean Policy at Georgia Aquarium, Dayne is responsible for deepening its service to the community at the local, state, national and international levels. Georgia Aquarium is an IUCN Center for Species Survival and also a UN Decade Collaborative Center for Ocean-Climate Solutions. 

Dayne served as a tenured faculty member at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) in marine sciences for a decade, with responsibility for marine research and teaching at the Discovery Bay Marine Lab.  He was also CEO and Research Director for the Alligator Head Foundation and Marine Lab focusing on marine protected areas, as well as the Marine Conservation Adviser for the TBA21-Academy, an Art Foundation in Europe centered on ocean conservation and climate change. 

Dayne currently sits on the Board of Advisers for The Ocean Foundation (USA), Board of Directors for NAUI Green Diver Initiative (WAV Alliance) (USA), International Ocean Film Festival (USA), Black in Marine Science (USA), Fisheries Development Management Fund (Jamaica), National Conservation Trust Fund Grant Committee (Jamaica) and continues to support several delegations to major United Nations Conferences on climate change and ocean conservation. 

ECOP Caribbean welcomes you to join the network and share your country’s activities and opportunities related to the UN Ocean Decade.

For any questions or enquiries, please contact:

  •  Dr. Dayne Buddo
  • Email:

Sheyla Ravelo Perez is Cuba National Coordinator

Sheyla Ravelo Perez is an international model and eco-activist. She is the reigning Miss Earth Cuba, Cuba’s National Coordinator for the UN ECOP Program, and a Global Cleanup Ambassador for EARTHDAY.ORG‘s Great Global Cleanup campaign. A University of Florida alumna, she is knowledgeable about coral reef ecosystems, plastic pollution, and climate change’s devastating implications for human health. During the international Miss Earth 2022 competition, Sheyla spearheaded a global educational campaign raising awareness of the importance of coral reefs that reached over a quarter million people. She hopes to contribute to the Ocean Decade by leveraging her creativity and public speaking skills to develop educational campaigns that increase societal awareness and appreciation for the ocean in relation to human health and well-being.

ECOP Cuba welcomes you to join the network and share your country’s activities and opportunities related to the UN Ocean Decade.

For any questions or enquiries, please contact:

  •  Sheyla Ravelo Perez
  • Email:

Ruleo A Camacho is Antigua & Barbuda National Coordinator

Ruleo A Camacho is a Marine Ecologist with over ten (10) years of experience working within marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. He has dual Master of Science degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Policy from the University of Maine via a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship, and previously gained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. 

He specializes in marine ecosystem assessment and monitoring, with specific focus on coral reef, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems. He is trained in various methodologies, inclusive of Atlantic Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) and Global Coral Reef Monitoring Methodology (GCRMN), and has conducted work throughout the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Bonaire, Grenada and Antigua & Barbuda. He has represented Antigua & Barbuda and local, regional and international meetings, and scientific conferences, and actively produces peer-reviewed and gray literature.

He is a native of Antigua and Barbuda who grew up on the southern side of the island in Falmouth Village, where he honed his love for the marine environment through active hobbies in fishing, sailing and other marine activities. 

Ruleo is currently the Marine Ecologist at the National Park Authority (NPA) and was previously employed as a Natural Resource Officer at the Department of Environment (DoE). He is an active volunteer and member of the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) and has played a part in the Offshore Island Conservation Program (OICP) and the Redonda Restoration Program (RRP).

ECOP Antigua & Barbuda welcomes you to join the network and share your country’s activities and opportunities related to the UN Ocean Decade.

For any questions or enquiries, please contact:

  • Ruleo A Camacho
  • Email:

Goals and Objectives

ECOP Caribbean aims to provide access to opportunities both within the Caribbean region as well as immediately outside the region, mainly North America:

1) Significantly increase the number of ECOPs from the Caribbean in the global database. Currently, there are only 7 ECOPs from Caribbean Small Island Developing States.

2) Conduct a Needs Assessment for Caribbean ECOPs with a priority listing of these needs and strategies to fill these needs.

3) Share opportunities available to ECOPs especially in US Universities, Marine Laboratories and Aquariums in the field of marine research and conservation.

4) Work with US partners to remove barriers such as housing, transportation and meals costs to allow Caribbean ECOPs to participate in observerships, internships or apprenticeships.

5) Create a network of academic and scientific experts to serve as research advisors and career mentors for Caribbean ECOPs currently in a graduate program at their home Universities.

6) Convene an in-person conference or workshop with ECOP representatives from all Caribbean countries to share research, conservation activities and network with each other and established professionals in the field.

7) Establish a communication mechanism to allow Caribbean ECOPs to network and share opportunities and also challenges, facilitating a coordinated approach to addressing common issues. 8) Facilitate Caribbean ECOPs to attend regional fisheries and marine conservation conferences.

9) Establish Points of Contact for each Caribbean country.

10) Work in collaboration with Latin American and US regions.

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