Eastern Caribbean fisherfolk, fisheries administrators introduced to new Early Warning System

More than 30 male and female fishers from St Vincent and the Grenadines were introduced to a new Fisheries Early Warning and Emergency Response (FEWER) System at a workshop held at the Fisheries Division in St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 8.

Using an application for mobile phones, fishers are able to receive early warnings of risky weather and sea conditions and are able to share their information about local conditions and missing persons under FEWER. Besides training in the use of FEWER, participants also received valuable tips about caring for and using their phones.

This  workshop gave good information and the app is good because it helps pass on information easier to fishers, especially since a lot of persons go to sea and don’t take the time check on information about the weather conditions,” says Raoul Lewis, a fisherman based in Callaquia, St Vincent. (more…)

CDB launches project to improve disaster risk management and climate resilience in Ile-à-Vache, Haiti

March 12, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – On Friday March 3, 2018, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Haiti launched a project to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on Ile-à-Vache, an island off the country’s southern peninsula.

The Building Capacity for Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience Project is being funded through a CDB grant of USD5.5 million (mn), which includes a contribution of USD 896,000, from resources provided to CDB under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-CDB-Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM Countries.

The island of Ile-à-Vache has five main villages and a population of approximately15,000, and is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. Speaking at the launch, Monica La Bennett, Vice-President (Operations), CDB, noted that the project has the potential to transform the lives of the people of Ile-à-Vache.

Recurring floods and storms that affect the island, damage the livelihoods of persons who depend on fishing and agriculture. This project aims to increase the resilience of Ile-à-Vache residents to natural hazards and impacts caused by climate change. This is key to social and economic development, and the systematic reduction of poverty. It is part of broader efforts by the Government of Haiti to make investments that increase the resilience of all the people of Haiti and improve their life chances,” said La Bennett.

Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region (Article 1 of the Agreement establishing CDB). In the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the CDB is recognised as an Associate Institution of CARICOM

Confront climate change challenges from position of strength, together – CARICOM Chairman

With climate change at the centre of discussions among Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government, President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moise wants the Region to confront the challenges together, from a position of strength.

He also wants a new mechanism for disaster risk funding that would assist affected Member States to quickly recover and reconstruct. The thinking behind the call for a new mechanism is to ensure that funds for reconstruction are chanelled through “affordable and effective procedures, rather than be paralysed by the expectation of unlikely assistance which, in most cases, is too little, comes too late and, sometimes, never happens”, he said.

The President of Haiti who is the current Chairman of CARICOM, addressed the opening ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, in Port-au-Prince on Monday and placed much emphasis on climate change, natural disasters and funding for recovery. He said that he was organising an international conference aimed at strengthening the mechanisms of resilience to the effects of climate change and the management of natural disasters in the Caribbean.

“This will be an opportunity for the States, partners and international development actors to exchange ideas and make proposals on the best features of prevention and responses to natural disasters. Without your full participation, this conference will not be successful. You are, already, invited,” he said.

A section of the audience at the opening ceremony
A section of the audience at the opening ceremony

Please see more photos here (more…)

CRFM fast tracks protocol for climate change, disaster risk management in fisheries, aquaculture

BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, (CRFM)—We know from the devastation wrought in the Caribbean last September by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, just how important it is for the region to step up its game in tackling climate change and the risks posed by natural disasters. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has recently inked an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that will put the region on better footing to address the impacts of disasters on fishing communities.

The CRFM—the CARICOM agency which works to promote sustainable development of the fisheries and aquaculture sector—is a regional partner on the Climate Change Adaptation in the Eastern Caribbean Fisheries Sector (CC4FISH) Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It is under this umbrella that the new initiative is being implemented for the benefit of the CARICOM Member States.

The CRFM is overseeing the development of the regional protocol to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk management in fisheries and aquaculture into the Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy. The intent is to have the protocol ready before the start of the next hurricane season, which begins on June 1. (more…)

Dominica hurricane damage survey likely to help reduce disaster risk worldwide

Members of the survey team. Photo via Dominica News Online; credit Dr. Richard Teeuw)
Members of the survey team. Photo via Dominica News Online; credit Dr. Richard Teeuw)

The biggest natural disaster to ever hit the Caribbean island of Dominica is now likely to provide guidelines for reducing the risk globally of disaster from hurricanes.

Scientists led by disaster expert Dr. Richard Teeuw, of the University of Portsmouth, are surveying the damage to Dominica’s landscape, infrastructure and communities following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Dominica was devastated by the hurricane last September which left 68 people dead or missing. The hurricane registered as Category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with maximum wind speeds of 260 km/h.

The results of the surveys will provide guidelines for reducing vulnerability and exposure to hurricane-driven floods.

Read more at: Dominica News Online